Tuesday 6th November, 2012Printable Version
Accra, Nov 6, GNA – Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers, a retired Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Accra, is dead at age 103.
Rev Fr Francis Adoboli, the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, said Bishop Bowers died on Monday at Agomanya in the Eastern Region and his funeral arrangements would be announced later.
Bishop Bowers was born on March 28, in Massacre, Dominica.
 He traveled to the United States to attend St.
Augustine Seminary, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He was ordained on January 22, 1939, and continued as a priest in the Society of the Divine Word from 1939 to 1952.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Accra, and Titular Bishop of Cyparissia. Bowers was appointed Bishop of Accra on 8 January 1953 and received his episcopal consecration on April 22, 1953, from Cardinal Spellman at the Church of Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St.
Louis, USA, becoming the first black bishop to be so ordained in the USA.
 In 1957, Bishop Bowers founded the congregation of the Sisters of the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer (HDR) in Accra, which is dedicated to caring and comforting the poor.
He is also the founder of St John College and Seminary presently known as Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary, one of the best high schools in Ghana.
In recognition and acknowledgement of his pioneering work in Ghana, when the diocese of St. John's-Basseterre in the West Indies was created in 1971 - comprising the islands of Antigua-Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands - Bowers was appointed its first bishop on January 16, 1971, becoming the chief pastor in Antigua.
 On July 17, 1981, he retired from church office and, after some years spent in Charlestown, Nevis, returned to Dominica, where he lived in Mahaut in the care of his sister, Blossom Ann Reid. In the 1990s the HDR Sisters, some of whom had periodically visited him in Dominica, invited him back to Ghana and lived with them until he died on Monday.
Bishops attending the Catholic Bishops Conference in Koforidua visited him on Sunday.