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Jeremy Rich

Roman Catholic cardinal from the Ivory Coast, was born in the Ivoirian town of Monga on 2 March 1926. At the age of six, he received his baptism and began his education at a Catholic mission school in the town of Menni. Agré entered a Catholic seminary school in Bingerville in 1941 and remained there until 1948. He then attended seminary at the Beninese city of Ouidah from 1958 until his ordination as a Catholic priest on 20 July 1953. From his ordination to 1965, he was a priest in the town of Dabou. Agré then joined the teaching staff at the Bingerville seminary he had once attended and served there from 1956 to 1957. From 1957 to 1960 Agré studied canon law at the Pontifical Urbanian University and he graduated with a doctorate His return to Côte d Ivoire coincided with the country ...

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Trevor Hall

Columbus’s voyage to the Americas and the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade from Spain to the Americas. Born near Valencia, Spain as Rodrigo de Borja, Alexander was a lawyer and administrator and a very wealthy man, who became a cardinal at the age of twenty-five. His father was Jofré Llançol and his mother Isabella de Borja, sister of Alfonso Borja, later Pope Callixtus III. Being born into the powerful Borja family gave Rodrigo Borja an uncle who was a pope and someone who guided his nephew to become Pope Alexander Vl. He acquired money and power as a result of his uncle being a pope. Alexander VI had a long relationship with Vannozza dei Cattanei, a Roman woman, who was the mother of his four children.

Alexander VI did not issue papal bulls that related directly to West Africans enslaved in Portugal Spain and Italy however his bulls influenced ...

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Vincent F. A. Golphin

the seventh African American to be named a Roman Catholic bishop in the twentieth century, was born in Selma, Alabama, the eldest son of Nancy King and Henry Anderson. He attended Payne and Clarke Elementary Schools, then went to Knox Academy High School in Selma, where the class of 1949 chose him valedictorian.

Born on the eve of the Great Depression, Anderson came into a life of financial desperation and racial fears caused by hard-drawn racial, religious, class, and caste divisions. Poverty and color lines were thick in Selma, and the teenager was inspired by the white Roman Catholic missionaries of the Society of St. Edmund who came south to aid black development. They and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester, New York, arrived in Selma in 1937 and built a hospital school and youth outreach center in response to Pope Pius XI s call for Catholics to ...

Article

Louis Munoz

Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria) in 354 and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba, Algeria) in 429 on the Mediterranean coast. Only four of his seventy-five years were spent outside Northern Africa. However, those few years would influence considerably his thought and his work.

Augustine s Africa had been part of Rome s empire since the destruction of Carthage five hundred years before his birth The language of business and culture throughout Roman Africa was Latin Yet some distinctly African character continued to mark life in the province Some non Latin speech either the Berber tongue of the desert or Punic which ancient Carthaginians had spoken continued to be heard The dominant religion of Africa had become Christianity a religion opposed to the traditions of old Rome but that could not have spread without the unity that Rome had brought ...

Article

Eric Bennett

One of the most famous theologians of his time, Augustine was raised in a mixed household: his mother was Christian but his father, an official of the Roman empire, was pagan. He spent his early years in what is today called Souk-Ahras, in Algeria Despite the piety of his mother Augustine abandoned Christianity at an early age attracted instead by Manichaeism a system of material dualism that claimed the human soul was like light imprisoned by darkness A precocious learner Augustine considered Christian scripture intellectually crude Inspired by Hortensius a now lost text by Cicero he mastered rhetoric and while still in his teens held a professional chair of rhetoric in Carthage Ever questioning the nature of things Augustine discarded Manichaeism for Academic Skepticism and later Neoplatonism At the age of twnenty eight he left Carthage for the Roman capital of Milan in search of better disciplined students In ...

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Trevor Hall

who defended Native American rights and promoted African slavery, only to later condemn it, was born in Seville, Spain. His father, Pedro de Las Casas, had sailed to the Americas as a merchant on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage. He was educated in law at the University of Salamanca. Las Casas is renowned because he recommended that the Spanish king purchase enslaved Africans from Portuguese merchants and ship them from Portuguese colonies in West Africa directly to the Spanish Caribbean. In 1493 Las Casas was living in Seville, where he witnessed the arrival of Columbus following his maiden voyage to the Americas. Columbus brought a number of exotic, colorful tropical birds and a dozen half-naked Native Americans back with him. To fifteenth-century Spaniards, half-naked people were savages. The experience has a profound effect on the young Spaniard.

In 1502 Las Casas boarded an armada that sailed from Spain to Hispaniola ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Belgian Roman Catholic bishop in the Congo, was born the son of Jean de Hemptinne and Ida de Meeus in Gand, Belgium. His parents belonged to a Flemish family known for their extensive business holdings and their attachment to conservative Catholic political views. After completing his secondary education in 1894, Hemptinne studied at Louvain University. He then entered the Benedictine seminary at Maredsous on 5 December 1895, and entered the monastic order on 19 March 1896. One of his major influences at seminary was Saint Francis de Sales, known for his emphasis on charity. However, his later career in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then the Belgian Congo) would show that he fused a very authoritarian sense of order with this belief in charity. Hemptinne was assigned to move to the southern Congolese province of Katanga on 6 August 1910 a year before European prospectors began ...

Article

T. G. Wilfong

Egyptian Christian bishop and writer. Little is known of John of Nikiu’s life, except for references to his career found in the History of the Patriarchs of Egypt, a major historical work compiled by numerous church figures over several centuries. The date of John’s birth is unknown, but it was at some point in the mid- seventh century CE, as he would have served in various monastic capacities before his appointment as bishop sometime before 689.

John was the Monophysite bishop of Nikiu also known as Pshati an ecclesiastical center in the southwest Nile Delta region Monophysitism being the belief that Christ had one nature divine rather than two divine and human John first appears in the historical record as a witness to the death of Monophysite patriarch John of Samanud in 689 and John of Nikiu actively but unsuccessfully attempted to influence the election for the successor patriarch ...

Article

Robert Fay

Joseph Kiwanuka was born in Buganda, part of the British colony of Uganda. When he was twelve years old a Catholic priest working as a missionary arranged for him to attend mission school, where the boy excelled. Kiwanuka went on to attend the seminary at Katigondo. After his ordination in 1929, he studied canon law in Rome and became the first African to earn the title doctor of canon law.

During the colonial era Europeans largely considered Africans inferior and backward and they expected Africans simply to receive the Christianity that white Europeans conferred on them Missionaries in Africa in effect imposed a paternalistic and external Christianity on their African converts However Archbishop Streicher of the Catholic Church perhaps sensing the changing nature of African society in the twentieth century believed in the need to develop an indigenous and autonomous African clergy Thus he trained Kiwanuka and others ...

Article

Jonathon L. Earle

first African Catholic Bishop (1939–1961), and Uganda’s first African Archbishop (1961–1966), was born in Mawokota County, Mpigi District, Uganda, on 11 June 1899. Kiwanuka was born into humble circumstances at the end of a decade torn by significant religious civil wars within Buganda. His father, Victoro Katumba Mundu-ekanika Kato, of the Monkey clan (Nkima), and his mother, Felicitas Nankya Ssabawebwa Namukasa, of the Lungfish clan (Mamba), were married in 1897 and together had four children. Kiwanuka was their firstborn. Kiwanuka’s parents were devout Catholics, and while they lived 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the mission church, Kiwanuka recalled never missing mass as a child. Kiwanuka’s relatives were among the Christians martyred by Kabaka (king) Mwanga in the mid-1880s.

Kiwanuka first received formal education at Mitala Maria Mission School, where he enrolled in 1910 With the assistance of his mother Kiwanuka learned to read and ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

RomanCatholic archbishop, was born on 29 November 1905 in Tourcoing, France, the son of René Lefebvre, a textile businessman in northern France, and Gabrielle Wattin. René eventually died at the hands of the Nazis during the French occupation in World War II. Both parents were zealous Catholics. Educated at Catholic primary and secondary schools in France, Lefebvre felt he had a vocation as a priest early in life (much like his older brother, René). Lefebvre attended the French Seminary in Rome from 1923 to 1929. This seminary had a very conservative reputation, and later in life, Lefebvre's commitment to Catholic tradition and antipathy toward theological and political liberalism demonstrated he was faithful to his education there. He was ordained on 21 September 1929 For a year Lefebvre was assigned to a working class French parish Since he belonged to the Holy Ghost Fathers religious congregation which ...

Article

a prince known in Europe as the Catholic Bishop Dom Henriques, was the son of King Afonso I of the Kongo kingdom in West Central Africa. He is renowned as the first West-Central African to become a bishop in the Catholic Church, in 1518. He was educated in theology in at the monastery of Santo Elói in Lisbon, Portugal. As the son of the Kongolese king who had converted to Christianity, Prince Ndoadidiki was raised as a Catholic in the Kongo and epitomized the acculturation of one major West African royal family into Catholic Portuguese culture. Like a few other Christian Kongolese princes before him, Prince Ndoadidiki went to Portugal to attend school. While there, he received a knighthood and the title “Dom,” signifying a Portuguese nobleman.

Kongo was the only West Central African kingdom that Portugal converted to Christianity during their first century in that part of the ...

Article

Trevor Hall

was born Thommaso Parentucelli in the Ligurian region of Italy, around Genoa in 1397. The son of an unknown physician, he received a classical education at the University of Bologna. He was a learned man who read the thousands of books in his extensive private libraries.

Although he was not a member of the Italian aristocracy, he used his intellect and diplomatic skills to navigate through the complex maze of Vatican politics, which culminated with his papacy in 1447. His reason for renown in the history of transatlantic slavery is that in 1455 he issued the papal bull Romanus pontifex giving Portugal the right to reduce West Africans to a status of perpetual slavery.

Pope Nicholas V came from a humble background and after his father died he left university to support himself He worked as a tutor for rich Italian families who brought teachers and professors into ...

Article

Vincent F. A. Golphin

clergyman, was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the eldest of six children born to Frank and Josephine Perry. Neither of the parents were high school graduates, but they placed value on education; all of the children attended college. As a family they worshipped together at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on Mill Street.

Perry began studying for the priesthood at age thirteen as a member of the Society of the Divine Word, an international organization of missionary priests and brothers founded in 1875 to minister to populations among whom the Catholic Church did not have a strong presence. In the United States the society served mostly blacks and Indians. Perry entered the seminary at St. Augustine Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He made his novitiate in East Troy, Wisconsin, and studied toward ordination at Divine Word Seminary in Techny, Illinois. After ordination in 1944 ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

RomanCatholic cardinal, was born on 15 June 1945 in the poor northern town of Ourous in Guinea (then part of French West Africa). His family belonged to the tiny Catholic minority in Guinea, where the dominant religious traditions were Islam and indigenous spiritual traditions. Sarah attended primary school at the Catholic mission at Ourous, and then moved to the minor seminary of Bingerville in Ivory Coast in 1957. After Ahmed Sekou Touré's political movement led Guinea to reject Charles De Gaulle's 1958 referendum on remaining part of the French empire, Sarah returned to Guinea and joined a seminary at Dixinn two years later. However, his studies were interrupted due to Sekou Touré's socialist and nationalist education policies. Touré ordered the nationalization of all mission schools in 1961 Like all other Guinean students Sarah himself was forced to go to school where anti imperialist curriculum was the ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

RomanCatholic cardinal, was born on 2 February 1921 in the town of Popenguine, located on the Petit Côte of the Senegalese Atlantic coast. His father, François Fari, was chief of the village from 1907 to 1932, and had converted to Catholicism in 1888. His mother, Anna Ndiémé Sene, was also a Catholic convert. The family belonged to the Safeen community within the larger Serer or Sereer ethnic group. Thiandoum was the twelfth of thirteen children. His younger brother Jacques later converted to Islam while in the army, a fact that troubled Thiandoum later in life. Thiandoum as a boy fished, helped in the fields, and watched over livestock. There was no Western school in Popenguine until 1931 when Catholic missionaries established one Father Joseph Faye a Senegalese Catholic priest mentored Thiandoum Although illiterate Thiandoum expressed his desire to become a priest to Faye as well ...

Article

Eric Fournier

Christian bishop. Details on the life of Victor of Vita are known exclusively through his own History of the Persecution in the African Provinces, from both specific sentences in the first person and the level of detail that he presents in different episodes of his account of the Vandal period. Victor was most likely born between c. 440 and 445 CE and originated from the city of Vita in the northern part of the Roman province of Byzacena The first personal memory that he relates is his meeting with the old bishop Valerianus of Avensa sometime after 455 in terms that imply he was not a cleric yet By the end of the Vandal king Gaiseric s reign in January 477 Victor knew an intendant of the palace Saturus and he was in the capital when the Carthaginian clerics were allowed to return from exile probably in ...

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Tedros Abraha

Eritrean Catholic bishop, lexicographer, and grammarian, was born in Hebo (Eritrea) on 11 April 1889 to Gebre Iyesus Gebre Medhen and Sellas Jegger. His grandfather, an orthodox priest converted to the Catholic Church by Saint Justin de Jacobis (1800–1860), was from a noble family of Gwela related to Emperor Yohannes IV and Dejazmach Subagades (1770–1831).

At the end of his training for the priesthood in Akrur and Keren, Yaqob Gebre Iyesus was ordained priest by Bishop Camillo Carrara on 30 April 1913. After his ordination, he worked as pastor in the parishes of Beraqit, Ginda, Akrur, and Segeneiti, and in 1918 he was appointed translator and adviser to Bishop Carrara for a period of three years He was also active in pastoral ministry in teaching and was in charge of censoring the publications printed at the Francescana Printing Press At the end of his term he moved to ...