BISHOP WHO BRIDGES THE RACE GAP
By Hugh Kay
AFRICA'S "Passing Chord", the West Indian Bishop of Accra, capital of Ghana, this week declared the African continent's need for priests specially trained in catechetics before they come out to the mission field.
He called for a new stress on the direct spiritual apostorate to the African people— in parallel with the Church's efforts to raise the African's living standards.
In London on his way to Rome, 52-year-old Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers, S.V.D., told me that a major priority is the construction of tt new catechetical system for Africa.
West Africa, he said, urgently needs a first-class school of catechetics where lay teachers and catechists can he highly trained.
It was on Tuesday, feast of his patron. St. Joseph the Worker, that the Bishop said Mass in Clever House, the London institute of social studies run by Fr. Paul Crane, Si., for African Catholic Actionists.
After Mass, the Bishop outlined for me his own approach to the needs of the African flock. It has apecial relevance to countries where highly organised state activity lessens the scope for unilateral social action of a voluntary kind.
Special significance attaches to his ideas because of his own view of himself as a "passing chord"—a musical term denoting the passage that leads from one key to another.
As a West Indian who has lived in the U.S. and studied in Europe, he has a providential facility for assessing different racial outlooks sympathetically and helping them to find common ground.