Liberia: Catholic Church Announces Death of Former Archbishop Lewis Zeigler

The late Archbishop Lewis J. Zeigler

The former Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Liberia, Lewis J. Zeigler has died.

A statement signed by Rev. Msgr. Dr. Gabriel Blamo Jubwe, Diocesan Administrator said: “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we, the members of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Monrovia, announce the death of our beloved former Archbishop, Archbishop Emeritus Lewis Jerome Zeigler, whose sad event occurred on the evening of Friday, August 12, 2022, at the Catholic Hospital, Monrovia.

“We rejoice in the confident knowledge that he is at peace now after his ill-health turned for the worst in the past few weeks. Funeral arrangements will be sent out as soon as we have them finalized.”

Born in 1944 in Harrisburg in Liberia, Lewis Jerome Zeigler was ordained to the priesthood in Monrovia on 22 December 1974 and was incardinated in the Gbarnga diocese just over a decade later on 17 November 1986. Pope John Paul II appointed Zeigler as the Bishop of Gbarnga and Zeigler received his episcopal consecration on 9 November 2002 from Michael Kpakala Francis at the Gbarnga Cathedral.

He later was transferred to Monrovia in 2009 after Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the coadjutor bishop to Francis, which also meant he would succeed Francis at once following the latter's resignation or death. In 2011 he became the Archbishop of Monrovia after Francis resigned and he was installed at some point after. On 11 June 2018, he made his first “ad limina apostolorum” visit to Pope Francis.

“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” the statement said.