Aloÿs Kobès was vicar apostolic to Guinea and Senegambia. Born in the Rhineland, he studied in Strasbourg and was ordained in 1844. Two years later he joined the Holy Ghost Fathers (founded by François Libermann) and, in 1848, was named coadjutor-bishop for Mgr. Jean Rémi Bessieux. For the rest of his life he was responsible for the young church in the northern half of the vase West African mission, with Bessieux directing the southern half. In 1863 he became vicar apostolic, based in Senegambia, Handing over Sierra Leone to the newly founded SMA of de Marion-Bresillac, Kobès concentrated on Dakar, Bathurst, and the surrounding area; but his apostolate in this largely Muslimized area, with exceptionally heavy mortality among his missionaries, was extremely hard. Kobès was outstanding as a pioneer in the formation of an African clergy and was able in 1864 to ordain his first African priest, Guillaume Jouga, to be followed by several others. He was also concerned with the foundation of a local sisterhood, the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, which by his death had twenty-eight professed members. These were unique achievements for his time. He was also an excellent linguist: Principes de la langue wolof was published in 1865.
Paul Coulon and Paule Brasseur, Libermann, 1802-1852 (1988), pp. 649-657.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.