Born in Kingston, Upper Canada, July 23,
Taking of the habit in Bytown (Ottawa), February 2, 1851.
Perpetual oblation in Île-à-la-Cross, February 17, 1856 (No. 411).
Died in Saint Albert, Alberta, March 9, 1908.
Patrick Bowes was born in Kingston, Upper Canada on July 23, 1830, the son of Mary Downy and Richard Bowes. He began his novitiate in Bytown on February 2, 1851 where he made his first vows on February 17, 1852 and his five-year vows on February 17, 1853. From 1851 to 1854, he worked in eastern Canada in Bytown, Maniwaki and South Gloucester. He then left for Red River. In his work, Twenty Years of Missions…, Bishop Taché wrote that Father Vital Grandin arrived in the vicariate in August of 1854, “he was accompanied by Brother Bowes, a lay brother of great talent which the provincial of Canada had had the great kindness of granting to the vicariate of the Red River missions and where he rendered the most intelligent and distinguished service.” (Missions O.M.I., Vol. V, 1866, p. 458)
In western Canada, Brother Bowes, who was a carpenter-cabinet maker, often changed residences. Six times he went to work at Lac-la-Biche, five times at Île-à-la-Crosse, four times to Saint Albert and three times to Calgary. We find him in Edmonton in 1889, in Lethbridge in 1891, in Canmore in 1893, in Banff and Cochrane in 1894, in Lac-la-Selle from 1896 to 1906. In his report published in 1876, Father Leduc wrote: “For twenty years already, let me say so in passing, this worthy brother has been working with the most entire dedication, sometimes in building a church, sometime in building a house for the priests…” (Missions O.M.I., Vol. XIV, 1876, p. 422) Indeed, according to the various reports that appeared in Missions O.M.I. and the research of Father Gaston Carrière, o.m.i., Brother Bowes worked on the construction of the Saint Albert cathedral, the church of Athabaska and of Lac-la-Selle, of the chapel of Battleford, the Oblate house at Lac-la-Biche and at Île-à-la-Crosse, the missions of Macleod, Hobbema and of Dunbow, the road between Lac-la-Biche, Île-à-la-Crosse and Lac-Vert.
Brother Bowes died at Saint Albert, Alberta on March 9, 1908 as the age of 78. His remains were laid to rest in the Oblate cemetery there.
Sources and Bibliography
G. A.: Oblation formula; seven letters to
Father Joseph Fabre (1864-1876).
Archives of the archdiocese of Saint Boniface: four letters to Bishop Taché (1861-1863).
Missions O.M.I., 1866-1908, passim.
Carrière, Gaston, o.m.i., “Bowes, Patrick”, in Dictionnaire biographique des Oblats de M.I. au Canada, Vol. I, Ottawa, 1976, p. 129.