Tribute To: Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler By Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

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Today, Mrs. Bargblor and I, are saddened by the untimely death of Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler, Archdiocese of Monrovia. Reportedly, His transition took place on the evening of Friday, August 12, 2022, at the Catholic Hospital, Monrovia.

Mankind, down through the ages has come the cry for knowledge and more knowledge. Around us, everything is changing, and nothing seems permanent and fixed. The mountains crumble away, the rivers dry up in the Sahara Desert, and cease to flow, islands sink and new seas are formed. The great oaks, in all their majesty must succumb to transition, to change, or death. Man goes on his way and crosses the borderline into the unknown and seems to end his existence in the twinkling of an eye. Is there any part of man, therefore, or any part of nature, that is immortal, unchanging permanent and conditional? Still, there was always the quest for knowledge and the desire for answers to problems unsolved. Why are we here? Who are we? Whence have we come? And where do we go? Is this personality of ours, this individuality which we strive to build up through idealism and the elimination of undesirable traits, merely a temporary or imaginary creation of our minds?

Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler was born in Harrisburg on January 4, 1944. He attended his elementary education from 1954-1960, at the Firestone Division 10 School. Between1962-1963 , he attended St. Christopher Junior High School in Kakata. In 1964-1967, he attended Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria. Between the years of 1977 to 1979, he studied at the Maryknoll Seminary in New York, where he earned a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology.

(Courtesy of the Diocese of Monrovia) The Late Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler

He was Indeed A Man Of Service

Date Age Event Title
4 Jan 1944 Born
22 Dec 1974 30.9 Ordained Priest Priest of Monrovia, Liberia
17 Nov 1986 42.8 Incardinated Priest of Gbarnga, Liberia
30 May 2002 58.4 Appointed Bishop of Gbarnga, Liberia
9 Nov 2002 58.8 Ordained Bishop Bishop of Gbarnga, Liberia
11 Jul 2009 65.5 Appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia
12 Feb 2011 67.1 Succeeded Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia
7 Jun 2021 77.4 Retired Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia
12 Aug 2022 78.6 Died Archbishop Emeritus of Monrovia, Liberia

 

12/22/1974 Ordained Priest at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

1975-1977 Assigned at St. Joseph the Worker in Gbartua,

Liberian Agriculture Company (LAC).

1979-November 1979 Assigned at St. Joseph Parish Yekepa, Nimba

County.

1979-1981 Assigned at St. Martin Parish Gbarnga , Bong

County.

1981 Later moved from Gbarnga and spent few months

in Monrovia.

1982 Assigned at Pope John XXIII Minor Seminary,

Philadephia, Harper Cape Palmas.

1983 Assigned at the St. Joseph Parish Voinjama, St.

Agnes, Kolahum St. John Vianne, Foya in Lofa

County.

1983-1991 Parish Priest at St. Paul Parish in Bong Mine,

Margibi County

1991-1994 Various assignments in the Diocese of Gbarnga,

Bong County.

September 1994 Forced out of Gbarnga to Danane in Ivory Cost.

November 1997 Returned to Gbarnga as pastor in Bong and Lofa

Counties,

2000 Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Gbarnga

2002 Appointed Bishop of Gbarnga Diocese by Pope

Bendict XVI

2009 Appointed Coadjuator Archbishop to Archbishop

Michael K. Francis, Archdiocese of Monrovia by

Pope Benedict XVI

2012 Appointed Archbishop of the Catholic

Archdiocese of Monrovia by Pope Benedict XVI.

According to sources in Monrovia, Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler , when he reached the age of 75, in 2018,  he resigned. Interestingly, the acceptance of his request, had to be delayed, consistent (consonance) with Canon 4.1.C1 Code of Panel Law, on resignation upon reaching the age of 75.

 

The Catholic Church’s Leaders in Liberia

 

Personal Experience

I met Archbishop Jerome Zeigler in Bong Mines around 1979 and 1980, at the time he was merely a priest and I was a young college graduate from Cuttington University College, now Cuttington University. At the time, I was assigned as Chairman of the Mathematics Department at the Bong Town High School, Bong Mines. I was also conductor of the Choir, Bong Mines Catholic Parish and Rev. Father Zeigler would visit Rev. Father Collins, the assigned Parish Priest in Bong Mines from time to time. I viewed him to be humbled and at times very shy. I had a great respect for him; I realized that he lives a simple life and an air of deep spirituality around him.

 

Even as Archbishop of Monrovia, he never demonstrated power tripper’s ego. He was always a simple man, a deep man of prayers and meditation. He was untouched by the power of the Love of Materialism.

He was a man entrenched in the divine or the eternal, he was free from egoism, likes and dislikes, selfishness, vanity, the duality of ‘mine and thine’, or ‘I and the other’, lust, greed and anger, who is endowed with equal vision, balanced mind, mercy, compassion, tolerance, righteousness and cosmic love. He was indeed a good man, he will be missed. May His Soul Rest In Perpetual Peace!

Let me close with the following Eulogy Verse:

“Nature it seems stands on its head

When you mourn the loss of a great man

Today we remember his life with us

The years of laughter and fun                                                        ,

We’re thinking of all the times that we shared

And though we are bowed with grief

Today we celebrate the great man we once had

Because it is our firm belief

That his life enriched us in so many ways

Brought sunshine and happiness into our days

And though we are heartbroken and very sad

Today we admit that we’re also glad

That we had him, if only for too short a while

Not yet but sometimes, we’ll remember and smile.”

(Author Unknown)

 

FAREWELL   GREAT ARCHBISHOP, SLEEP AND TAKE YOUR REST TILL WE MEET AGAIN!

 

A picture containing text, person, person, indoor Description automatically generatedAbout the Author: Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He is a former President of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island and Former Grand Knight of Council 73, Knights of Columbus, Former Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia, NPA. He is a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

 

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