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Estelle Appiah and Margaret D. Rouse-Jones

a pioneering Roman Catholic priest who served in the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) in West Africa and the Leeward Islands, West Indies, was born in Dominica on 28 March 1910. He was the son of Sheriff Montague and Mary Bowers. From an early age, he showed an interest in the priesthood. His father, who was a head teacher of the Massacre Government Primary School, had been the roommate of George James Christian at the Mico Training College in Antigua in the 1890s. Bowers’s father had told his son about Christian, who had migrated to the Gold Coast in 1902. Bowers had met Christian during one of the latter’s return visits to Dominica in 1922.

On completion of his secondary education in Dominica Bowers set out on his journey of self discovery He enrolled at the only seminary in the United States that accepted students of African descent ...

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Tiffany Gleason

Dahoman Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal, was born on 8 May 1922 in the town of Toffo, Dahomey (present-day Benin). Growing up in the region of Abomey, he undertook his primary studies at the École Régionale of Abomey, from 1929 to 1935. On 28 October 1935 he entered the seminary with eighteen other students. A focused seminarian, he taught Latin classes to secondary-school students during World War II. Gantin was ordained as a Catholic priest in Ouidah on 14 January 1951 by Louis Parisot (1885–1960), vicar apostolic of Cotonou, and was later appointed professor at Saint Joan of Arc, the minor seminary in Ouidah. In 1953 he moved to Italy to continue his religious studies at Saint Peter s College in Rome He took courses at the Urban Pontifical University and the Lateran Pontifical University where he received two degrees one in theology 1954 and the other in ...

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Joseph A. Brown

Roman Catholic priest, liturgical scholar, and bishop, was born Wilton Daniel Gregory, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ethel Duncan and Wilton Gregory Sr. The maternal side of Gregory's family was part of the Great Migration of African Americans after World War I, arriving in Chicago from Oxford, Mississippi. Soon after their arrival in the North, Gregory's maternal grandmother and her sister were enrolled at St. Benedict the Moor Boarding School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because their mother could not care for them and find work at the same time. While at St. Benedict the Moor, Gregory's grandmother, Etta Mae Duncan was baptized and received into the Roman Catholic Church Even though she was not a practicing Catholic in her later life she never lost her profound admiration and respect for the Catholic priests and nuns who provided her with a home and an education during ...

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Jay Mazzocchi

Roman Catholic bishop, was born in Jones County, Georgia, the son of Michael Morris Healy, a planter, and his slave Eliza Clark. James's early years were spent in the insular world of Healy's 1,600-acre plantation. When he reached school age, James and his brothers Hugh and Patrick Healy were placed by their father in a Quaker school in Flushing, New York. Eventually all nine of the Healy siblings, including Michael Healy and Eliza Healy, left Georgia for the North.

In 1844 Healy and his brothers transferred to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, a new Jesuit school established by Bishop John Bernard Fitzpatrick of Boston. Healy thrived in his new environment, excelling academically and experiencing a spiritual awakening that led to his decision to enter the priesthood in 1848 The Jesuit novitiate was in Maryland a slave state so with the help ...

Article

Liliana Obregón

Bartolomé de Las Casas is a controversial figure, whose prolific and complex writings continue to raise questions after five centuries of study and debate. Though known as the most unrelenting advocate of Native American interests before the Spanish Crown, he endorsed the colonial system and played a role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade Throughout his life he denounced the violence and abuse that were inherent in Spanish policies towards Native Americans while he proposed more benevolent forms of colonization As a strategic reformist and in the hope of saving indigenous lives he initially advocated that imported African slaves be used in place of Native American forced laborers However towards the end of his life Las Casas regretted his promotion of black slavery and was deeply troubled by having condoned any form of human bondage Ironically through his repentance he became the first colonist of the sixteenth century to denounce ...

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Vincent F. A. Golphin

clergyman, and the first African American Roman Catholic archbishop in the United States, was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, the sixth of eight children of Jesus Maria Marino, a baker, and Lottie Irene Bradford a maid After an elementary and high school education in parish schools the future prelate studied for the priesthood as a member of a religious community established to minister to blacks and Native Americans He graduated from St Joseph s Seminary College in Washington D C and later earned a master s degree at Fordham University Marino grew up as a religious minority within a racial minority oppressed by segregation in the Deep South The family was devoutly Catholic in a region of the country that was overwhelmingly Protestant and historically as hostile toward the Church of Rome as it was toward people of African descent Biloxi s Catholic parish for blacks Our Mother ...

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Jeremy Rich

pope, was born somewhere in North Africa, probably in the mid-third century CE. Little is known of his background. His name is also given as “Melchiades.” He must have belonged to the vibrant North African church community that would later include Augustine of Hippo. Miltiades endured the brutal persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian, but it is unclear how he survived them or if they had any personal consequences for him. He was described in the Liber Pontificalis chronicle of the early Roman church as a member of a certain Marcellinus s clergy Early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea contended that Miltiades reigned as pope for four years though some sources indicate three or so What is clear is that his short tenure as bishop of the Roman Christian community came at a dramatic time He was elected bishop around 310 just as Roman military leader Constantine was battling ...

Article

Kahiudi C. Mabana

Roman Catholic metropolitan archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), was born on 7 October 1939 in Mongobele in the Mai-Ndombe (Bandundu). His eponym Ngwo means “princely” among the Sakatas. After primary school in Nioki, Monsengwo from 1951 to 1957 attended the minor seminary in Bokoro, which then belonged to the apostolic vicarage of Inongo. He then studied philosophy at the major seminary in Kabwe from 1957 to 1960. On 12 October 1960 he went to Rome, where he obtained a diploma in theology from the Urbaniana pontifical university in 1963 and was ordained a priest by Cardinal Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian in Rome on 21 October 1963.

Following his exegetic studies at the Biblicum in Rome, in 1971 Monsengwo was the first African to receive a doctorate in biblical exegesis. His thesis deals with techniques of translating the Septuagint, La Notion de Nomos dans le Pentateuque Grec ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

was born in the small town of Mstzabezi near the larger town of Gwanda, Zimbabwe, the son of Amos Ncube, a farmer who raised goats, and Ivy Mkwananzi on 31 December 1946. Ncube remained close to his mother, who lived well into her eighties. Ncube attended primary school at Saint Patrick’s School in the large city of Bulawayo and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1960. After completing his primary studies, he attended minor seminary in Gwelo under the tutelage of Swiss Bethlehem Missionaries from 1963 to 1966. After Ncube decided he had a vocation for the priesthood, he enrolled in the Jesuit seminary located in Chishawasha in 1967 and was ordained a priest on 26 August 1973. From his ordination until 1979 Ncube was a priest at Saint Joseph s Mission in the district of Matapos approximately 106 miles 170 kilometers from Bulawayo He was ...

Article

Roman Catholic archbishop of Kampala, Uganda, and cardinal, was born in the Mityana district of Buganda, Uganda on 5 November 1914. His parents were committed Catholics, and he grew up in the strongly Catholic environment of Buganda, which the White Fathers (the Missionaries of Africa, founded by the French Cardinal Charles Lavigerie) had established since their arrival at the court of the Kabaka (king) in 1879.

In 1916 Nsubuga entered the junior seminary at Bukalasa in Buddu, the heart of Ganda Catholicism, crossing the road to the major seminary of Katigondo in 1937. He was ordained priest in 1946 at Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala and was appointed to a parish in Mubende on the border between Buganda and Bunyoro Nsubuga was fluent in both the Luganda and Lunyoro languages during this time he also learned French the language spoken by the White Fathers Nsubuga served in ...

Article

Cajetan N. Iheka

Roman Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal, and social critic, was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on 16 June 1936, the first child of Michael Ohiagbon Okogie and Lucy Akinola Okogie. His father was from the Uromi royal family in the present-day Edo state, Nigeria, while his mother was a relation of the then Alaafin (royal king) of Oyo Kingdom in the present-day Oyo state. Michael Okogie (his father) relocated to Lagos, where he enlisted in the Nigeria Customs Service and married Lucy Afolabi in 1935.

Between 1942 and 1948, Okogie attended Holy Cross Primary School, Lagos. However, his education was interrupted when his father was transferred to Sapele in the present-day Delta state, Nigeria. In Sapele, Okogie continued his primary education at Saint Patrick’s Primary School, Sapele, between 1949 and 1951 Again his father was transferred to Lagos and the young Okogie had to relocate too In Lagos Okogie ...

Article

Eric Morier-Genoud

first bishop of Beira, Mozambique, was born on 14 July 1906 in Milheirós de Poiares, Portugal, the son of wealthy farmers José Joaquim Soares de Resende and Margarida Rosa dos Santos. He attended the Minor Seminary of Vilar and the Major Seminary of Oporto and was ordained in October of 1928. Sebastião proceeded to Rome in 1932 to earn a doctoral degree in philosophy and in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, after which he took an additional degree at the Institute of Social Sciences in Bergamo. Back in Oporto, he worked as a professor at the Major Seminary and became its vice rector in 1934.

Dom Sebastião followed a typical trajectory for a Portuguese bishop He was born in a rural Catholic district his family had a religious practice above the national average he studied in Rome and he had experience in church administration before being nominated He ...

Article

Flore Nobime

Roman Catholic archbishop of Cotonou, Benin, was born on 4 April 1934 in Ouidah, Benin, a city that houses numerous seminaries hosting students from both West and Central Africa. In 1948 he earned the certificate of elementary studies (CEP) from a Catholic missionary school and entered the junior seminary of Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc. He received the Brevet d’études du Premier (BEPC) in 1953. He received his Baccalauréat 1 in 1955 and Baccalauréat 2 in 1956.

Intending to become a priest, he entered the major seminary of Saint-Gall in Ouidah, which he attended from 1956 until 1962. He was ordained a priest on 8 July 1962 by Monseigneur Bernardin Gantin, who was the first bishop of Dahomey. After his ordination, Souza pursued his training in Rome, where he earned his degree in theology in 1963 and another in biblical exegesis in 1965.

When he returned to Ouidah in 1965 ...