Born December 29, 1937, in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Thea was reared as a Protestant until at age nine when she asked her parents if she could become a Catholic.
Gifted with a brilliant mind, beautiful voice and a dynamic personality, Sister Thea shared the message of God’s love through a teaching career. After 16 years of teaching, at the elementary, secondary and university level, the bishop of Jackson, Mississippi, invited her to become the consultant for intercultural awareness.
In her role as consultant Sister Thea, an African American, gave presentations across the country; lively gatherings that combined singing, gospel preaching, prayer and storytelling. Her programs were directed to break down racial and cultural barriers. She encouraged people to communicate with one another so that they could understand other cultures and races.
In 1984, Sr. Thea was diagnosed with breast cancer. She prayed “to live until I die.” Her prayer was answered, and Thea continued her gatherings seated in a wheelchair. In 1989, the U.S. bishops invited her to be a key speaker at their conference on Black Catholics. At the end of the meeting, at Thea’s invitation, the bishops stood and sang “We Shall Overcome” with gusto.
Thea lived a full life. She fought evil, especially prejudice, suspicion, hatred and things that drive people apart. She fought for God and God’s people until her death in 1990.
Taken from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration here.
|Walking in My Shoes: Challenge to Eradicate Racism (Contains pages of many resources)||https://www.archlou.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Walking-in-My-Shoes-Challenge-to-Eradicate-Racism.pdf|
|Commonweal Magazine – A Response to Racism w/ Fr. Bryan Massingale, SJ||https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/podcast/response-racism|
|Deacon Ned Berghausen – A Reflection on Kentucky Catholicism and the Sins of Slavery & Racism||http://bit.ly/SrTBSReflectiononKY|
|Will Ousley – Having the Uncomfortable Conversations||http://bit.ly/SrTBSUncomfortableConversations|
|Racial Justice Advent Reflection Book||http://bit.ly/SrTBSAdventReflectionBook|
|KET – Facing an Uncomfortable Truth||https://www.ket.org/program/facing-an-uncomfortable-truth/|
|Archbishop Lori – How church teaching can help explain why ‘Black Lives Matter’||https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/07/27/archbishop-lori-how-church-teaching-can-help-explain-why-black-lives-matter|
|Br. Ken Homan, S.J. – Four Ways for White People to Challenge White Apathy||https://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2020/06/01/white-people-challenge-white-apathy/|
|Dr. Aisha White – What is Race? Having the Conversation With Young Children||https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/what-is-race-having-the-conversation-with-young-children|
|Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church – The Principle of Solidarity||http://bit.ly/CatholicSolidarity|
- “Who Is Sister Thea Bowman?” – On Sunday, November 7th, you are invited to learn a little more about Sister Thea Bowman at an event taking place in the Parish Center from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You will get the chance to hear her inspiring message to the bishops at their conference in 1989. Light refreshments will be served.
The Record (Archdiocese of Louisville): Reflection on racism takes shape at parish – https://therecordnewspaper.org/reflection-on-racism-takes-shape-at-parish/