1820 to 1872
Senegambia / Guinea
Aloÿs Kobès was vicar apostolic to Guinea
and Senegambia. Born in the Rhineland, he studied in Strasbourg
and was ordained in 1844. Two years later he joined the Holy
Ghost Fathers (founded by François
Libermann) and, in 1848, was named coadjutor-bishop for
Mgr. Jean Rémi
Bessieux. For the rest of his life he was responsible
for the young church in the northern half of the vase West
African mission, with Bessieux directing the southern half.
In 1863 he became vicar apostolic, based in Senegambia, Handing
over Sierra Leone to the newly founded SMA of de
Marion-Bresillac, Kobès concentrated on Dakar, Bathurst,
and the surrounding area; but his apostolate in this largely
Muslimized area, with exceptionally heavy mortality among
his missionaries, was extremely hard. Kobès was outstanding
as a pioneer in the formation of an African clergy and was
able in 1864 to ordain his first African priest, Guillaume
Jouga, to be followed by several others. He was also concerned
with the foundation of a local sisterhood, the Daughters of
the Holy Heart of Mary, which by his death had twenty-eight
professed members. These were unique achievements for his
time. He was also an excellent linguist: Principes de la
langue wolof was published in 1865.
Paul Coulon and Paule Brasseur, Libermann, 1802-1852 (1988), pp. 649-657.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.