Death of the last American missionary to the Jesuit province of Patna

Father Theodore Bowling, the oldest and last American Jesuit to serve in Patna, died on November 22 in Pune, western India. He was 97 years old.

22 November 2021

Father Théodore Bowling


NEW DELHI:
Father Theodore Bowling, the oldest and last American Jesuit to serve in Patna, died on November 22 in Pune, western India. He was 97 years old.

The news was confirmed by Fr. Susai Raj, assistant to the provincial of Patna.

Father Raj said the death occurred at 11:30 a.m.

Father Bowling was in a hospital in Pune where he had spent most of his missionary life in India. He had spent 80 years in the Society of Jesus.

Father Bowling was born on May 4, 1924. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1941 and was ordained a priest on March 24, 1955. He became a full Jesuit on February 2, 1979.

Father Bowling, “a giant of manual labor”, was hailed for having greened the campus of the Jesuit-run De Nobili College from 1952, when he arrived there for his theological studies. In 1957 he was appointed to teach basic sciences and scientific questions related to philosophy at the Papal Athenaeum in Pune (now Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth).

During his first year of theology, he often volunteered to dig pits in trees and fill the pits with alternating layers of organic matter and mud, to give a young tree a chance to establish pits. deep roots.

In his second year he was the Deputy Chief and his duties were to assign his fellow theology students to 90 minute manual labor twice a week to plant trees in the empty spaces of the DNC and water them for 4 years until they can survive the summer heat.

The Jesuit introduced evening “nature walks” which took him with his friends over two rows of rain and Gulmohar trees planted from 1942 to 1944 by Jesuits who built the ground floor of the theologate. The lands of the DNC were mostly barren, he came there. Eventually, various kinds of trees grew on the college campus as well as in nearby housing societies.–Materials India



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