Most Reverend Alphonse August Sowada, OSC
Most Reverend Alphonse August Sowada, OSC, Bishop Emeritus of Agats, Indonesia, was born on June 23, 1933, Avon, Minnesota. He was the son of Alphonse B. and Monica (Pierskalla) Sowada. He attended District #52 (rural Elmdale) grade school and Crosier Seminary High School, Onamia. He received his seminary formation at the Crosier House of Studies in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bishop Sowada made his profession of vows in the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross on August 28, 1953. He was ordained to the priesthood at Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 31, 1958, by the Most Reverend Leo Pursley, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Following his ordination he received a Master's Degree in cultural anthropology from the Catholic University of America in 1961. He departed to the Asmat Mission in May, 1961. He served as pastor of the parish in Sawa-Erma from 1962-1965 and pastor in Agats from 1965-1969. He was the regional superior for the Crosiers in Agats when he was appointed bishop. Bishop Sowada was appointed the first Bishop of Agats, Indonesia, on May 29, 1969, and was consecrated bishop of Agats on November 23, 1969, by the Most Reverend Joseph Mees, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Indonesia.
Bishop Sowada, OSC, died on Saturday morning, January 11, 2014, at the Mille Lacs Health System, Onamia, Minnesota.
The reception of the body of Bishop Sowada will be at 3:00 pm on Thursday, January 16, at the Cathedral of Saint Mary, St. Cloud. A wake will begin at this time and continue until 8:00 pm. There will be a Vigil Service at 7:00 pm., with Crosier Prior Reverend Kermit Holl, OSC, presiding. The wake will continue on Friday morning, January 17, at 9:00 am until the time of the funeral Mass.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, January 17, at 11:00 am at the Cathedral of Saint Mary, Saint Cloud, with Bishop Donald J. Kettler, Bishop of Saint Cloud presiding. The homilist will be Bishop John Kinney, Bishop Emeritus of Saint Cloud. Private burial will be at the Crosier Priory Cemetery, Onamia.
Bishop Sowada is survived by his brothers and sisters, Adrian (Joann) Sowada, Little Falls, Marlene (John) Mulrooney, Winona, Ramona Sowada, Addison, Illinois, Rose Ann (David) Munsch, Poway, California, Lenore (Michael) Leigh, Green Valley, Arizona, Dennis (Janice) Sowada, Rice, and Terese (Richard) Athman, Hamilton, Montana and several nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents.