Retired Auxiliary Bishop Moses B. Anderson, SSE

Published 1:25pm Monday, January 7, 2013

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Moses B. Anderson, SSE

Born: Sep. 9, 1928

(Selma, Alabama)

Ordained Society of St. Edmund Priest: May 30, 1958

Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of

Vatarba: Dec. 2, 1982

Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of

Detroit: Jan. 27, 1983

Resigned: Oct. 24, 2003

Date of Death: Jan. 1, 2013

Detroit – Retired Auxiliary Bishop Moses B. Anderson, SSE, the first black bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit, died of cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day at his home in Livonia. He was 84.

Bishop Anderson served the Archdiocese of Detroit from 1983, when he was ordained a bishop by Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, until his retirement in 2003. He was known especially for his humble service in international and interracial ministry.

Moses Anderson was born in Selma, Ala., on Sept. 9, 1928, into the Baptist faith before his conversion to Catholicism in 1949. He was ordained a priest nine years later into the Vermont-based Society of St. Edmund before later being appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit by Pope John Paul II.

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron praised Bishop Anderson’s long service to the Church as one of great love and faithfulness.

“Bishop Anderson was led to life in the Catholic Church in his youth, and from then on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was the center of his life,” the archbishop said in a statement released Jan. 2. “He was a faithful steward of our Eucharistic life all during his priestly service, especially during the years of his episcopacy here in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

“He was unfailingly generous in his pastoral care for us all. We will miss him greatly, and entrust him to the loving care of our Father in heaven.”

During active ministry, Bishop Anderson oversaw regions that included 63 churches within the archdiocese and was pastor of Precious Blood Parish – now merged as part of St. Peter Claver Parish – in the city of Detroit from 1992 to 2001. He continued to assist with confirmations and special Masses after retirement.

The bishop also took an active interest in African and African-American culture. He visited the west African nation of Ghana several times during his ministry, and was honored by being named a tribal chief in the country’s Ashanti tribe in 1990. An avid admirer of the arts, Bishop Anderson donated some of his personal collection to various Catholic colleges and universities over the years, including Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Madonna University and Xavier University in New Orleans.

In addition to his duties as pastor and bishop, Bishop Anderson was well-educated, holding degrees from and teaching at Xavier University, St. Michael’s College (Vermont) and Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans).

Funeral Arrangements

Bishop Anderson will lie in repose at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward Ave., Detroit, on Sunday, January 6, from 2 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday, January 7, at 9 a.m. until the celebration of his funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will be on Saturday, January 12th, at 10:00 a.m. at Fairlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery in Selma, Alabama.

Bishop Anderson is survived by his brother Woodrow Williams and many nieces and nephews. Condolences may be sent to his nephew, Mr. Terry Walker, 1703 Broad Street, Selma, AL 36701.

Other Background

Born in Selma, Alabama on September 9, 1928, Bishop Anderson attended the Edmundite College of St. Michael’s in Winooski, Vermont and St. Edmund Seminary in Burlington, Vermont. He was ordained a priest for the Society of St. Edmund on May 30, 1958 and as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit by Cardinal Edmund Szoka on January 27, 1983.

Among Bishop Anderson’s duties in the Archdiocese of Detroit, he oversaw regions within the archdiocese, and was pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Detroit from 1992 until 2001. Bishop Anderson also was known for his international ministry, including a long history of involvement in Ghana in West Africa, where he visited often and was given the honor of being made a tribal chief. Along with his ministry, he was known for his patronage of the arts, having shared an extensive collection of African and African-American art with various Catholic institutions, including Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Madonna University in Livonia, and Xavier University in New Orleans.

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