Tribute: Bishop Michael K Francis 1936-2013
AFTER SUFFERING A stroke some nine years ago which incapacitated him from doing the job he loves to do as an altruistic, compassionate humanitarian and benevolent prelate, one of Liberia’s prolific cleric Archbishop Emeritus, Michael K. Francis, hailing from the Roman Catholic faith with a good heart for all faiths, yesterday morning succumbed to the cold hands of death. News of the outspoken Archbishop’s death began spreading across Monrovia and its environs as worshipers were leaving their respective churches.
SOON IT BECAME clear that Archbishop Francis, the most fearless, uncompromising and outspoken cleric who worked to ensure that dictators of yester-years did not used their usual iron hands to govern Liberia and continue the human suffering that was the order of the day during the fourteen years Liberian War, succumbed to a common denominator, death. Indeed Bishop Michael K. Francis died peacefully at his Sinkor residence at about 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2013 according to church officials.
RECOGNIZED AND ACCLAIMED nationally and internationally for speaking out against societal ills especially the mayhem and atrocities which characterized Liberia’s fourteen years civil war, Archbishop Michael K. Francis became a household name that even the unborn will be told about this christian and his humanitarian deeds and outspoken stance against violence in a country he was born in some 77 years ago.
A HARD WORKING CLERIC, under the administration of Archbishop Michael K. Francis the Roman Catholic Church grew, expanding its health and educational services, winning more souls to Jesus Christ. He will be remembered for not sitting in the background and playing the role of a chief but standing tall as a good Sheppard who worked his way through life and implemented projects that were intended to enhance and advance human enlightenment.
SERIOUSLY A HERO who stood tall and spoke against the evil deals of warlords, the raining of missiles and rockets on innocent people only for the quest for political power has fallen. On one Sunday morning in July 2003 while a certain warring faction was sending rockets on Monrovia like a heavy down pour of rain, Archbishop Francis took the pulpit at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Monrovia, fearlessly he began reminding them that the evil perpetrated by them would come to an end soon. He was the voice of the voiceless, a father to the fatherless, an educator, and a friend to all even though the operators of the war machines and their leaders branded him and castigated him but humanity knows that he was a true patriot, a fearless servant of God and one who put truth where it belonged.
A STRONG HERO has fallen; a sharp, strong voice has been made silent due to the cold hands of death. An implementer of good virtues has gone away from us. As we reflect on the good works and life of this man, we only pray that posterity will be the judge and generation unborn will always listen to the tale of this illustrious son of the soil who served with distinction not only on the pulpit as a Cleric but as one who walked the roads of life with respect for all, and fear of none especially the wicked ones.
Culled from the Monrovia Inquirer [A sister publication]