Advocate for the Asmat people

Please remember in your prayers Bishop Alphonse Sowada, O.S.C., who died Jan. 11, 2014.

Sowada spent more than 40 years as a missionary in the Asmat region of Papua, Indonesia. A strong advocate for the Asmat people, he was instrumental in creating in Agats a museum – the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress – dedicated to traditional and contemporary Asmat art forms.

Sowada along with his confreres assembled a collection of Asmat art and artifacts that became the core of the American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas (AMAA@UST). Sowada also donated nearly 300 Asmat works from his personal collection to the AMAA@UST. In addition, he donated a lot time answering questions about the objects and providing information about Asmat culture in general.

The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas and the College of Arts and Sciences will hold a memorial service in his honor at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in The Gallery, Anderson Student Center, second floor, east end.

A program of tribute and reflection will be followed by a reception.