Belize
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Canon Leroy Flowers passes

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 26, 2023

Canon Leroy Flowers, known as Father Flowers, passed away this week following a period of illness — after being a figure of guidance, hope, and faith for nearly five decades.

Father Flowers, who has served as the head cleric of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, had returned to his residence earlier this May after a period of hospitalization.

His health had been fragile, but his spirit and commitment to his pastoral obligations had reportedly been unwavering.

“From what I observed, he became particularly weak; he wasn’t able to perform his responsibilities as a priest as regularly and in a sustained manner as he would usually do,” Bishop Philip Wright, from the Anglican Diocese of Belize, said in an interview with Amandala.

Flowers’ journey of service can be traced all the way back to his initial role as a teacher in Punta Negra, Toledo District; he later transitioned to being the principal at St. John’s Memorial School in Placencia.

Father Flowers later resided all across Belize for different periods of time, from Monkey River to Mango Creek, from Belmopan to San Ignacio. His life of service eventually led him to Belize City, where he dutifully pastored at St. John’s Cathedral and St. Mary’s for more than two decades.

But his influence extended far beyond the church walls, and included his roles on the National AIDS Commission, the National Committee for Families and Children, the Integrity Commission, and the Social Security Reform Commission.

Additionally, he also served as president of the Council of Churches.

Renowned for his social advocacy, Father Flowers courageously engaged in critical national discourses, such as those surrounding the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) referendum.

And despite his wide-reaching community involvement, Father Flowers was above all else, a dedicated family man, a hard worker, a gifted administrator, and very involved in his community. “Everyone will remember his sermons where he either made you laugh or make you feel uncomfortable,” recalled Bishop Wright.

In a heartfelt statement, the Anglican Diocese of Belize remarked, “Both a church and a nation have lost quite a committed member and servant. We want to give God thanks of course for his life and his witness in service, but I would invite this nation and church to remember his family in our prayers as well. I ask that we uphold them in prayer in this difficult period of bereavement.”

Bishop Wright also indicated that while Father Flowers is “almost irreplaceable,” there will be a team of priests taking over his pastoral responsibilities until a fitting successor can be found.

Canon Leroy Flowers leaves behind his wife, Emma, their children, their grandchildren (whose number could not be confirmed), and a community that will fondly remember his enduring legacy of faith, service, and inspiration.