Sister Thea Bowman In The News
News organizations and publications nationwide continually give voice to Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman's ministerial legacy of women religious and black Catholicism. We've compiled them for you here.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sister Thea Bowman’s inspiring words were quoted in various news articles. Click the following links to read them:
Catholic News World: “US Bishops’ President’s Statement on Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “that we may achieve Dr. King’s dream” catholicnewsworld.com.
Catholic Review: “Like MLK, Catholics are called by Christ to move ‘from altar to street’” catholicreview.org.
National Catholic Reporter: “Catholics ‘must act’ for racial justice to honor MLK, says USCCB president” ncronline.org.
National Catholic Register: “Martin Luther King’s Faith Challenges Us to Personal Conversation, Archbishop Broglio Says”
The Catholic World Report: “The Catholic bishops observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day” catholicworldreport.com.
Vatican News: “US Bishops recall Martin Luther King Jr. Day” vaticannews.va.
Click the links below to read some of Sister Thea Bowman’s most recent mentions in the news:
Face2Face Africa: “Unwrapping the history of Sister Thea Bowman, a Black nun who broke barriers for African Americans” face2faceafrica.com.
National Catholic Reporter: “Kirk Whalum on Catholic conversion, gospel jazz, and finding identity in God”
The Catholic Miscellany: “Growing in Holiness, Quarter by Quarter” themiscellany.org.
Vatican News: “US Bishops recall Martin Luther King Jr. Day” vaticannews.va.
Gerona News “Looking Back On A Historic Year At The Catholic University” Remembers The Catholic University newly named road Thea Bowman Drive. Visit gerona.ca. to read the article. (see “A ride for Sister Thea Bowman’s legacy”)
Sister Thea Bowman is shining upon us with her most recent mentions in the news. Click the following links to read more:
Angelus News: “To be where God wants me to be” angelusnews.com.
Inspired by Scholastica: “How Sister Thea Bowman Can Inspire Us” inspiredbyscholastica.blogspot.com.
Network Norfolk: “Boy bishop installed in North Walsham church" networknorwich.co.uk.
St. Louis Review: “Archdiocesan news briefs” archstl.org.
Click the following links to read about Sister Thea Bowman’s road to Canonization as a Black Catholic:
Archdiocese of Miami: “We’ve come this far by faith” miamiarch.org.
Catholic Star Herald: “Fostering parishioner participation among themes of Black Catholic Ministry Commission retreat”
Redemptorists International: “New Leadership Team of the Denver Province” cssr.news.
The Tower: “CUA Examines Cases for African American Canonization, Discusses Need for Change” cuatower.com.
November was Black Catholic History Month and, as an African American on the road to sainthood, Sister Thea Bowman was part of the celebration. Click the following links to learn more:
Catholic Review: “Display in Catholic Center helps highlight Black Catholic History Month, catholicreview.org.
Pax Christi USA: “Pease Pairs Project: Reflections for the close of National Black Catholic History Month” paxchristiusa.org.
The Catholic Telegraph: “National Black Catholic History Month Honors Holy Men, Women”
Sister Thea Bowman’s road to Canonization as a Black Catholic continues to make the news. Click the following links to read more:
Catholic News Herald: “Diocese invited to film, concert and talk exploring African Americans up for canonization” catholicnewsherald.com.
Denver Catholic: “Black Catholics on the way to sainthood: Servant of God Thea Bowman” denvercatholic.org.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge: “Celebrating Black Catholics” diobr.org.
The Tablet: “Sainthood Equals Respect, Say Black Catholics Calling for Canonizations" thetablet.org.
Sister Thea Bowman has recently made numerous appearances in the Catholic Diocese of Jackson’s Mississippi Catholic. Click the following links to read the articles:
“‘Blessing is meant to be shared,’ Franciscan priest tells Black men” mississippicatholic.com.
“Cemeteries house archives written in stone” mississippicatholic.com.
“Mission partners pilgrimage" mississippicatholic.com.
“Mississippi agates” mississippicatholic.com.
“Two books look at Black Catholic experience from different angles" mississippicatholic.com.
Sister Thea Bowman's life and legacy continue to make a difference throughout the world. Click the following links read more of her story:
National Catholic Reporter: “Archbishop Gomez Call for Evangelizing Response to Secular Age” ncregister.com.
National Catholic Register: “Archbishop Gomez: The Eucharist ‘Makes Us One’” ncregister.com.
Notes to Women: “The New Priest” notestowomen.wordpress.com.
The Leaven: “Remembering Black Catholics as an antidote to racism” theleaven.org.
Sister Thea Bowman’s recent mentions in the news.
The Pillar: “Gomez highlights Dorothy Day, universal call to holiness in final USCCB speech” pillarcatholic.com
The Record: “Archdiocese’s first Black archbishop celebrates African American Catholic history in Bardstown”
University of San Diego “USD Plaza Named After ‘Trailblazer’ Sister Thea Bowman” sandiego.edu
WLBT News: “Sister Thea Bowman honored at Hinds Community College” wlbt.com
November is Black Catholic History Month and, as one of six Black Catholics on the path to sainthood, Sister Thea Bowman is part of the celebration.
Angelus News: “For Black Catholic History Month, meet the ‘Holy Six’” angelusnews.com.
Catholic News World: “Black Catholic History Month and the Holy Six Black Catholics Soon to be Canonized Saints - VIDEO” catholicnewsworld.com.
Catholic Review: “Display in Catholic center helps highlight Black Catholic History Month” catholicreview.org.
Archdiocese of Miami: “The most important question of all” miamiarch.org.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge: “Celebrating Black Catholic History Month” diobr.org.
Sister Thea Bowman’s cause for canonization as a Black Catholic is in the news:
Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge: “Lineage of Black Catholics” | diobr.org
The Catholic Messenger: “African American Catholics on the path to sainthood” | catholicmessenger.net
The Tablet: “‘Blessing Is Meant To Be Shared,’ Francican Priest Tells Black Men” | thetablet.org
U.S. Catholic: “Are there any Black saints from the United States?” | uscatholic.org
Franciscan Media recently shared a week-long series about the life and legacy of Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. Click the links below to read the articles:
“Sister Thea Bowman: Prophet of Change” by David Dault, PhD | franciscanmedia.org
“Sister Thea Bowman: Instrument of Peace” by Judith Ann Zielinski, OSF | franciscanmedia.org
“Sister Thea Bowman: Resistance, Persistence, Transcendence” by Joseph A. Brown, SJ, PhD | franciscanmedia.org
“Sister Thea Bowman: Witness to Grace” by Brennan R. Hill | franciscanmedia.org
“Sister Thea Bowman: A Mighty Light” by Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA | franciscanmedia.org
The Mississippi Department of Archives & History has announced the event “History is Lunch: LaShunda Calvert, ‘The Life of Sister Thea Bowman,’” Wednesday, Nov. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. For in-person and live-streaming attendance information, visit mdah.ms.gov.
Catholic Review, the official publication of the Diocese of Baltimore, recognizes Sister Thea Bowman in the article “Mass to honor six Black sainthood candidates. Read the full article at catholicreview.org.
The Southern Cross, a newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego, makes mention of Sister Thea Bowman in the article “Parish to share Black Catholic History in November.” Read it here: thesoutherncross.org.
The Jackson, Mississippi publication Jackson Advocate published the article “Art imitates life: Actress MaHalia Calvert portrays civil rights icon Dr. Flonzie Wright in ABC’s Sister Thea Bowman documentary.” Get it at jacksonadvocateonline.com.
U.S. Catholic’s recent article, “U.S. sainthood causes reveal a longing for church renewal,” spotlights Sister Thea Bowman’s legacy and cause for canonization: “She would always insist ‘Black is beautiful,’ a forerunner of the current ‘Black lives matter,’ a phrase finding an uneasy reception in some U.S. Catholic quarters.” Read more at uscatholic.org.
Catholic Concierge, a travel blog for the Catholic tourist, recently shared the article “Memphis - BBQ, Rock N’Roll and the Saints” which explains the connection that the city of Memphis, Tennessee has to Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. Read the full article here: catholicvacations.wordpress.com.
Afro News published the article “Documentaries on three powerful Black women reveal new facts” which discusses the new documentary on Sister Thea Bowman: “Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood.” Visit afro.com to read more.
America The Jesuit Review’s Oct. 13 article, “Across the U.S., Catholic pilgrims are walking together for racial justice,” includes a quote from Sister Thea Bowman’s address to the U.S. bishops in 1989: “Today we’re called to walk together in a new way toward that Land of Promise and to celebrate who we are.” To read the full article, visit americamagazine.org.
Catholic Philly’s recent article, “Annual Mass celebrates Black Catholics,” recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as one of six Black Catholics on the path to canonization. Visit catholicphilly.com to read it.
In Mississippi Catholic’s recent article, “Sister Thea’s voice resounds for generations to come,” Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz discusses the remarkable life of Sister Thea Bowman. Visit mississippicatholic.com to read the full article.
“Recently, Sister Kathy Roberg shared Sister Thea’s story with the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center,” explains CrossMap News’ article titled “Boston College professor narrates life of Franciscan nun in new documentary.” Visit cities.crossmap.com to read it.
Abc57, the ABC affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, has announced that air dates/times for the Sister Thea Bowman documentary, “Going Home Like a Shooting Star,” will include Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. and Nov. 6 at 1:30 a.m. (instead of the original air date of Oct. 2): www.abc57.com.
“Her voice [Sister Thea Bowman] and ministry can serve as a challenge and example to us in what we can do,” said Father Manuel Williams, of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, at a recent Pilgrimage for Racial Justice event. Visit therecordnewspaper.org to read “Sister Thea Bowman’s witness is needed now more than ever, says speaker.”
“I took solace in the vocations of two U.S. Black Catholics: Venerable Father Augustus Tolton and Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman,” states Deacon Mel Tardy in Our Sunday Visitor’s recent article “The diaconal vocation and the power of the eucharist.” Visit osvnews.com to read it.
The La Crosse Tribune recently shared “Campus Connection: Sister Thea Bowman had a big impact on Viterbo grad,” in which Mary Verrill, a 1978 Viterbo University graduate, discussed the experiences she had with Sister Thea Bowman as her professor. Read the full article here: lacrossetribune.com.
The Catholic Standard’s Sept. 26 article “Two books look at Black Catholic experience from different angles” shares a quote from Sister Thea Bowman’s address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1989. To read the article visit, cathstan.org.
The Catholic Sentinel’s recent article “Program on potential Black saints” shares information about a virtual event that plans to “highlight Black Catholics who are on the journey to Sainthood in the Catholic Church (including Sister Thea Bowman).” Visit catholicsentinel.org for more information on the Nov. 17 event.
WXOW recently aired the story “New documentary chronicles life of Sister Thea Bowman,” in which Sister Eileen McKenzie was interviewed: “It’s about how important it is that we have a diverse society, that goodness is shared in a lot of different ways, and that the more we can tap into sharing that together with dignity and respect.” Visit wxow.com to watch the full report.
The La Crosse Tribune highlighted the new Sister Thea Bowman documentary “Going Home Like a Shooting Star.” This article was on the front page of the newspaper’s print edition! Click the following link to read it: lacrossetribune.com.
In a recent podcast, “Conversation with the Poet: Father Joseph Brown, SJ,” Sister Thea Bowman’s poem, “Everybody’s Mother Was Born in Mississippi,” was the topic of conversation. Listen to the full podcast here: rss.com.
“... her call for people to come together and share their gifts is a pivotal message to put a stop to ‘some of the racial hatred that we see in our society even today,’” says Father Maurice Nutt in the recent CNS article, “New documentary on Sister Thea Bowman highlights her faith, justice work.” Visit catholicnews.com to read more.
In a recent U.S. Catholic article that features Brother Mickey McGrath’s new book “Madonnas of Color,” he credits Sister Thea Bowman with teaching him that “music, art and beauty of any kind are the best connectors we have as a diverse human family in search of love and in desperate need of unity.” Read the article here: uscatholic.org.
Mississippi Catholic, serving the Diocese of Jackson, published an interview with St. Jude Parish Deacon Mark Bowden, who says of Sister Thea Bowman, “Her love for Christ and for others was so transforming, and her energy and joy were contagious.” Get the interview in its entirety at mississippicatholic.com.
In the Aug. 15 Franciscan Media blog “Why I Am Catholic,” Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, an award-winning journalist and author, credited her model of faith to Sister Thea Bowman. Visit franciscanmedia.org to read the full article.
In Global Sisters Report’s Aug. 13 article “LCWR leadership awards celebrate 2 sisters who forged inspiring paths in ministry,” Sister Patricia Chappell expressed hope that “Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman’s path to sainthood would be realized.” To read the article, visit globalsistersreport.org.
Sister Thea Bowman was recognized in the National Catholic Register article “Will These African Americans Be Canonized?” The article recognizes Sister Thea as “... the first and only Black sister of the community in La Crosse.” To read the full article, click here: ncrefister.com.
Our Sunday Visitor recently announced that Peter Jesserer Smith, who wrote the essay “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman” for the book “Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood,” has been appointed its first national news and features editor.” Visit osvnews.com to read more about Peter Jesserer Smith.
In a recent “A Catholic Priest in Mississippi” blog post, Sister Thea Bowman and the cause for her canonization are featured: “... she truly represents the missionary spirit of our Diocese [Jackson, Mississippi], of bringing the Gospel and love of Christ to the people of Mississippi and beyond ...” Visit peregrinolincoln.blogspot.com to read more.
Afro News, a “weekly African American newspaper” serving Baltimore, Maryland, published the article “#FaithWorks: The Moore Report: We’re saints too.” Authored by a member of the St. Ann Catholic Church Social Justice Committee, the story entails the group’s letter-writing campaign “to the Pope, strongly urging him to immediately name the first six African-American saints in Catholic Church history, including Sister Thea Bowman. Find it here: afro.com.
National Catholic Register has announced EWTN viewing opportunities to observe the Solemnity of the Assumption, including “A Place at the Table: African Americans on the Path to Sainthood.” The 2022 documentary, which in part features content about Sister Thea Bowman, will air on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. Get more information at ncregister.com.
The Mayo News, a publication out of Ireland, recently published the article “Some solace after Sam” which references previously-reported writings of Sister Thea Bowman – a “mystic” among Black Catholic women – by Richard Rohr for the Center for Action and Contemplation. Read it in full here: mayonews.ie.
“We have to understand that white supremacy has no place within our church: it is antithetical to Catholicism,” Shannen Dee Williams says in the U.S. Catholic article “Black Nuns fought to make the church truly Catholic,” “... teaching the ‘true truth’ about our church — what servant of God Sister Thea Bowman told us to do — is where we get started.” See the full article here: uscathoilc.org.
Students and families of Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School, in East Saint Louis, Illinois, gathered to honor her on the anniversary of her death with “song, dance, and readings.” See the feature here: constantcontact.com.
In her 1989 address to the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Sister Thea Bowman embraced “her Black, Catholic, female identity,” writes Richard Rohr for the Center for Action and Contemplation’s weekly “Black Women Mystics” series. See the meditation in its entirety at email.cac.org.
“But it was also something passed down, like faith itself,” begins The New Yorker article “The Songs That Made Church A Home” about “Lead Me Guide Me” as “the first hymnal commissioned for African American Catholics.” In it, the author recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as “one of the hymnal’s architects and a tireless advocate for Black Catholics.” Get the full article at: newyorker.com.
The Record, a publication of the Archdiocese of Louisville in Kentucky, recently announced a “day-long pilgrimage to different points around the Louisville area, highlighting the experience of 19th-century Black Catholics.” The event, to be held on July 30, will be presented by St. Agnes Church’s chapter of the Sister Thea Bowman Society. For more information, visit: therecordnewspaper.org.
The University of Notre Dame recently featured FSPA and Sister Thea Bowman in an exhibition showcasing archival materials from three “distinct societies of women religious” for which “Gender, race, religion, and place shaped and continue to shape their stories.” Read more in the article “Three Sisterhoods and Two Servants of God” here: sites.nd.edu.
In the Catholic Philly article “Black Catholic saints in the making remind kids ‘God is calling you …’” Joshua Brooks, an intern at the Archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics, spoke to students in grades four to seven about the inspiration of six Black Catholics in consideration for sainthood, including Sister Thea Bowman. Read the full article here: catholicphilly.com.
A recent Global Sisters Report article, “March, speakers draw attention to poverty, voting rights, health care needs,” details the June 18 Moral March by the Poor People’s Campaign, including the sharing of quotes by Sister Thea Bowman. Read it here: globalsistersreport.org.
In the article “Freedom: Anticipating Independence Day,” published in the State Journal-Register (a daily publication in Springfield, Illinois), author Sister Beth Murphy, OP, writes of Sister Thea Bowman: “She somehow persuaded hundreds of bishops to hold hands with one another Civil-Rights-style and sing ‘We shall overcome.’” To read more visit: sj-r.com.
“Sister Thea Bowman celebrated Black gifts to the U.S. Church and worked toward an expression of the faith that was ‘authentically Black and truly Catholic,’” states the article “Seeing Jesus in the Eyes of the Oppressed” published by New Books Network on June 20. To read more, visit newbooksnetwork.com.
“...this book is the logical next step in the evolution of his [Brother Mickey McGrath’s] thought, prayer and art that began with his discovery of Sister Thea Bowman in 1992,” explains the Catholic Philly’s article “Contemplating Mary in faces of people of color.” Click the following link to read it: catholicphilly.com.
In case you missed it, you can watch the trailer for the upcoming documentary on Sister Thea Bowman titled “Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood” here: jacksondiocese.org. The documentary is due to air on ABC this fall!
“For the late Sister Thea [Bowman], being able to call Church home would require acceptance and welcoming of ‘my whole history, my traditions, my experience, my culture, my African-American song and dance...’” Visit catholicmessenger.net to read The Catholic Messenger’s article “Making Church home.”
“The 3 million Black Catholics in America represent a rich source of theological reflection and praxis. It is evident in Franciscan Sister Thea Bowman’s preaching and singing before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1989…” Visit ncronline.org to read “Looking anew at the deep river of Black Catholic spirituality.”
“‘Over the years, African-American spirituality has also become a profound influence on his life and work,’ said Brother Mickey, speaking particularly of Sister Thea Bowman, a Catholic convert and Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration...” Read “Devotion, diversity shine in ‘Madonnas of Color’ by Brother Mickey” here: catholicstarherald.org.
According to the Mississippi Catholic’s Apr. 28 article, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture hopes to create an exhibit in honor of Sister Thea Bowman. Click the following link to learn more: mississippicatholic.com.
On Friday, April 29, the Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia; and His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, gathered with The Catholic University of America community for the dedication of Sister Thea Bowman Drive. Click here to watch a brief recap video and here to watch a recording of the full dedication. You can also read Catholic Standard’s article, “Catholic University names street in honor of Sister Thea Bowman” by visiting cathstan.org.
On May 3, Georgetown University in Washington DC will host a presentation on Sister Thea Bowman about her faithful life, powerful legacy and continuing lessons. A live stream option will be available for those unable to attend in person. Click the following link to learn more and RSVP: catholicsocialthought.georgetown.edu.
Shannon Dee Williams describes her upcoming book “Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle” as a ‘labor of love.’ “Putting all of it together gets to some ‘true truths,’ she said, using one of Sister Thea Bowman’s expressions.” To read more and watch a short video clip, visit netny.tv.
“Sister Thea Bowman’s life was devoted to bringing people together. It is important to make our programs welcoming across cultures,” explains Boston College’s recent article titled “BC Student Affairs VP outlines plans to enhance inclusivity, welcoming culture.” To read it, visit bc.edu.
“Part of what pioneering Black sisters went through, including Sister [Thea] Bowman, were abuses ‘designed to drive them out of religious life,’” states Catholic News Service’s Apr. 6 article. To read “New book points to need for racial reckoning in women’s religious orders” visit, catholicnews.com.
As stated on The Catholic University of America’s diversity webpage, “The committee is named for an alumna of the University who today is on the path toward recognition as a Catholic saint. During her life, Sister Thea Bowman provided an outspoken witness to what it meant to be Black and Catholic.” Visit collegexpress.com to read more.
On Mar. 30, The Pillar, an online Catholic news publication, shared “What does it mean to be Black and Catholic?” – a collection of articles and videos in honor of Sister Thea Bowman’s life. To view the collection, visit pillarcatholic.com.
Viterbo University’s former Campus Ministry Center is now known as the Sister Thea Bowman Center – named after a school icon who is currently being considered for sainthood. Click the following links to learn more:
WIZM News: “Sister Thea Bowman Center dedicated on Viterbo campus”
WXOW News 19: “Viterbo University’s dedication to Sister Thea Bowman”
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon, will host a presentation titled “Black American Catholics on the Road to Sainthood” on Apr. 28 in the parish hall. This presentation will feature the lives of Venerable Father Augustus Tolton and Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. Visit materdeiradio.com for additional event information.
On Sunday, Mar. 27, Viterbo University launched a week of celebrations in honor of Sister Thea Bowman. “After graduating from Viterbo University in 1965, she went on to national prominence as an educator, speaker, evangelist and advocate for social justice,” shares WKBT News8000’s article. Visit news8000.com to read it.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Columbus, Ohio baker Khadija Adams created a themed box of cookies with four different flavors – each celebrating different women in history. The heart cookie, a chocolate drizzled candied pecan topped tea cake, was created in honor of Sister Thea Bowman.
“Bertha ‘Birdie’ Bowman was so captivated by her Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration teachers as a child in Canton, Mississippi, she decided she wanted to become part of the order,” explains the La Crosse Tribune’s recent article titled “Viterbo honoring Sister Thea Bowman, alumna and possible saint.” Visit lacrossetribune.com to read it.
“Sister Thea [Bowman], a convert to Catholicism, joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at a time when few orders would accept African American members. She became an inspired evangelizer who brought her ‘ministry of joy’ to a worldwide audience.” Read Judith Valente’s article titled “Of Basketball, War and Peace” here: judithvalente.medium.com.
“[Sister Thea] Bowman is the most recent candidate [for sainthood] and the only one born in the 20th Century. She was raised as a Protestant until she asked her parents if she could become Catholic when she was nine,” shares Daily Mail’s recent article. Visit dailymail.co.uk to read more.
“We Are Beloved,” edited by Karianna Frey, offers “selections from four decades of [Sister Thea] Bowman’s writings, reflections, presentations and interviews” with “thirty days of brief morning meditations, mantras for use throughout the day and night prayers to focus your thoughts at the day’s end.”
On Feb. 20, the Lyke House Catholic Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, “honored Franciscan Sister Thea Bowman at its inaugural concert for her contributions to the church.” Click the following link to read “Choirs honor Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman:” georgiabulletin.org.
“Contrasting the horrors of slavery and the yellow fever epidemics are some of Memphis’ most famous, such as Sister Thea Bowman — a Catholic nun, educator and musician who is being considered for canonization.” Read “Steppin under Elmwood Cemetery’s arches takes Memphians back in time” here: dailyhelmsman.com.
“If you have not yet seen Sister Thea Bowman’s 1989 address to the U.S. bishops, pause whatever you’re doing and go watch it,” explains America Magazine’s Mar. 1 article. Visit americamagazine.org to read “Sister Thea Bowman and the importance of Black Catholic spirituality.”
“In honor of Black History Month, [Washington] Cardinal [Wilton] Gregory began his presentation sharing a prayer from Sister Thea Bowman, an African American woman religious who has been named a Servant of God in her cause for canonization.” Read the Catholic Standard’s Feb. 24 article here: cathstan.org.
On Feb. 24, the Catholic Standard shared an article titled “Sister Thea Bowman offers a prophetic witness for the Church and our country today.” Click the following link to read the article and view photos of Sister Thea: cathstan.org.
“Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, in her 1989 address to the USCCB, shared countless insights on a range of topics, especially experiences of Black Catholics in the church and world,” states America: The Jesuit Review’s Feb 18 article titled “The words we (and the church) need to learn to say: ‘I’m sorry.’” To read it, visit americamagazine.org.
Two cardinals: After speaking at CUA on Tap at The Catholic University of America on Feb. 17, 2022, Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory
poses for a photo with the Catholic University Cardinals mascot.
During an event at The Catholic University of America on Feb. 17, Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory highlighted “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, a former CUA graduate and a nationally known evangelist who was credited with calling for Black Catholics to bring their ‘whole selves’ to the church.” Click the following links to learn more:
The Tower: “CUA on Tap with Cardinal Gregory” | Catholic Standard: “At CUA on Tap, Cardinal Gregory encourages students to live out their faith and emphasizes role Black Catholics play in the Church”
“Motivated by the example of the members of two religious communities, Sister Thea [Bowman], at age 15, decided to give up the familiarity of her hometown to join the FSPA in La Crosse, where she would be the first African-American member of her religious community.” Read Catholic Life’s Feb. 10 article “Pause and Reflect” by visiting: catholiclife.diolc.org.
In honor of National Black History Month, Catholic News World has shared a collection of free resources, prayers and black history, including information about Sister Thea Bowman. To view them, visit: catholicnewsworld.com.
During the annual Black History Month Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, “Father Smith cited the ministry of Sister Thea Bowman, a black Catholic religious sister, teacher and scholar who was prominent in the ministry of the Church toward African-Americans.” Visit cny.org to read more.
Having died in 1990, Sister Thea Bowman is named the “most contemporary” of the six black candidates being considered for sainthood. Read Oklahoma City’s article “Grassroots effort calls on pope to canonize six black sainthood candidates” to learn more: archokc.org.
Sister Thea Bowman is listed as one of six “Black Catholics on the road to sainthood,” in The Tablet’s recent article titled “Black History Month Seen As Reminder of Need to Work for Justice, Equality.” Click the following link to read it: thetablet.org.
Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr. honored six Black Americans on the road to canonization, including Sister Thea Bowman, during Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on Feb. 6. Visit thedialog.org to learn more.
Pax Christi USA, a community of religious men and women from across the United States, recently shared an article that features an image of Sister Thea Bowman. Visit paxchristiusa.org to read “A History of Black Catholics in the United States.”
“Monuments are not only made of granite and bronze. In today’s cyber world, we can capture living images of the historic and spiritual contributions of other famous people. One that I hold as especially important and treasured is the address that Sister Thea Bowman gave to the entire assembly of U.S. Catholic bishops,” explains Catholic Standard’s Feb. 4 article. Click cathstan.org to read more.
Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana is the “proud proprietor of the painting ‘Our Lady of Kibeho and Saints’ by artist Amber Knorr.” In addition to ‘Our Lady’ and ‘Christ Child,’ Sister Thea Bowman is one of six honored Catholics featured in the painting. To learn more and view an image of the artwork, visit hcc-nd.edu.
“Williams, associate professor of history at the University of Dayton, focused her comments on the history of Black women religious, who faced racism within the church from religious congregations and clergy. She highlighted the lives of Mother Mary Lange and Sister Thea Bowman, who have the title ‘Servant of God.’” Visit ncronline.org to read “Knowing Black Catholic history can help end racism, professor says.”
Sister Thea Bowman sings during a 1986 visit to St. Augustine Church in Washington, D.C. Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman is among six noted African American Catholics
whose causes for sainthood are under consideration by the Catholic Church. Sister Thea, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, was born in Mississippi and taught in the elementary, high school and college levels. She later became a dynamic, nationally known evangelist, singer and storyteller, joyfully preaching the Gospel.
In honor of February being Black History Month, the Catholic Standard is inviting students to “draw a picture of an African American woman or man who made history, and write what they admire about that person.” A 1986 photograph of Sister Thea Bowman is featured at the beginning of the article. To view the image and learn more, visit cathstan.org.
“How embarrassing it is ‘that in the church where we worship, there are no United States African American saints recognized by the highest church authorities,’” states The St. Louis American’s Jan. 16 article “Addressing the issue of no African American Catholic saints.” Visit stlamerican.com to read more.
“At the same time, our church can be proud of many American Catholics who were advocates for the victims of racism and fought vigorously against racial injustice,” including Sister Thea Bowman, explains The Leaven’s Jan. 14 article “January celebrations are united in defense of the sanctity of life.” Visit theleaven.org to read it.
“The first black Americans are being considered for sainthood. Spend an hour with these holy men and women [including Sister Thea Bowman] and learn about their spiritual journeys with the Black American Saints Pamphlet Set,” available from Liguori Publications. Click the following link to learn more: liguori.org.
The Dialog’s Dec. 27 article “2022: Begin a new year by fixing our eyes on God” quotes Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman: “I bring myself, my Black self, all that I am, all that I have, all that I hope to become.” Click the following link to read the article: thedialog.org.
“Music majors and talented singers are invited to audition for the program, expanding upon the spirit of Sister Thea [Bowman] to learn from other cultures while sharing the abundance of African American culture and spirituality,” explains The Georgia Bulletin’s Dec. 23 article “Lyke House embraces new Christmas tradition.” To read more, visit georgiabulletin.org.
“I look back in amazement at the people I have met and wrote about. Sister Thea Bowman, for example, who spread intercultural awareness with a dynamic personality, came to give a talk in a basement of St. Engelbert Parish. I swear I saw a halo around her,” states St. Louis Review’s recent article. To read it, visit archstl.org.
“Out of the more than 10,000 men and women recognized as saints, which includes 11 Americans and a total of 899 that have been canonized by Francis, none are African Americans” explains Religion News Service’s recent article. Visit religionnews.com to read “There are no African American Saints. A lay Catholic group seeks to change that.”
In honor of Black Catholic History Month, students at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy in Washington, D.C. brought historic and contemporary Black Catholics to life by portraying them as ‘wax figures.’ “Nearby, fourth grader Winter McGrill portrayed Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman,” explains Catholic Standard’s recent article. Click the following link to read it: cathstan.org.
“On Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, the third day of Advent and the last day of Black Catholic History Month, I visited the historic Elmwood Cemetery in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and gazed upon the gravesite of Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman,” shares Shannen Dee Williams from Catholic News Service. Visit thedialog.org to read more.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Fall 2021 e-newsletter “Sister Thea Bowman Cause for Canonization.” Click here to read it and sign up to receive the quarterly e-newsletter by visiting the following link: sistertheabowman.com.
“As part of National Black Catholic History Month, the St. Martin de Porres Society of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport is celebrating the contributions of six Black Catholics whose causes are under formal consideration by the Catholic Church for canonization,” including that of Sister Thea Bowman. To read more, visit catholicmessenger.net.
“At the offertory procession, portraits were placed near the altar of five U.S. Black Catholics who have been declared a servant of God,” including Sister Thea Bowman. Visit cathstan.org to read “Jubilant celebration marks Black Catholic History Month and Feast of Christ
If canonized, Sister Thea Bowman, “known for her radiant personality and her advocacy for racial reconciliation will be buried in Memphis, less than three hours from her childhood home in Canton, Mississippi,” explains Knoxville News Sentinel’s Nov. 21 article. Visit knoxvillenews.com to read “Could first US Black Catholic saint be near?”
“Many in our diocese remember meeting Sister Thea when she visited and facilitated retreats on Black spirituality. The most enlightening thing about her visit to South Carolina is that there are some people alive today who, in future, may be able to say they spent time with a saint,” explains Mississippi Catholic’s Nov. 18 article. To read more, visit: mississippicatholic.com.
“Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan of San Diego urged his fellow bishops that during November, which is Black Catholic History Month, that they ‘beg our heavenly father’ to further the sainthood causes of six Black Catholic Americans,” including Sister Thea Bowman. Visit catholicherald.com to read more.
The Greyhound, a publication of Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, recently published an article that discusses “five valuable life lessons from Sister Thea Bowman that promote justice, peace and love for the furthering of inclusion and belongingness.”
“‘They always say that was her first miracle. She got the bishops to dance,’ said Sister Charlene Smith, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who was friends with [Sister Thea] Bowman for 35 years.” On Nov. 15, the Memphis Commercial Appeal published “The U.S. has no Black Catholic saints. Could a future one be buried in Memphis?” Click here to read the article.
All are invited to celebrate Black Catholic History Month in art, story and song by joining Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath on Nov. 18 as he explores the lives and teachings of African American men and women on the path to Sainthood, one of which includes Sister Thea Bowman. For more information and to access the virtual link, visit camdencathedral.com.
“Sister Thea was a religious sister, teacher and scholar who made a major contribution to the African American ministry of the Catholic Church,” explains The East Tennessee Catholic’s recent article. Visit etcatholic.org to read “Chattanooga hosts U.S. Catholic youth ministry convocation.”
“The Mississippi-born scholar-evangelist Thea Bowman had to overcome so much racism inside and outside the church during [her life] that [her case] should be viewed as exceptional,” says Ralph E. Moore Jr., a St. Ann’s Catholic Church member seeking to expedite the canonization of six Black American Catholics. Click the following link to read more: sfltimes.com.
“Servant of God, Sister Thea Bowman, taught us we can be truly Catholic and authentically black,” explains The Tablet’s Nov. 10 article. Visit thetablet.org to read “Honoring a Storied Past, Working Toward A Blessed Future.”
During a prayer service on Nov. 5, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, Virginia was “filled with soulful Christian hymns and stories of famous Black Catholics.” Sister Thea Bowman was included in the celebration. To read more, visit catholicherald.com.
Parishioners of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Baltimore, Maryland hope to expedite the canonization of six Black American Catholics, one of which includes Sister Thea Bowman. Click the following links to learn more:
WBALTV11 - wbaltv.com | Catholic Review - catholicreview.org | The Philadelphia Tribune - phillytrib.com
“[Sister Thea Bowman] was raised a Methodist in Mississippi, although she made the personal choice at age 9 to become Catholic and then became a religious sister at the age of 15 with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration,” explains Building Catholic Culture’s recent article. Visit buildingcatholicculture.com to read “Saints who converted from Protestantism.”
“Thea Bowman was one of the great treasures of the American Catholic Church. Ablaze with the spirit of love, the memory of struggle, and a faith in God’s promises, she impressed her audiences not just with her message but also with the nobility of her spirit,” explains Franciscan Spirit’s blog “Seven Followers of St. Francis.” To read more, visit franciscanmedia.org.
Members of St. Ann Catholic Church’s Social Justice Committee prepare to launch a nationwide campaign to accelerate the candidacies for sainthood of six African American heroes of their faith, including Sister Thea Bowman, with a special Mass service on Monday, Nov. 1. View photos of the heroes by visiting: baltimoresun.com.
“This year’s convener, Father Maurice J. Nutt, a Redemptorist priest and the author of ‘Thea Bowman: Faithful and Free,’ told me that this year was the first time the symposium allowed someone from the media into their private meetings in its years of gathering,” explains National Catholic Reporter’s recent article. Visit ncronline.org to read “Theologians affirm ‘Black Theology Matters’ at symposium.”
On Oct. 28, Brother Michael McGrath celebrated the spirit of one of the ‘greatest prophets and spiritual guides of our time’ in his presentation “The Life of Sister Thea Bowman.” See the above flyer for more information on the event.
New Group Media out of South Bend, Indiana, plans to tell the story of Sister Thea Bowman through their upcoming documentary set to air in the fall of 2022. Filming has taken place in many locations where Sister Thea lived and worked, including La Crosse. To learn more about the documentary, visit mississippicatholic.com.
“Black and African Catholics have changed not just the country but the world: from Clarence Thomas to Sister Thea Bowman,” says Julian Colvin, a North Carolina State University student studying engineering. Click the following link to read “Time to Speak - A call for unity:” therecordnewspaper.org.
As part of it’s “Saturdays with the Saints” gameday lecture series, the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame will host a lecture about Sister Thea Bowman on Sep. 18. Visit mcgrath.nd.edu to learn more about the series and click the following link for a full schedule of events: mcgrath.nd.edu.
On Aug. 15, Future Church’s Women Witnesses for Racial Justice initiative offered a Liturgy of the Word honoring women of color on the Solemnity of the Assumption. Visit futurechurch.org to learn more.
“The Sister Thea Bowman Committee, convened in August 2020, is named for our alumna who championed the dignity of under-represented groups and has been designated by the Church as a Servant of God,” explains Catholic University’s Independent Newspaper, The Tower, on July 30. Visit cuatower.com to read “Mel Williams Appointed to Oversee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives.”
The Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School celebrated their graduates in their July 29 e-newsletter. Click here to view photos and messages from the class of 2021.
Committed to awareness, analysis and action, we are praying, learning and acting with those who grant us the insight and courage to know how we can begin dismantling FSPA racism:
“The building is now named in honor of Sister Thea Bowman, the first African-American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration,” reads Catholic News Service’s July 13 article “Now-retired president of Loyola University Maryland says he had ‘great run.’” To read more, visit catholicnews.com.
Heartdwellers Ghana, an organization that provides “help and spiritual counsel for impoverished families, children, and the poor,” shared “I am Mother of all & ‘Thea Bowman’ from the Cloud of Witnesses Speaks” on July 6. Visit heartdwellersghana.org to read the article.
On July 2, "Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA, Servant of God's" Facebook page shared the following: “Congratulations, to Dr. Aaron Mathews on the publication of his liturgical music setting, ‘Mass for Sister Thea Bowman.’ Mathews, a Dallas native is an assistant professor of music at Xavier University of Louisiana and pastoral musician at Transfiguration church in New Orleans.” Visit giamusic.com to view his publication.
Catholic Review’s June 30 article “Outgoing Loyola University Maryland president ‘squeezes sponge dry’” explains that the Flannery O’Connor Residence Hall at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore was renamed in honor of Sister Thea Bowman. Visit catholicreview.org to read the article.
“She [Sister Thea Bowman] was known across the United States as a beacon of intercultural awareness,” expresses Franciscan Media’s June 17 blog post titled “A Faith Celebrated.” Visit franciscanmedia.org for more.
Sister Thea Bowman, “nationally known for her work to advance the life of her fellow black Catholics in the church,” is quoted in America Magazine’s June 17 article. Visit americamagazine.org to read “Black Spirituals meet the liturgy: Why I composed a Mass for Black Catholics.”
WXOW News 19 stopped by to talk with NewGroup Media as they were filming a portion of the Thea Bowman documentary on June 22. The reporter also talked with Regina Siegel, the actress who portrays adult Thea. Visit wxow.com to watch the short news clip.
On June 11, Broadview, an independent Canadian magazine featuring coverage of spirituality, justice and ethical living, shared “Sister Thea emboldened me to take on racism among my fellow Catholics.” Click the following link to read the article: broadview.org.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Spring 2021 e-newsletter “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA.” Visit campaign-archive.com to read it. You can also sign up to receive the quarterly e-newsletter by clicking the following link: sistertheabowman.com.
“Practicing Catholic,” a radio show of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota, recently interviewed Justina Kopp, a Black mother of quadruplets, who discusses parenting tips on talking about racial justice. During the interview, Kopp encourages listeners to learn more about Sister Thea Bowman. Visit thecatholicspirit.com for more information.
“The COVID-19 pandemic put a slowdown on the causes of men and women (including Sister Thea Bowman) who are poised to become the United States’ first African American saints,” reads the National Catholic Register’s May 27 article. Visit ncregister.com to read more.
America Magazine recently published artist Mickey McGrath’s article in which he explains how Sister Thea Bowman has served as much of his spiritual and artistic inspiration today. To read more, visit americanmagazine.org.
Greg Little, the author of Sister Julia Walsh’s recent Messy Jesus Business blog post titled “All Creation Sings to God” shares the words of Sister Thea Bowman. Click the following link to read the post: messyjesusbusiness.com.
“The forthcoming documentary ‘Mother Saints’ will examine the lives of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), whose service to and advocacy for people on the peripheries still inspires the church’s social ministry,” shares Catholic News Services. “Another documentary will tell the story of sainthood candidate Sister Thea Bowman (1937-1990), a “Servant of God” and the granddaughter of a slave who became a joyous advocate for faith in Jesus and for racial justice.”
FSPA is working with documentarians from New Group Media as they prepare to film the La Crosse portion of the Thea documentary tentatively in June. Sister Judy Zielinski and her team filmed in Jackson and Canton during Holy Week and have another trip planned to Mississippi yet in May. Watch for more information as the details unfold. Read more from Catholic News Services here: catholicnews.com.
On Apr. 28, The Martha’s Vineyard Times, a publication of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, shared the article, “Elder Law: Living until you die,” which refers to Sister Thea Bowman’s daily prayer “Lord, let me live until I die.” Visit mvtimes.com to read the article.
The book “‘Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood’ is a compilation of personal reflections issued by the publishing division of Our Sunday Visitor” reports both Catholic Philly and The Florida Catholic. Sister Thea Bowman is one of six African American Catholics recognized in the book. Visit the following links to read more: Catholic Philly: catholicphilly.com, The Florida Catholic: thefloridacatholic.org
“This explains why Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman … implored the nation’s bishops to welcome and embrace Black intellectual and cultural traditions, including the spirituals, ‘as gifts to the church’” explains Catholic Philly’s Apr. 19 article “To fight racism, Black Christians learned to ‘lift every voice and sing.’” To read more, visit catholicphilly.com.
“She taught us all, but especially Black Catholics, how to ‘live until we die,’” reads the March 30 reflection published by the Black Catholic Messenger: “On her feast day, honoring the living legacy of Sr. Thea Bowman.” To read it, visit blackcatholicmessenger.com.
U.S. Catholic shares words of wisdom of Sister Thea Bowman in their recent article, “Oscar Romero stood with the marginalized. Christ does too.” Sister Thea urged everyone to “work together so that all of us have equal access to input — equal access to opportunity — equal access to participation.” To read the article, visit uscatholic.org.
On Mar. 24, The Heights, Boston College’s student newspaper, shared “BC Community Honors Victims of Anti-Asian Violence with Candlelit Vigil.” The article states that both “the BC Asian Caucus and the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center (BAIC)” hosted a vigil. Follow this link to read more: bcheights.com.
In the article “The music of the Black Catholic Church is a rich tapestry of joy, suffering and hope,” America Magazine shares the words of Sister Thea Bowman: “Black sacred song celebrates our God, His goodness, His promise, our faith and hope, our journey toward the promise.” Visit americamagazine.org to read it.
“For those who have experienced a broken heart, Lent holds promise of hope,” shares The Dialog, a publication of the Diocese of Wilmington in Delaware. Allow Sister Thea Bowman to “teach you joy” by reading: thedialog.org.
Participants considered how her Christ-centered, fearless approach could address the enduring division of racism during a dramatic presentation highlighting the wisdom of Sister Thea Bowman. To learn more, visit catholicsentinel.org.
On Mar. 9, Mississippi Free Press, a publication out of Jackson, Mississippi, published “Unlikely Relationships: Wisconsin Sisters Helping Tackle Black Dehumanization In Mississippi” which shares the story of how Sisters Marla Long, Helen Elsbernd and Eileen McKenzie bonded with Karla McCullough over the life of Sister Thea Bowman. Visit mississippifreepress.org to read more.
America - The Jesuit Review recently shared “Who will be the first Black Catholic saint in the United States?” This video highlights six Black Catholics who the Church believes have “saintly potential,” and Sister Thea Bowman is among them. Click the following link to watch it: youtube.com.
Catholic Star Herald, from the Diocese of Canton in New Jersey, published the article “Black Catholics on the road to sainthood” on Feb. 25, in which Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as one of six “Black Catholics who lived and worked and served in the United States who are on the road to sainthood.” Click catholicstarherald.org to read the article.
On Feb. 24, the Catholic Community Services of Western Washington’s Facebook page offered a blessing and dedication livestream event for the Thea Bowman apartments recently built in Kent, Washington. Visit facebook.com to watch a recording of the event.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Winter 2021 e-publication “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA.” Visit campaign-archive.com to read it. You can also sign up to receive the quarterly e-newsletter by clicking the following link: sistertheabowman.com.
On Feb. 20, the Tolton Spirituality Center, located in Chicago, Illinois, hosted their third virtual event in its four-part educational Black History Month series. This event highlighted Julia Greeley and Sister Thea Bowman. Click the following link to learn more: ncronline.org.
CatholicMom.com, a website that celebrates Catholic motherhood with podcasts, articles and daily reflections, quoted Sister Thea Bowman in their Feb. 18, “Black Catholic Saints and Martyrs” article: “What does it mean to be Black and Catholic? It means that I come to my church fully functioning.”
Brother Mickey McGrath and his musical friends joined forces and shared their talents in four fifteen-minute celebrations throughout the month of February. The Feb. 18 session featured Sister Thea Bowman. Visit youtube.com to watch “Thursday Thoughts at 3: Servant of God Thea Bowman.”
St. Aloysius-St. Agatha Parish, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is celebrating Black History Month by displaying banners of six Black Americans who are candidates for sainthood in the Catholic Church. Sister Thea Bowman is among them. Click the following link to learn more and to watch a short news clip: cleveland19.com.
On Feb. 4, Saint Francis University, located in Pennsylvania, sponsored a webinar on race and religion. Guest speaker, Dr. C. Vanessa White shared the stories of Father Augustus Tolton and Sister Thea Bowman, “noting their contributions to the church and their stories of confronting racism within the faith.” To read more, visit troubadour.francis.edu.
Angelus News recently published “How they overcame: The power and promise of America’s Black saints.” To take a look at these Black Catholic’s lives (including Sister Thea Bowman’s) and what their holiness means for America and Catholics today, visit the following link (beginning on page 12): angelusnews.com.
On Feb. 11, Catholic News Agency shared “The hidden history of Black Catholic nuns in the U.S.” The article recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as “one of three African-American sisters under consideration for canonization.” Visit catholicnewsagency.com to read more.
In The Arlington Catholic Herald’s recent article, “A Salesian’s artwork depicts the diversity in the church,” Brother Mickey McGrath shared that Sister Thea Bowman “helped me find God’s will for me.” To read the article, visit catholicherald.com.
The Center for Action and Contemplation, an organization that offers contemplative programs and resources, published “Black Song Is Sacred Song” on Feb. 8. This article includes the history and significance of what Sister Thea Bowman celebrates as Black sacred song. Visit cac.org to read it.
In honor of Black History Month, Falvey Memorial Library, the library of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, will offer students a virtual retreat on Saturday, Feb. 27, titled “Spirituality and Song of Sister Thea Bowman.” Visit blog.library.villanova.edu for additional event information.
“Sharing Our Story: An Enduring Faith,” a virtual educational experience sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago, will honor Sister Thea Bowman in their Saturday, Feb. 20 session. Visit thedialog.org to read “Web series will examine Black candidates for sainthood.”
In honor of Black History Month, Angelus News, a publication out of Los Angeles, California, recognized the accomplishments of six Black Catholics on the road to sainthood. Sister Thea Bowman is among them. To read the article, visit angelusnews.com.
“In this month where we remember Black history, we should remember Thea Bowman” reads the Feb. 2 Angelus News article “Holiness, God’s answer to hate.” Click the following link to read it: angelusnews.com.
On Monday, Feb. 22, ValLimar Jansen will present “The Joy of Justice, Unity, & Peace: Lessons from Sister Thea Bowman.” This virtual event will focus on “Sister Thea’s life and work and how they apply to today’s need for racial reconciliation.” Visit catholicsentinel.org for additional event information.
On Jan. 27, WIZM News shared “Former Viterbo nun gains more attention for sainthood” which addresses the recent America Magazine article about Sister Thea Bowman’s possible candidacy for sainthood. Visit wizmnews.com to read more and to see a photo of Sister Thea with Sister Charlene Smith.
The Catholic Review, a publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, addressed the renaming of Loyola University’s residence hall after Sister Thea Bowman in its recent article, “Ibram X. Kendi speaks on antiracism at annual Loyola University MLK Convocation.” Visit catholicreview.org to read it.
On Jan. 21, America Magazine published “Who will be the first Black Catholic saint from the United States?” which recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as one of six possible candidates for sainthood. To read the article, visit americamagazine.org.
On Jan. 17, Future Church, an organization that advocates for a variety of causes within the Roman Catholic Church, held a “Women Witnesses for Racial Justice” MLK Prayer Service honoring Sister Thea Bowman. Click the following link to watch a recording of the event: youtube.com.
Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA, Servant of God’s Facebook page recently shared information on how to receive a beautiful Sister Thea lapel pin. Click here to view the post and visit the following link to order: sister-thea-bowman-artifacts.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Fall 2020 e-publication “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA.” You can sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter here: sistertheabowman.com. To read the Fall edition, visit campaign-archive.com.
On Dec. 10, the Arlington Catholic Herald (out of Virginia) shared “Take a faith-filled family-centered field trip,” which encourages “on the go Encounterers” to listen to a “Spotify playlist with music from Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman.” Click the following link to learn more: catholicherald.com.
The Catholic Sentinel recently shared “Conference for Black Catholic men motivated local attendees,” which recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as one of three prominent “20th-Century African American Catholics” honored by the Bowman-Francis Ministry. Visit catholicsentinel.org to
Future Church, an organization that advocates for a variety of causes within the Roman Catholic Church, is selling art for its “Women Witness for Racial Justice” project that includes a portrait of Sister Thea Bowman. Click here to view the artwork and read the artist statement.
On Nov. 22, The Observer, a student-run newspaper out of Manhattan, published “Black Catholic History Month Should Be More Widely Recognized.” The article explains that Sister Thea Bowman is “one of the most persistent voices against racism and bigotry in the church.” Click fordhamobserver.com to read more.
Sister Thea Bowman is recognized in The Catholic Telegraph’s Nov. 15 article “African Americans on the Path to Sainthood.” Click the following link to read about Sister Thea’s life: thecatholictelegraph.com.
The Leaven, a publication of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, shared “What our Black saints can teach this Black Catholic History Month.” Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as one of six Black Catholic Americans in consideration for sainthood. To read more, visit: theleaven.org.
“I had the privilege of actually walking in the shadow of this woman who will be a saint” shared the Archdiocese of Miami’s associate superintendent in Florida Catholic’s recent article “Hanging out with a future saint: Sister Thea Bowman.” Click the following link to read it: thefloridacatholic.org.
“This week we honor Sister Thea Bowman as part of our celebrations for Black Catholic History Month!” explained the National Association of Pastoral Musicians’s Facebook page on Nov. 9. Click here to see the post or click the following link to view it on Facebook: facebook.com.
U.S. Catholic recently published “Black saints matter,” which explains how converting to Catholicism and joining FSPA was no easy task for Sister Thea Bowman. “She faced racism within the community, yet overcame it with a radiance and confidence that sprang from a rich Black heritage…” Follow this link to read the article: uscatholic.org.
The Scott County Times, a publication out of Forest, Mississippi, recently shared “Citizens Honor First Black Supervisor, Monzell Stowers’ Life and Legacy.” The article recognizes Sister Thea Bowman as a candidate “on the road to sainthood” who “was born in Canton, MS and lived among us and during her life, she learned to love…” To read more, visit sctonline.net.
On Oct. 30, America Magazine shared “The first African-American cardinal is a tribute to the faith of Black Catholics -- and a gift to the entire church” in which Sister Thea Bowman is noted for singing “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” to the U.S. Bishops in 1989. To read the article, visit americamagazine.org.
On Oct. 28, CatholicPhilly.com published “Drawing on faith, church’s history is key to confronting racism, say panelists.” Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as one of six “U.S. Black Catholics whose causes for sainthood are under consideration.” Follow this link to read the article: catholicphilly.com.
Commonweal magazine, an American Catholic journal of opinion based in New York, published “I Bring Myself, My Black Self.” Sister Thea Bowman is mentioned as the honoree of Loyola University Maryland’s recent dormitory name change. Visit commonwealmagazine.org to read the article and click here to view a Twitter post from the author.
On Oct. 26, Patheos.com recognized Sister Thea Bowman’s book “In My Own Words” as one of “Nine Books for Exploring Franciscan Spirituality.” As a woman of color, Sister Thea “spoke prophetically against racism in the church.” Click the following link to read more: patheos.com.
The American Catholic Historical Society presented their annual fall lecture on Oct. 20, which featured Sister Thea Bowman. Father Maurice Nutt discussed Sister Thea as she was: “an unapologetically African American woman, a religious sister who deeply loved God and the people to whom she ministered…” To read more, visit: catholicphilly.com.
“What does it mean to be black and Catholic? It means that I come to my church fully functioning.” Patheos.com quoted Sister Thea Bowman in their Oct. 12 article “12+ American Saints on Mother Cabrini Day.” Click the following link to read more: patheos.com.
The newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, The Tablet, published “Sister Thea On Her Way To Sainthood.” She was “‘a lot like Jesus’ because of her ‘magnetic’ personality” shares Sister Charlene Smith while talking about Sister Thea and her cause for canonization. Click here to read the complete article.
“What a woman, what a gift! A mover and a shaker!” shares Sister Marla Lang in the Diocese of Superior’s Catholic Herald article “The legacy of FSPA Sr. Thea Bowman.” Visit superiorcatholicherald.org to read it.
On Sept. 30, the Tahlequah Daily Press, a newspaper published in Oklahoma, shared the article “On Religion: A diverse cloud of saints -- and one superhero”. In it, Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as “the granddaughter of slaves, whose cause for sainthood has been endorsed by America’s bishops.” Visit tahlequahdailypress.com to read more.
Alverno College recently launched the Thea Bowman Institute for Excellence and Leadership. Two news outlets published announcements:
Milwaukee Courier: “Alverno College Launches Institute for Black Women”
Milwaukee Independent: “Thea Bowman Institute Launches In Milwaukee To Promote Academic Enrichment For Black Women”
“I’ve always asked God for the grace to live until I die,” shared Sister Thea Bowman in U.S. Catholic’s recent article “Sister Thea Bowman on dying with dignity.” Visit uscatholic.org to read how she found God in the midst of her illness.
On Sept. 17, Irish Central, an Irish digital media company in North America, published the article “Casting stones at flawed Flannery O’Connor.” The writer considers Loyola University Maryland’s decision to re-name the residence hall after Sister Thea Bowman. Follow this link to read the article: irishcentral.com.
Patheos.com shared the article “No, Flannery O’Connor Has Not Been Canceled” on Sept. 17. Loyola University Maryland is in the process of renaming the current Flannery O’Connor Hall after Sister Thea Bowman. To read the article, visit patheos.com.
In order to “continue educating themselves about anti-racism efforts,” Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory recommends that students at the University of Notre Dame read Sister Thea Bowman’s speech given to United States bishops in 1989. Click the following link to learn more: catholicphilly.com.
On Aug 28, Paethos, an online blog forum about religion and spirituality, shared “American Saints Who Were People of Color.” Sister Thea Bowman, who “worked with various bishops to raise awareness for the importance of black Catholic heritage and sacred music” is recognized. Click the following link to read more: patheos.com.
In Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s recent article, “With plenty of space, Catholic schools open 5 days a week,” schools in the Pittsburgh and Greensburg dioceses (including Sister Thea Bowman Academy) share how they are preparing to open their doors this school year. To read the complete article, visit post-gazette.com.
CatholicPhilly.com, a publication of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, recently shared “Friends on earth help Black Catholic priest toward sainthood.” In addition to Father Augustus Tolton, Sister Thea Bowman is also recognized as one of the many “currently in line for sainthood.” Follow this link to read the article: catholicphilly.com.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Summer 2020 e-publication “Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA.” You can sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter here: sistertheabowman.com. To read it, visit campaign-archive.com.
The Catholic Sentinel recently published “Racism and resilience: An overview of Catholic African American history.” This article includes a statement by Sister Thea Bowman from the 1989 U.S. bishops’ annual meeting in which she shared that despite all efforts, “Blacks … are still trying to find home in the homeland and home in the church.” Follow this link to read more: catholicsentinel.org.
In case you missed the CatholicPhilly article “Religious brother uses gifts as liturgical artist to heal wounds of racism” about Brother Mickey McGrath and his “guiding force,” Sister Thea Bowman (that we shared in June), Catholic News Service has reprinted the piece. Read it here: catholicnews.com.
In addition to The Greyhound News and The Daily Wire articles that were shared last week, various other news outlets have also reported on the renaming of Flannery O’Connor Hall at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Visit the following links to read the articles:
Diverse Education: “Loyola University Maryland to Remove Flannery O’Connor’s Name From Residence Hall”
Catholic News Agency: “Loyola University Maryland renaming dorm that honored Flannery O’Connor”
National Catholic Reporter: “Loyola University Maryland removes Flannery O’Connor’s name from hall”
NewBostonPost, an online news source produced in Massachusetts, recently published the article “‘Pivotal’ Catholic Canceled by Catholic College” in which the author challenges the renaming of Loyola University's Flannery O'Connor Hall for Sister Thea Bowman. Read it at newbostonpost.com.
The Greyhound News, a publication of Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, recently announced the renaming of Flannery O’Connor Hall in honor of Sister Thea Bowman. Read the July 24 article titled “Loyola Renames Flannery O’Connor Hall After Sister Thea Bowman.”
The Daily Wire, an American news and opinion website, shared the article “University Dorm Named After Flannery O’Connor Gets Renamed Following Accusations Of Racism” on July 25. Visit the following link to read it: dailywire.com.
Father Maurice Nutt, a student and mentee of Sister Thea Bowman, speaks about her life in the Pauline Books and Media Digital July 17 video titled “Sister Thea Bowman: Interview with Fr. Maurince Nutt, C.Ss.R.” Visit the following link to hear Father Maurine’s message and to listen to Sister Thea’s beautiful singing: youtube.com.
Several news outlets have shared articles addressing the recent denouncement of racism by bishops in Mississippi. “Drawing from the example of the late Sister Thea Bowman … Mississippi’s two bishops denounced racism as ‘a plague among us.’” Visit the following links to read more:
Catholic News Agency: “Mississippi bishops denounce racism in 4th of July letter”
The Pilot: “Bishops decry ‘sin of racism’ as country celebrates Independence Day”
The Tablet: “Mississippi Bishops Aim to Follow Thea Bowman’s Lead on Racism”
CRUX: “Mississippi bishops aim to follow Thea Bowman’s lead on racism”
The Ignatian Solidarity Network, based in University Heights, Ohio, recently introduced a series of videos titled “Preaching from Sister Thea’s Kitchen.” Produced by Boston College Campus Ministry, this series will “offer reflections from the BC Community about the intersection of scripture and Ignatian spirituality with racial justice.” Visit the following links to watch the first two videos:
Reverend James M. Hairston: ignatiansolidarity.net
Meyer Chambers: ignatiansolidarity.net
On July 6, Mississippi Catholic, a publication of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, posted a “Joint Statement of Catholic Bishops of Mississippi Against Racism.” Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as “a woman who transcended racism to leave a lasting mark on Catholic life.” To read the statement, visit jacksondiocese.org.
As stated in U.S. Catholic magazine’s recent article, “Which Catholic women inspire you?,” “When my students are overwhelmed with the needs of the world or their families, I teach them about the strength of Franciscan Sister Thea Bowman.” Follow this link to read more: uscatholic.org.
On Oct. 19, the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, will present “Thea Bowman: Active Contemplative and Mystic.” During this event, facilitator C. Vanessa White will share “her own experience of knowing Sister Thea through storytelling and music.” For additional information, visit milwaukee365.com.
CatholicPhilly.com, a publication of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, recently shared the article “Liturgical artist uses gifts to hear wounds of racism.” Brother Mickey McGrath, an acclaimed liturgical artist, explains how Sister Thea Bowman has “become his guiding force.” Visit catholicphilly.com to read more.
We recently shared that CatholicPhilly.com published the article “Black Catholic spirituality a force in fight against racism, say pastors.” Catholic News Service has shared the article too. Read it here: catholicnews.com.
Church POP, a Christian culture brand, recently shared “8 Black Saints and Holy People of God Every Catholic Should Know, With Prayers for Intercession.” Sister Thea Bowman is included among the eight. Visit churchpop.com to read the article.
On June 21, CatholicPhilly.com (Archdiocese of Philadelphia) published the article “Black Catholic spirituality a force in fight against racism, say pastors.” Sister Thea Bowman is recognized as one of many canonized and potential saints who have helped “pioneer the church’s path toward equality.” Visit catholicphilly.com to read the article.
Sister Charlene Smith shares the story of Sister Thea Bowman’s life and legacy in Catholic News Agency’s recent article “Thea Bowman - religious sister, civil rights advocate, candidate for sainthood.” Follow this link to read it: catholicnewsagency.com.
In “Let the vibrant art of Laura James lead you through scripture,” U.S. Catholic magazine’s May 4 article about Christian sacred art drawn from “the rich heritage of Ethiopian iconography,” Sister Thea Bowman is quoted: “The leaders are supposed to look like their folks.” To read the article, visit stdunn.com.
On June 1, Our Sunday Visitor, an online publication “serving Catholics at all stages of life,” published “Why promoting sainthood causes of black Americans would be a healing balm for the Church and the world.” Sister Thea Bowman is mentioned among other Black Catholics. To read the article, visit osvnews.com.
Sister Charlene Smith was interviewed about the life and legacy of Sister Thea Bowman for the June 15 Catholic News Agency podcast “We Shall Overcome.” The broadcast tells Thea’s story along with that of Father Augustus Tolton; two Black Catholics currently on the path to sainthood. Visit the following link to listen to their inspiring stories: catholicnewsagency.com.
Aletia, an online publication that offers a Christian vision of the world, recently published “Saints who worked for justice in ways as unique as each of them.” Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman is recognized among them. Visit aleteia.org to read the article.
Pathos, an online blog forum about religion and spirituality, recently posted “Convents White and Black,” an article that explores women religious, including those of color, who have been advocates for racial justice. Sister Thea Bowman is highlighted among them. Follow this link to read more: patheos.com.
On June 2, National Catholic Reporter published “Black in America: I am tired.” Sister Thea Bowman is recognized for singing “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, a long ways from home” in her 1989 “Being a Black Catholic” address before the U.S. Catholic Bishops. Visit ncronline.org to read how Thea’s song has impacted our world today.
America magazine reprinted Christopher Pramuk’s 2014 article “The witness of Sister Thea Bowman” in their June 2020 issue. To read it, visit americamagazine.org.
On May 7, Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School participated in the St. Louis, Missouri, giving campaign, Give STL Day. To see a message shared by the school to announce the event, click here, and for more information about the cause, visit givestlday.org.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared “Words of Wisdom from Sister Thea” in response to Teacher Appreciation Week
(May 4-8). Click here to see the post.
In the La Crosse Tribune op-ed piece “We must listen in order to serve,” the author addresses service in the time of COVID-19 and quotes Sister Thea Bowman: “Each one Teach, Let your Light Shine, Walk your Talk.” Visit lacrossetribune.com to read the article.
On Apr. 15, the Belleville, Illinois, publication Belleville News-Democrat shared the article “East St. Louis Catholic school principal says students suffer without internet access.” Dan Nickerson, the principal of Sister Thea Bowman School, is seeking donations of internet services and connection devices for students in need. Follow this link to read the article and watch a short video clip: bnd.com.
Mar. 30 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. In remembrance of Sister Thea’s passing, Father Maurice Nutt shares the story of her life in an inspiring video posted on her Facebook page. Click here to watch the video, and follow this link to view an image of Sister Thea’s tombstone.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared Father Maurice Joseph Nutt’s Mar. 27 post which includes a powerful video titled “Where You’ve Come From.” In this video, Ajani Gibson, a “Black Catholic seminarian for the Archdiocese of New Orleans,” shares his story and quotes Sister Thea Bowman, “I come to my church fully functioning. I bring my whole self, everything that I am, everything that I have, everything that I hope to be.” Click here to view the post, and follow this link to watch the video.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared a “Prayer for a Pandemic.” Click here to read it.
The Heights, an independent student newspaper of Boston College in Massachusetts, recently shared the article “It’s Really a Question of Survival: Low-Income Students React to BC’s Closure.” The article recognizes the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center (BAIC) for providing support to students in need. Read more here: bcheights.com.
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson recently shared their Spring 2020 e-publication Servant of God: Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA. You can sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter here: sistertheabowman.com. Follow this link to read it.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sister Thea Bowman’s passing “from death into life,” a gospel concert (Mar. 28) and a memorial mass (Mar. 30) will be held in Mississippi. To view more information about the events, follow this link.
On Ash Wednesday, Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared a prayer recognizing the beginning of the Lenten season. Click here to see the post.
Students from several Catholic schools around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gathered at the Shrine of St. John Neumann for a prayer service and presentation about the six African-American Catholics on the path to sainthood, including Sister Thea Bowman. To learn more about the event visit, catholicphilly.com.
The Catholic Herald, a publication of the Diocese of Superior in Wisconsin, recognized ValLimar Jansen, an internationally-known singer, composer and performer, who played Sister Thea Bowman in one of her recent one-act plays. Follow this link to read more about ValLimar’s career: superiorcatholicherald.org.
On Feb. 19, Sister Thea Bowman was featured as “Today’s Saint” in University of Notre Dame’s alumni association publication Faith ND. Visit faith.nd.edu to read about why she is considered “a joyful example of contemporary sainthood.”
Clergy from the diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and Rockville Centre, Long Island, celebrated Black History Month by attending Mass at Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, New York on Feb. 16. The Sister Thea Bowman Choir from Rockville Centre provided their “vocal talents through song.” To read more, visit thetablet.org.
In honor of Black History Month, many gathered at the DeSales Center in Utica, New York, on Feb. 12 to pay tribute to the impact that Sister Thea Bowman had on their community. A brief ceremony and performance highlighted the life of Sister Thea. Click the following links to learn more about the celebration:
WUTR Channel 20 (Utica, New York): cnyhomepage.com
Rome Sentinel (Rome, New York): romesentinel.com
Beginning March 11, the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in Manhattan, New York City, will display a collection of paintings by Brother Mickey McGrath that reflect his “life’s work and a transformative experience inspired by Sister Thea Bowman.” Visit the following links to learn more about the event and artist, and click here to view a photo of Sister Charlene Smith’s exhibit.
The article “Combat sin of racism anew during Black History Month” reflects on the lives of Sister Thea Bowman and Father Augustus Tolton, the first known African American Catholic priest. Click the following links to read the complete story:
The Catholic Spirit (Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis): thecatholicspirit.com
The Catholic Philly (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): catholicphilly.com
A Catholic school fair has been scheduled in Pennsylvania's Diocese of Pittsburgh to assist families with students who are currently attending schools soon closing their doors. Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy representatives will be present to provide information on their programs. To learn more about the fair, visit triblive.com.
On Feb. 12, the community of Utica, New York, celebrated in honor of Sister Thea Bowman House Day. Children with the Bowman House displayed artwork and performed “This Little Light of Mine” during a ceremony at the DeSales Center.
Keep the Faith, a publication out of London, England, recently shared the article “Despite their long history in the church, black Catholics struggle for recognition” in which Reverend Stephen Brown expresses that “little is known about blacks in the Catholic Church.” To read the article, visit keepthefaith.co.uk.
The Sister Thea Bowman Education Foundation will hold its annual scholarship dinner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 23. Dr. Robert Royal, Catholic author and president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., will speak during the event. Click here to view the invitation.
Sisters of Bon Secours’ Facebook page recently shared a quote from Sister Thea Bowman in the spirit of Black History Month. Click here to read it.
Observer-Dispatch, out of central New York, recently announced that Utica, New York’s mayor, Robert Palmieri, will declare Feb. 12 as Sister Thea Bowman House Day. A brief ceremony and performance will highlight the life of Sister Thea at 4 p.m.
Sister Dorothy Ann Kundinger was featured in Global Sisters Report. Visit globalsistersreport.org to read her responses to questions regarding her friendship with Sister Thea Bowman: "Everyone loved her."
St. Anthony Messenger shared “The Blessing of Sister Thea” in their February 2020 publication. Writer, David Dault, shares his thoughts on Sister Thea Bowman, an “amazing woman who did much for the cause of African American Catholicism and indeed for the church as a whole.” Follow this link to read more.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared a collage of photos of African Americans on the path to Sainthood in recognition of Black History Month. Sister Thea Bowman is among those pictured. Click here to see it.
Grotto Network, an online publication, recently shared “How Thea Bowman Set an Example for a Divided World” in their Keep the Faith feature. Follow this link to read the complete story: grottonetwork.com.
Sister Thea Bowman will be featured in “Servants of God and Prophets of Joy,” an exhibit of paintings by Brother Mickey McGrath displayed at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York City from Feb. 14 to Mar. 10. Click here to view the event flyer.
On Jan. 20, Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page honored Reverend Martin Luther King. To see the post, click here.
Sister Charlene Smith recently shared the Winter 2020 e-publication of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, Servant of God: Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA. You can sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter here. To view it again, follow this link.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared the following quote by Sister Thea: "The popes have said that ‘the home is the domestic Church’: that we are the Church … " Click here to see the complete post.
Dear friends of Sister Thea Bowman, Deacon Allen Stevens and his wife Edith, are asking for prayers of healing as Deacon Allen recovers from brain surgery on Jan. 16. To see a photo of Deacon Allen, follow this link.
As the former editor of St. Anthony Messenger and co-author of an “award-winning book on the life of Servant of God Thea Bowman” (“Thea’s Song: The life of Thea Bowman” written with Sister Charlene Smith), John Feister will be honored as the Communicator of the Year by the Salesian Guild of Catholic Communicators of Greater Cincinnati. The 76th gathering will be held on Jan. 25 at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Follow this link to read more: thecatholictelegraph.com.
On Dec. 31, Sister Dorothy Ann Kundinger was featured in Global Sisters Report. Visit globalsistersreport.org to read her responses to questions regarding her friendship with Sister Thea Bowman.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page wished Sister Thea a “Happy Heavenly Birthday” on Dec. 29. Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1937, she would have turned 82 this year. Follow this link to view the post.
On Dec. 25, Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared a photo of the “sacred manger site in Bethlehem where Jesus was born,” taken during the Sister Thea Bowman pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as well as an image of the cover of Sister Thea’s Christmas Spirituals. To view them, click here.
The St. Louis American, a publication of St. Louis, Missouri, recently shared, “Using black children’s literature to improve reading.” The Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School in East St. Louis was recognized as being one of many schools to establish a “reading room filled with black children’s literature.” To read more, visit stlamerican.com.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared photos of a Christmas party held at the Thea Bowman Center for children in need. View them by clicking here.
The National Black Catholic Congress recently shared information about their 2018 grant recipient, Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School. Click here to read about the opportunities that their students have experienced.
Denver Catholic, a publication of the Archdiocese of Denver, published “Celebrate Black Catholic History Month ‘for the greater glory of God’” on Nov. 27. Follow this link to read more: denvercatholic.org.
Dr. Thea Thomasin Reimer, a research associate at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, recently shared a “glowing endorsement” of Father Maurice Joseph Nutt’s Thea Bowman biography. Follow this link to view the post.
On Nov. 14 Tampa Bay Times, a publication of St. Petersburg, Florida, shared “Despite their long history in the church, black Catholics struggle for recognition.” To read the full article, visit tampabay.com.
Sister Joann Gehlilng shared photos, taken by her friends in Philadelphia, of the Thea stained glass window located in the Corr Chapel at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University. To see the images and to read more about the chapel, follow these links:
Corr Chapel Villanova Univ Thea
Corr Chapel Envisions Sister Thea Bowman in a New Light
Art Imitating Life Villanova Magazine
Catholic News Herald, a publication of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, recently published “Sister Thea Bowman encouraged others to stand up for their rights.” Follow this link to read it: catholicnewsherald.com.
In order to promote and pray for Sister Thea Bowman’s cause for canonization, T-shirts were designed and worn by supporters in Jerusalem, Israel. Click here to see them.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared photos of the pilgrimage group standing in the “Upper Room” in Jerusalem - the room of the last supper. View them by clicking this link.
Milwaukee Courier recently published “National Black Catholic History Month: Acknowledging the Dedication of African American Catholics.” Follow this link to read the full article: milwaukeecourieronline.com.
On Oct. 30, Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared photos of the pilgrimage group’s visit to the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred places of Judaism. Click here to view them.
On Facebook, Maurice Nutt shared information about “An Hour With … African American Candidates,” a Liguori Publications series of pamphlets featuring the six African Americans, including Sister Thea Bowman, on the path to sainthood. See the post on Sister Thea’s Facebook page here.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page shared additional photos of the pilgrimage group benefitting the canonization of Sister Thea. October 28 marked the halfway point of their Holy Land journey. Click here to view the images.
In the article “Representative LaKeshia Myers Introduces Black Catholic History Month Resolution,” posted by Urban Milwaukee in Wisconsin, Sister Thea Bowman is included as one of six African Americans who are currently under consideration for sainthood. Read it here: urbanmilwaukee.com.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared photos from Maurice Nutt’s trip to Israel. October 22 marked the beginning of the Holy Land pilgrimage to benefit Sister Thea’s Cause for Canonization. Click here to view them.
On Sept. 25, Catholic News Herald shared an article regarding the opening of the Thea House, a new home for the Catholic Campus Ministry program at N.C. A&T State University and Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Visit catholicnewsherald.com to read the article and see images of the new location.
America Magazine has shared a video series titled “#Beyond the Habit: The Power of Sisterhood” that highlights six young women religious working throughout the country in a variety of ministries and religious orders. Sister Thea Bowman appears in “Episode 1: 300 Years of Sister History.” Visit, americamagazine.org, to watch.
Aquinas Emory Thinks recently published an article, written by Laryssa Herrington, on what it means to be black and Catholic. In her writing, Laryssa reflects on the words of Sister Thea Bowman 30 years later. Visit aquinasemorythinks.com read the complete article.
The Record Newspaper recently shared the news that M. Annette Mandley-Turner, executive director of the Office of Multicultural Ministry, will present on “Collaborative Ministry” during the next Thea Bowman Certificate Class at the Catholic Enrichment Center in Louisville, Kentucky. To view additional information about this event, visit therecordnewspaper.org.
The Sister Thea Bowman 3rd Annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. Follow this link to view the complete invitation.
On Sept. 18, America Today: The Jesuit Review shared the article, “There is time for the church to support black Catholics -- if it has the will to do so.” Read more at www.americamagazine.org.
Sister Thea Bowman’s Facebook page recently shared the exciting news that Nathan Yungerberg’s play, "Thea," will make its world premiere next year! To read more about Sister Thea and to view the Facebook post, click here.
Brother Mickey O’Neill Mcgrath shares details on his Facebook page of his experience presenting on Thea Bowman at a women’s retreat for the Feast of the Assumption. To read about it and see photos of what he describes, follow this link.
The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge recently reflected upon the lives of six African American Catholics currently being considered for scrutiny of sainthood. Follow this link to view “Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA, Servant of God’s” Facebook post (as well as photos from the event).
Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School is adjusting their reading curriculum with the hopes to encourage more children to read books both written by African Americans and containing diverse characters. This new curriculum is called “The Believe Project.” Visit ksdk.com to read more about their goal.
The BC Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center recently announced that Boston College’s first-ever black professor, Charles Frank Smith Jr, passed away on Aug. 1. Read more about Charles’ life at bcheights.com.
In case you missed last week's announcement of the National Catholic Reporter article "Sainthood causes draw focus to black Catholics and need for justice," Global Sisters Report has reprinted it here: globalsistersreport.org.
Sister Thea Bowman was recently recognized in Father Richard Rohr’s article “Black Women Mystics.” His writing, published by the Center for Action and Contemplation, talks about her role in how society views women of color. To read the full article and see the image of Thea, visit cac.org.
Fr. Augustus Tolton and Sr. Thea Bowman are two prominent examples of African American Catholics who have been put forward on the path to canonization. "Sainthood causes draw focus to black Catholics and need for justice" — and the stories of the racism they faced from fellow Catholics challenge the church today.
Kameron Richardson, a former student of Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School, was able to fulfill his dream of “standing in the spotlight” as he played Hamilton in the Chicago production of the show in late June. To read more about his experience in the play and how his time at Sister Thea Bowman kept him “on the right track,” visit bellevillemessenger.org.
Sister Thea Bowman was recently mentioned in Peter Smith’s article, “Venerable Augustus Tolton Puts Focus on Black Catholic Insight Into Holiness,” published in National Catholic Register. Visit ncregister.com to learn how “black Catholic candidates for sainthood provide a powerful answer” as to why we should be Catholic.
The article, “In tumultuous times, first listen to the darkness,” written by Sister Ann Heath from Pennsylvania, was recently featured on CatholicPhilly.com. Sister Ann tells the story of how a trip to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia has allowed her to “be prepared to listen and respond.” Visit, catholicphilly.com to read more about her trip, and to see what Sister Thea Bowman may have added regarding her discoveries.
Nathan Yungerberg’s “Thea,” a play that “straddles earthly existence and the afterlife in the waning days of Sister Thea Bowman,” was recognized in The New York Times article, “When Theater is a Religious Experience.” To read more about “Thea” and how “plays can bring spiritual solace to the nonbeliever,” follow this link.
Deacon Matthew Hawkins from St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland was recently recognized in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for becoming one of the few African American Catholic priests. The diocese also acknowledged Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy for providing quality education to African American students. To read more, visit post-gazette.com.
FSPA recently received a beautifully framed painting of Sister Thea Bowman from a Buffalo, Minnesota, resident who gained inspiration for her work after hearing Sister Thea speak. Follow this link to see photos and read more about the unique portrait.
“Thea,” the new Nathan Yungerberg play, has finally debuted on stage, and according to a review on the Sister Thea Bowman Facebook page, “The depth and spirituality and imagination [of the production] is phenomenal … MUST be seen across the country. Please pray that somehow this will occur!” Click here to see more of the review plus photos and comments.
On June 17, The Diocese of Illiniois’ publication The Messenger reported that a new library program at Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School “aims to cultivate love of literacy.” The school’s principal says that “At least 80 percent of the books will be written by black authors or feature black protagonists … an important feature at schools like Sister Thea Bowman, whose student body is predominantly African-American.” Read the full story at bellevillemessenger.org.
The Messenger’s June 17 issue also features the article “Priest says he’s optimistic of Sister Thea Bowman’s cause for sainthood.” That priest is Father Maurice Nutt who recently shared this perspective with students (who authored this article) at Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School. Click here to see more.
“Thea” rehearsals are now underway, and playwright Nathan Yungerberg shares on Facebook that “Our cast gave me goosebumps.” Click here for more.
The “America” magazine article “Looking for new religious art? Check your local high school,” features Sister Thea Bowman in the mural (created by junior high school student Chloe Becker) that we shared with you last month. Visit "America" online to read the article and take another look at the mural.
On June 4, playwright Nathan Yungerberg shared on Facebook news of a new book written by Father Maurice Nutt: “Thea Bowman: Faithful and Free.” To see Nathan’s announcement of the book, scheduled for release on June 15, click here.
“... that meeting changed my life!” shares playwright Nathan Yungerberg about his encounter with Sister Thea Bowman on his Facebook page recently. Click this link to see more, including a newspaper clipping from 1989 promoting that fateful Viterbo event and information about Nathan’s upcoming production “Thea.”
The cast for playwright Nathan Yungerberg’s production “Thea,” scheduled to be performed on June 20 as part of the 2019 Sheen Center Theater Festival in New York, New York, has been announced. To see the lineup of actors click here.
The playwright Nathan Yungerberg has announced a reading on June 20 in New York City for his new play about Thea Bowman. Admission is free but you must RSVP for tickets. You can find more information about the play on Sister Thea's Facebook page.
This Facebook post on Sister Thea Bowman's canonization page shows a mural of three saints, Sister Thea Bowman and another African American Catholic who is in consideration for sainthood. The artist chose to use local parishioners in ordinary clothes as models "to emphasize the call we all have to Sainthood." Follow this link for the mural and its full description.
This portrait of Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA was commissioned by the National Black Catholic Congress from artist Anthony VanArsdale. Sister Thea's portrait is part of a series of 6 African American Catholics on the path to Sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. You can view her portrait by clicking on this link.
Brother Mickey McGrath, an artist and Religious Brother in the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, shared a rendering of a Sister Thea Bowman quote on Facebook for Palm Sunday. Use this link to view his artwork.
Archbishop William Gregory's appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington could be the first step toward the first African-American Cardinal. Sister Thea Bowman is mentioned in this article from the Catholic News Agency as they detail important moments in the history of African-American catholics. This link provides the full article.
The Catholic University of America hosted an event called the Sister Thea Bowman Social Justice Lecture. "This presentation will trace how Western technoculture employs technology and policy to codify racism." The speaker, Dr. Andre Brock, is an associate professor of Black Digital Media at Georgia Tech. More information can be found with this PDF.
Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church of Canton Mississippi held a musical celebration in commemoration of Sister Thea Bowman's "homegoing" on March 30. You can find out more about the event from this PDF.
Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia will host Modern Prophets of Hope for a Church and World in Crisis on April 24. The event will use art and stories to discuss "saintly icons" such as Sister Thea Bowman. The event flyer can be found by clicking here.
Give Us This Day and The Sheen Center For Thought & Culture come together to tell the story of ordinary men and women whose extraordinary lives inspire the moral imagination and give witness to the myriad ways of holiness.
Read the text from Blessed Among Us.
The Inside Passage, the Catholic newspaper for the Diocese of Juneau, shares a story from Father Pat Casey about his firsthand account of Sister Thea Bowman confronting a priest in his homily. The full story can be found here.
In an article from the U.P. Catholic newspaper, Sister Thea Bowman was mentioned for her work on inclusively in the Catholic church as part of the coverage on the US Bishops document seeking to address the "sin and stain of racism". Click here to read the full article.
"Three generation of Black creatives coming together to create a theatrical piece with music about Sister Thea Bowman..." The debut reading will be at the Sheen Center in New York this June. This link provides the original post but you can find more updates from the Sister Thea Bowman Facebook page.
KYW News Radio 1060, a Philadelphia radio station, ran a short piece from a Villanova professor about Sister Thea Bowman. You can read or listen to this story by following this link to their website.
Boston College's Catholic newspaper, The Torch, published an article on Thea Bowman's cause for canonization. You can find The Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center on the Boston College campus.
On January 7, National Catholic Register published the story "2018 in review: Mississippi Diocese Opens Cause of Sister Thea Bowman" that celebrates her as the "Franciscan sister [who] sought to open hearts with a heart open to Jesus." The article follows the path from Thea's childhood to the approval and celebration of her onward journey to sainthood, and includes reflection by her former roommate and member of the historical commission for causation, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Mary Ann Gschwind. "She was open to everyone and respectful of everyone." Citing the barriers faced by Sister Thea "as a woman of color," author Camille Lewis Brown shares, "She navigated her way through life and kept her eye on Jesus. That's resilience at its best ... she more than tried." Read the story in its entirety at www.ncregister.com.
“In a year of anguish, GSR offered stories of hope and courage.” The publication’s Dec. 31 article -- a review of the good news -- includes that of the canonization advancement for Sister Thea Bowman and FSPA’s 140 years of perpetual adoration. Click here to read the full article.
On Dec. 28, Door County Pulse featured news around the state of Wisconsin including that of Sister Thea Bowman's cause for canonization and comments in the movement's regard by Sister Eileen McKenzie. Click here for more on the story.
Sister Eileen McKenzie speaks to Sister Thea Bowman's tireless work "to promote acceptance in the church" in Wisconsin Public Radio's Dec. 25 news brief "La Crosse Nun Thea Bowman Considered For Sainthood in the Catholic Church." Listen here.
On Dec. 6, Wisconsin Public Radio's Newsmakers program aired “Sister Thea Bowman Sainthood” which featured interviews with Sister Eileen McKenzie and Sister Rochelle Potaracke. Sister Thea, shares Sister Eileen, has FSPA thinking about the "goodness" and "richness" of diversity: "we are pretty white and we are pretty privileged and what is Thea calling us to take a look at?" Click here to listen to more.
“What struck me most,” writes Patricia Kasten in her article “Saintly perks: A blessing of being a Catholic journalist is meeting saintly people” for The Compass (in which she shares that she recently reviewed notes she took when interviewing Sister Thea Bowman for an article long ago), “was how relevant her words are 31 years later." Kasten concludes, "Perhaps the Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman, through her intercession, can help our country again find the road that leads toward unity."
Two more publications have provided coverage of the advancement of Sister Thea Bowman's cause for canonization: Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, Illinois, with "Nun for whom East St. Louis school is named passes first step on road to sainthood" and The Catholic Globe, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with "Bishop Nickles reflects on national meeting of bishops."
"She would talk about the word 'saint' as long as she could define the term," writes the author of the Knox News article "The woman who would become St. Thea of Mississippi." Read more of his story, one that includes his recollections of interviewing Thea in 1989, here.
"By a voice vote," reads the Nov. 14 article "U.S. Bishops Conduct Canonical Consultation on Cause for Canonization of Sr. Thea Bowman, F.S.P.A." published at usccb.org, "the bishops indicated unanimous support for the advancement of the cause on the diocesan level." Click here to for the full article.
Global Sisters Report has announced that "Sister Thea Bowman takes steps further toward canonization with bishops' voice." Says Sister Eileen McKenzie in the article, "It's a fascinating time, and we're having lots of conversations about how providential this moment is. Get the full article here.
"We believe she'd find hope that, in this canonization process," says Sister Eileen McKenzie in the La Crosse Tribune article "US Bishops give former La Crosse Sister Thea Bowman unanimous nod toward sainthood" (at La Crosse Tribune.com), "there's continued movement toward racial equality."
In the CatholicPhilly.com article "Bishops give go-ahead to diocese's Sister Thea Bowman sainthood effort," Jackson, Mississippi Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz hails her as "an ambassador of Jesus Christ and an apostle of reconciliation." Read more at catholicphilly.com.
In an article dated Nov. 6, National Catholic Reporter reports that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, at its Nov. 12-14 meeting, will hold a voice vote for "the cause of canonization" for Sister Thea Bowman. Also during the meeting, according to the article, "The U.S. bishops' long-awaited pastoral letter against racism is in danger of being overshadowed by discussion of sex abuse." Click here to read more.
"No other one is coming. We need to find ways to imitate Thea." This quote, made by Father John Ford ("a longtime friend of the nun") and shared by The Tablet, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, shines brightly upon the case for canonization for Sister Thea Bowman. Visit the tablet.org to read more of "Granddaughter of Slaves, Possible Saint, Challenged Church Leaders."
On Oct. 31, cruxnow.com reported "Bishops to consider endorsing sainthood cause of Sister Thea Bowman," the "granddaughter of slaves and the only African-American Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration who transcended racism to leave a lasting mark on Catholic life in the United States in the late 20th century." The article includes a comment by Father Maurice Nutt: "Though not officially canonized, 'Sister Thea is canonized in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.'"
Public broadcasting station ideastream.org features the story "One-Woman Show Celebrates the Work of Sister Thea Bowman" about the Nov. 4 performance "A Sunday Soiree with Sister" at St. Noel Church in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. The show stars Sherrie Tolliver, who says in the ideastream interview "Perhaps most importantly, [Thea] became the public face and voice of advocating that African-Americans be recognized not only within the church but society in general." Click here to listen.
Visit The Catholic Spirit online and scroll to the last paragraph of the article to see how Sister Thea Bowman, for sainthood endorsement, has a seat on the agenda of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops general assembly in November.
Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly announced in August that Xavier University of Louisiana’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies “will become the new hub for the advancement of sainthood causes of African-American Catholics.” As a “ground-breaking black Catholic” who taught at the institute and who is also set to join four other individuals entering into its initial focus of canonization, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman is once again a prominent Xavier presence.
A writer of plays and two Franciscan Sisters -- Thea Bowman and Charlene Smith -- have made a debut of sorts together in a Sept. 2 edition of La Crosse Tribune. The article "Playwright: 'We need Sister Thea Bowman' in a troubled time" tells the back story of how nationally-renowned author Nathan Yungerberg, having grown up as a minority in La Crosse, has plans to put her legacy and his very personal experience with her to script for the stage. His process so far has included securing the blessing of Sister Charlene. In light of the "political and racial divisions" we are suffering, Nathan says in the article "I feel we need Thea back now ..."
The La Crosse Tribune published Bishops to give former La Crosse FSPA member Thea Bowman a boost toward sainthood in its Aug. 3 edition. "Bowman taught fifth and sixth grades at Blessed Sacrament School in La Crosse before going to Washington, D.C., to earn a doctorate at The Catholic University of America. In 1972, she came back to La Crosse to teach English and music at Viterbo University, where she also headed the English department and formed the Hallelujah Singers, a black student chorale, until she returned to Mississippi in 1978," the article states.
Global Catholic Sisters Report shared that "Sister Thea Bowman could start on the path toward becoming a saint in November, when the U.S. bishops are expected to approve her cause for sainthood at their biannual meeting, officials announced July 31." The story continues, "Four major black clergy and religious groups — the National Black Sisters Conference, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons and Spouses, and the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association — made the announcement July 31 along with the news that they will unite to advance the causes for sainthood for five African-American Catholics, with Bowman's expected to be added once the bishops approve.
Approval would allow the Vatican to officially begin the sainthood process and Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson, Mississippi, Bowman's home diocese, to appoint a tribunal to investigate whether Bowman lived a life of 'heroic virtue.'" Read Sr. Thea Bowman expected to be approved for sainthood path.
The Washington Post recently told this story of Former slave, on possible path to sainthood, to be entombed in Denver cathedral.l In that piece the author mentions six African Americans (including Thea Bowman, FSPA) and three former slaves also under review for sainthood.
Thea Bowman was a trailblazer in the United States. She worked zealously as a teacher and made a profound impact on the African-American community that endures to this day. Her life is an inspiration to many and recently the diocese of Jackson, Mississippi has begun investigating her life in a possible case for her canonization.
Read Philip Kosloski's article, "Meet Thea Bowman, granddaughter of a slave on the road to canonization"
It's been nearly 30 years since Sr. Thea Bowman famously declared to a gathering of the U.S. Catholic bishops that her "black self," with all the black songs, dances and traditions she'd imbibed while growing up in Canton, Mississippi, was a gift to the church. Read the full article from the March 19th Global Sisters Report here.
Sister Thea Bowman's cause for canonization
In February 2018, the Diocese of Jackson in Mississippi announced that it will begin researching the life, writings and works of Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman. This is the preliminary step to opening her cause for canonization but does not officially open her cause.
In 2017 Sister Thea was incorrectly identified as a Servant of God, with her cause for canonization open. This is incorrect information posted to Wikipedia and cited in a books and articles. Efforts have been made to correct the Wikipedia post.
At this time, FSPA supports the Diocese of Jackson's efforts by opening our archives as their research begins.
Samaritan's Catholic Ministry for Patients and Families - called Via Lucis - will be devoting its annual educational workshop to the inspiring life lessons of Sr. Thea Bowman with a program next Friday evening (February 23).
In addition to the intercultural bridges Sr. Thea blazed, her desire to live fully until she dies is very much the message that our hospice attempts to share with our five-county community. I have provided information about our program below. We ask your prayers for its success.
Celebrating Life’s Journey: The Lessons of Sister Thea Bowman Dinner, Emmy-award Winning Film, and Discussion Friday, February 23, 2018 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM St. John of God Community Services Gymnasium 1145 Delsea Drive Westville NJ 08093. https://www.eventbrite.
Sister Thea Bowman was the granddaughter of slaves, and the first black Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Her joyful ministry bridged racial and cultural divisions. Regarded as one of the most significant Catholic figures in modern history, this educator, evangelist, and gospel singer lived a life of impressive achievements in the Church, the civil rights movement, and society. Diagnosed with bone cancer in 1984, Sister Thea served as a role model for how to live fully through terminal illness until her death in 1990 at age 53 – and her example inspires us still.
Our program includes a screening of Almost Home: Living with Suffering and Dying followed by a facilitated discussion. This spiritually uplifting film shares Sister Thea’s personal experiences in her last years. Through her depth of spirituality and her gift for storytelling, she offers powerful lessons to guide our understanding of our mortality, so that we may live fully while preparing for the journey home to God with confidence and courage.
Panelists Marge McGinley (Panel Facilitator) – Virtua Chaplain; Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Chair of Formation Susan Baratta, R.N., C.H.P.N. – Samaritan Clinical Manager Betsi Bell, M.S.W., L.S.W. – Samaritan Social Worker Sister Jocelyn Edathil, M.D., Ph.D. (Bethany Sisters) – Temple University Hospital Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Reverend Gerard Marable, M.Div., Th.M. – Sacred Heart Parish Co-Pastor; Soul of Camden Founder Workshop Goals • To help people cope with their illnesses at the end of life, and understand that God will be with them through their journey • To help relatives and friends support the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of loved ones • To help those ministering to the needs of the sick provide culturally sensitive care.
This year, the Black Catholic Theological Symposium will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Sister Thea Bowman attended the first gathering at the motherhouse of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1978 where they focused on defining black theology and the distinct experience of being black in this country.
"The Franciscan Saints" by Robert Ellsberg, publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books. c.2017:
Robert Ellsberg broadens the traditional vision of sanctity and calls modern readers to claim their potential for moral and spiritual growth, courage and action. By choosing contemporary heroes, he makes holiness acessible and attractive to ordinary people. Among his contemporary heroes is Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990) who he calls "one of the great treasures of the American Catholic Church."
Closer inspection of the book's front cover shows Francis of Assisi, Solanus Casey, others, an African American woman in green gown . . . Thea.
"St. Anthony Messenger," October 2017:
A feature article "Meet the Franciscan Saints" by Robert Ellsberg tells the story of the Franciscan tradition that is filled with hold men and women, starting, of course, with Francis of Assisi. He writes, Each saint is a living Gospel. . . . But among them all, undoubtedly, St Francis of Assisi offers a special case. Ellsberg goes on to write about St. Clare, St. Bonaventure, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Roch and many others. A sidebar salutes "Modern Saints" and others on the path to sainthood: St. Damien, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, St. Marian Cope, Capuchin friar Solanus Casey, Sister Thea Bowman."
In the editorial "Rolling Up Our Sleeves Against Racism" in same issue, editor-in-chief, John Feister â€‹recalls, that "Sister Thea Bowman FSPA who died in 1990, used to speak of our need to love one another, 'black, red, yellow, and brown'. The fact that someone was mobilized to preach that message, not only in her home in the Mississippi Delta but also in places all over the country, is a big clue that we had a long way to do. Decades after some of us thought is was over, there is still a long way to go."
Boston College Department of Theology has released the syllabus for the fall 2017 semester course "Introduction to the African Fathers and Mothers of the Church: from the post-Apostolic period through the Councilof Nicea (A.D. 325), and to Saint Bakhita of the Sudan and Sister Thea Bowman." The lives, writings, and teachings of the African Church Fathers and Mothers will be studied in the context of their times, through lectures, readings, films, and discussion.
Viterbo University's Fine Arts Center recital hall has been named Starling Recital Hall for alumna and former Sister Thea Bowman student Nola (Starling) Ratliff (reports “La Crosse Tribune”). The honor follows a gift designated to support a scholarship, promoting diversity, in Thea's name.
Sister Charlene Smith will present “Thea’s Song,” announces the American Association of University Women’s La Crosse Branch, to members of the organization on , at FSC. Information is available in AAUW’s February 2017 issue of The Current.
In the Winter 2016 issue of The Franciscan Reporter, “The Shining Light in East St. Louis” is Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School. “Our students have opportunities that simply do not exist for most East St. Louis children. A strong culture blends respect, Catholic values and peacemaking skills” and the many strong academic studies “have been enhanced with the expressive arts of song, dance and violin.” Extended Day programs like Chess Club and Dream Team and “the support of many” help to ensure “our Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School remains a strong and viable Catholic presence in East St. Louis.” Click here to read the full article.
Stories from the recipients of the Sister Thea Bowman scholarship, featured in the Winter 2017 issue of the Sister Thea Bowman Newsletter, shine light on the fact that these students are not just recipients of the scholarship; they are family to the Sister Thea Bowman Foundation. “The Foundation offers love and hope to these students in the same way a family does by providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. What motivates the foundation is love – love for the students it supports despite the challenges they have encountered or the circumstances from which they come.” The love shines through in the students’ stories.
With “storytelling, testimonials, music, a portrait unveiling, and the dedication of a bronze memorial plaque in honor of the African-American nun who left a lasting mark on the congregation,” there will be a celebration of Sister Thea Bowman’s life at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 15. Holy Cross is a parish Sister Thea visited many times in the 80s and she remains in the heart of the church, in the spirit of the people there. “Sister Thea spoke up at a time when African-American Catholics didn’t have a voice,” said Vicki Mathews, a long-time Holy Cross parishioner and choir member. “She inspired us to be proud of our black heritage and the gifts we bring. We started singing more from our traditions and feeling freer about expressing ourselves.” The day of honoring Sister Thea’s legacy at Holy Cross will include a 5 p.m. Mass with a tribute by her “long-time friend” Sister Anita Baird, DHM; a liturgy of new music composed by Dr. Aaron Matthews to her muse; and a program for children who will take her inspiration to the future, created and presented by Sister Roberta Fulton, S.S.M.N. To read more about Sister Thea's life, the legacy of Black Catholicism she gifted Holy Cross and the joy to be given on Oct. 15 by those inspired by her click here.
Sister Thea Bowman has linked two women inspired to share her legacy: Stacy Williams, a pastoral associate at St. Malachy Parish in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Mary Queen Donnelly, playwright and friend to Sister Thea. Stacy wrote to Mary of a Thea Bowman conference sponsored by St. Malachy “to celebrate the gifts African American Catholics bring to the Church,” out of which “came the need and desire to discuss diversity from a Sister Thea perspective. We are now polling those who knew her best to share with us Sister Thea’s philosophy on how diversity should work.”
Mary replied in the essay “Two lives converge” beginning with their upbringings in Canton, Mississippi: “Thea in her African American culture, and I in the segregated-divided town typical of the Deep South.” Of the decision to become a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Mary reflects that Sister Thea “paved the way for a journey that would evolve into an appreciation of the contributions of a multicultural and diverse society.”
Click here to read the rest of Mary’s essay.
Exciting news. "Thea’s Turn" by Mary Donnelly is now available for licensing through stagerights.com!
Visit the show’s page here.
Currently only a digital perusal is available for purchase through the site. The printed perusal and acting edition will be added to the store as soon as they’re available.
Looking forward to getting this show out to theaters!
March 14, 2016
The Catholic Voice, Oakland CA
Sister Thea resounded again, four days later, in the Diocese of Oakland, California’s The Catholic Voice. In observation of Black History Month, she was honored in an address given by Reverend Bryan Massingale, STD, (Marquette University theologian and professor) as part of “a long and proud history … of people who have stood up for justice … because of their faith.” Yet for her progressive “ministry of understanding and love” and the country’s election of “the nation’s first black president” he declared “our shameful past is not past.” Read the article and more of Father Massingale’s message: “We are still here because of God’s grace.”
March 10, 2016
Tidings, on line as The Angelus, Diocese of Los Angeles
Sister Thea Bowman recently radiated through a historian, a Felician Franciscan and the article “Change of habit: The struggle of African American sisters in the U.S.” (published in the March 10 issue of Angelus: The Tidings Online). She shines through the story as a black woman religious who did not leave FSPA after Vatican II; who was “stumbled” upon as such nine years ago by a Rutgers University grad student who’s written the book Subversive Habits: Black Nuns and the Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America; who is now known to a young religious sister (interviewed for the book) describing herself as previously “oblivious” to prejudice within the Church, who came away from the conversation “dumbfounded to learn about the bedrock discrimination and outright racial loathing against African American women by white religious communities.”
March 4-5, 2016
Sister Thea Bowman Conference
The Sister Thea Bowman Conference was held to honor its namesake in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stacey Williams, a conference planner reports that Deborah Pembleton, Ph.D. and Reverend R. Tony Ricard (both highly touted by Sister Charlene Smith) presented. Discussion included African American Spirituality, Music, Movement and Storytelling. Mass, featuring Philadelphia’s African American Choir and African American Dance Ministry, was celebrated at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church.
February 16, 2016
In recognition of Black History Month, Sister Thea was featured on Catholic Charities USA Facebook page. Sister Thea was praised for teaching us “how to bridge racial and cultural divisions throughout society.” See the post here. You can read more about the woman gifted with a brilliant mind, a beautiful voice and a dynamic personality here.
NBCC Black Catholic Newsletter | November / December 2015
Remembering Sr. Thea, “Teaching Scripture with the Spirituals” by Michael P. Howard, MA.
If Sr. Thea Bowman was living today, she would be seventy-eight years old. Embedded in this soul sister were several gifts that she freely gave to her community. She was an educator, actress and singer who had a profound effect on many in this world. One of her friends commented that she made you happy to be alive. In my own experience while attending the Black Catholic Congress in Washington D.C., she told me to “always feel free to express God’s gifts to the church.” Of all the readings by Sr. Thea that I have read and listened to, her lesson on teaching the Scripture with spirituals remains deeply rooted in me.
“Within the African American experience,” writes Father Maurice Nutt, “once something is deemed ‘good news’ it does not remain a secret, it must be told.” This is why he writes about Sister Thea Bowman in his Aug. 28 My Daily Journal blog “We are called to Evangelize.” According to Father Maurice, her virtuous proclamation to American bishops through her voice and “black teaching style at its best … was a call to conversion … the first step toward justice.”
June 11, 2015
Brother Mickey O'Neill McGrath, OSFS, will be presenting "This Little Light - a Celebration of Beauty through the Life of Sister Thea Bowman" at St. Columba Church in Oakland, CA, tonight at 7 p.m. Read more.
May 2015 - Presence
How do you honor the bright light that is Sister Thea Bowman? You plan for five years. You gather her friends (who are really good storytellers). You encourage an artist to get inspired. You enlist the Viterbo University Concert Choir. And, “Just like Sister Thea, [you] let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” That’s what happened March 29 and 30, as friends came together to honor the 25th anniversary of Sister Thea Bowman’s homegoing. Read the article here.
Brother Mickey McGrath unveiled “Brother Sun, Sister Thea” (pictured at right) during Mass on March 30. His inspiration: the humble meal shared between Saints Francis and Clare, where, while speaking about God, people for many miles observed a bright, fiery glow. Prints are available at www.bromickeymcgrath.com.
Pax Christi, in its May 18 reflection emailed to subscribers, features Sister Thea Bowman. Visit Pax Christi to view that reflection.
Viterbo University's Spring 2015 edition of Strides magazine featured Brother Mickey McGrath’s stunning painting “This Little Light of Mine” on the cover as well as four additional pages and many photos dedicated to “Sr. Thea Bowman: Shooting Star Across the Viterbo Horizon.” Read the article here.
April 30, 2015
Spring 2015 (March/April)
“Her ‘Little Light’ Shines Big,” an article in the Spring 2015 issue of Catholic Extension, celebrates the anniversary of Sister Thea Bowman’s death. “With Words and song,” she “brought people together to understand and appreciate that we are all people of God.” The feature goes on to highlight her life as a “Student and Educator,” “Bridge builder,” and “Leader.”
La Crosse Area Visitor featured Sister Thea Bowman and the events held to honor the anniversary of her homegoing.
April 16, 2015
In pictures of the Viterbo University Concert Choir, Mary Lou Jennings, and Brother Mickey McGrath and Father Maurice Nutt, published with a feature story authored by Jane Comeau, the April 16 issue of The Catholic Times celebrates Sister Thea’s anniversary events. “Today, FSPA continue to recognize the many ways in which Sister Thea’s spirit continues to move people to find their deepest humanity” concludes the article.
The Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation celebrated its nineteenth annual scholarship dinner at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Attendees celebrated 25 years of serving, supporting and educating African American youth in America. View the Sister Thea Bowman Black Educational Foundation dinner program.
April 8, 2015
Father Maurice J. Nutt, CSsR - new blog site features article on the courage of Sister Thea Bowman. Check it out.
April 5, 2015
Thea Bowman is passing through the south and the east upon the anniversary of her homegoing. Jackson, Mississippi’s The Clarion-Ledger published an article announcing the reprisal of “Thea’s Turn” this coming weekend. Mary Queen Donnelly was interviewed and says that on the eve of death Thea’s insistence she write the play “… was like she wanted to be back on stage.”
April 2, 2015
Catholic publication The Boston Pilot picked up the April 1 CNS article “Sister Bowman’s presence, energy recalled 25 years after her death” and ran it last week, leaving her legacy in Massachusetts.
April 1, 2015
Sister Bowman's presence, energy recalled 25 years after her death - a wonderful article on Thea Bowman from Catholic News Service.
March 20, 2015
Mississippi Catholic published a litany of links to articles of all things Thea including “Let us love one another,” a Holy Week reflection (reportedly her last) dictated to Sister Dorothy Ann Kundinger FSPA.
“A Bridge over Troubled Water.” Such symbolism, illustrating Sister Thea Bowman and announcing the events to celebrate her homegoing, was published in the March 2015 issue of Klutch: Culture and Entertainment in the Coulee Region. “Besides being an extremely dedicated, religious woman, she was vibrant, spontaneous and alive,” says Sister Charlene Smith in the article. “That’s what drew people to her.” Read the article, that includes celebration information, here.
March 5, 2015
The March 5 issue of The Catholic Times announces that FSPA is “to celebrate life of Sister Thea Bowman.” The article, authored by Jane Comeau, introduces Sister Thea who, as “a black woman, worked with people of all races to help them see their own lives in a new light.” The story shares excerpts from Sister Charlene Smith’s book "Thea’s Song: The Life of Thea Bowman" about the influence of Thea’s teaching in both La Crosse and Canton, Mississippi; information about the upcoming events commemorating her legacy; and a quote from Thea herself: “But if each one would light a candle we’d have a tremendous light.” View the article here.
March 3, 2015
La Crosse Tribune recently paid tribute to the life, legacy and celebration soon to come: the 25th anniversary of Sister Thea’s homegoing. She was “The first black Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and the granddaughter of a slave,” reads the article that announces the anniversary events of this month, further describing her as “an intellectual giant, a star, a modern mystic, a prophet and ‘Mother Teresa with soul.’” Sister Charlene Smith echoes those sentiments in the story: “She was a star, a thoroughbred, a life force.” Read the article (that includes details of upcoming events) here
Feb. 26 - Two Friends of Thea interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio.
For the upcoming 25th anniversary of her homegoing and celebration of her legacy, WPR’s Newsmakers honored Sister Thea Bowman on Thursday, Feb. 26. Host Maureen McCollum interviewed Sister Patricia Tekippe, FSPA, and former Thea Canton, MS, student Dr. Deborah Pembleton. You can listen to the interview and find more information about Thea events, coming in March.
Black History Month 2015
In honor of Black History Month, National Black Catholic Congress is sharing an image collection from Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries. Sister Thea Bowman graces the compilation. To view the collection click here. To see Sister Thea, enter “Thea Bowman” in the search bar at the upper left-hand corner of the page (then click on the photo for a description).
"No feeble worship"
From Michael Kwatera, OSB, St. John's Abbey, Collegeville MN, St. Cloud Catholic Diocese, here is lovely article (Feb. 2015) about Sister Thea and African American worship. Here is Sister Thea talking about "No feeble worship" Read it here.
During an evening celebration of black music at a national convention of pastoral musicians, Sister Thea quoted an elderly black woman named “Blind Singing Lizzie.”
I met Lizzie during my visit to Sister Thea in her hometown of Canton, Miss., in the 1980s. Lizzie declared that “You have to love the Lord God with your whole mind, your whole soul, your whole heart. You don’t bring no feeble worship before the Lord!”
Figures of Faith Preside Over Birder Hall
From St. Norbert's College, De Pere, WI, read the story about the Sister Thea statue in the February issue of their monthly e-newsletter. Read it here.
Address at St. Columba Church, Sister Thea Bowman, Shooting Star
Sister Thea Bowman had this to say about the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple:
"It is fitting that we call to mind black history and present the legacy of black life to God on this Feast of the Presentation. Like Mary and Joseph, we are doing today what the wisdom of our cultural and faith traditions have told us to do, for we live at a time in human history when it is clear that we need to remember the heritage that lives on is us. ...
"It didn't matter to Mary and Joseph that when they got to the temple, it was only a simple old man and a feeble old woman who recognized the presence of God in their child. They didn't need the recognition of the high priest or the approval of the chief magistrate to know that Jesus was a gift from God.
"It seems to me that our ancestors had a 'Mary and Joseph way of looking at things.' It didn't matter to our ancestors that their children were born in the stable of a hostile society. They shared their belief in a God who could make a way out of no way. ...
"God has spoken to the world through us. He has made himself present to the world through us. So we gather in God's house, just as Mary and Joseph did, to give praise with our thanksgiving. Knowing the wisdom of our ancestors who did with us what Mary and Joseph had done, we present our history and our lives before the altar and say thank you to God."
Sister Thea sculpture carved, homegoing event plans taking shape
St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin, recently opened a new performance venue, Birder Hall, in an old church. In preparation for a mission and heritage permanent display, staff is getting ready to install four carved sculptures of individuals from Christianity who represent the arts: King David, St. Hildegard von Bingham,C.S. Lewis, and Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman.
In addition to the sculpture, hand-carved from solid limewood by the Albl family of Oberammergau, Germany, a quote from Sister Thea and her biography will hang on the heritage wall. “If each one of us would light the candle, we’ve got a tremendous light,” reads Sister Thea’s quote.
Reminder to mark your calendars: FSPA, together with the Franciscan Spirituality Center, will honor the 25th anniversary of Sister Thea’s homegoing during a series of events starting March 15 and culminating March 30 during Mass at 10:30 in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Visit www.fspa.org/theabowman for event details.
Photos and information courtesy of Drew Van Fossen, St. Norbert College
November/December 2014 - NBCC Black Catholic Newsletter
November - Black Catholic History Month
Sister Thea Bowman is highlighted in impressive BCHM resource circulated by US Catholic Bishops Conference. See Black Catholic Role Model (p.2) and a Modern Day Saint (p.6).
Read document here.
I'm Going Home Like a Shooting Star! The Legacy of Sr. Thea Bowman by Jill A. Boughton. Read it here.
Sister Marcia Ternas, FSE, alerts us to a group of women known as One Spirit One Call (OSOC) who will celebrate Sister Thea Bowman at their annual event June 8th, St. Charles Parish in Portland, OR. Their goal is to build connections between women of different parishes. The event focuses on a holy woman (Thea) to support their efforts to build connections.
Artist Michael McGrath has wonderful piece on Thea as a Phenomenal Woman on his Facebook page posted May 30. "We all mourn the passing of Maya Angelou, a woman of wisdom and grace. William T. Ditewig remembers another woman of wisdom and grace, Thea Bowman."
Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation 18th Annual Sponsorship Dinner
April 4-6, 2014
Artist Mickey McGrath gives presentations on Sister Thea Bowman in the Diocese of Jackson. Read article from Mississippi Catholic and view new Thea painting here.
March 31, 2014 - "Let Your Light Shine" by Br. Mickey McGrath
March 2014 - Sister Thea is featured in the March 2014 issue of Give Us This Day-a new, personal prayer periodical from Liturgical Press-a trusted publisher of liturgy, Scripture and spirituality founded by the Benedictines of Saint John's Abbey in 1926. Deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, Give Us This Day, is about prayer: praying daily, praying well, praying with confidence. Read Thea feature "Blessed Among Us" here.
Thea's Turn in New York City
Mary Queen Donnelly, author and childhood friend of Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990), sends this exciting news from the Dramatists Guild.
A staged reading of Thea's Turn, a full-length drama based on the life of Sister Thea Bowman, will take place at the recently renovated Jesuit St. Francis Xavier Church, 46 West 16th Street, New York City, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. The reading is directed by Gerald Glackin and sponsored by the Lay Spirituality Program of St. Francis Xavier Church NYC. Public is invited. Admission free.
For more information: Thea's Turn, featured on page 8 in Spring 2012 FSPA Perspectives magazine, includes colorful photos and playwright Mary Queen Donnelly's comments on the October 2011 production in New Orleans, La.
November 2013 - Sister Thea Bowman was honored at liturgy at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh. Read the articles:
- Pittsburgh Catholic article
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette article
- National Black Catholic Congress Newsletter article
- Thea honored at Celebratory Mass
A new review of the book Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line by Christopher Pramuk graces the National Catholic Reporter’s Aug. 21 issue. In paragraph 3, Sister Thea Bowman is showcased with Martin Luther King, Jr. as an activist. Read the article here.
America July 29-August 5, 2013
Anthony J. Pogorelc
New book, Hope Sings, So Beautiful by Christopher Pramuk, features Sister Thea Bowman. Read the review here.
As everyone was scrambling for information after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, CNN announced that “a dark-skinned individual” was seen leaving the area. Recently, in an article on wealth in the United States, The New York Times reported that white families are about six times as wealthy as black and Hispanic families. There is a color line. It divides people and is an obstacle to social justice. Christopher Pramuk, a theology professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, invites us to face the complexities of race in the United States with truthfulness and hope.
Thea Bowman, FSPA, believed Catholicism had the power to forge empathetic relationships across the color line.
- May 19, 2013 - Thea awards to acknowledge African American women
- April 11, 2013
- February 24, 2013
In its Feb. 24, 2013 issue, the La Crosse Tribune included the article “Local roots: artists and entertainers with ties to La Crosse.”
Sister Thea Bowman was among them. The feature introduces her and the others in short biographies compiled by former UW-L English professor Richard Boudreau. Go to the online edition of the Tribune article and select Sister Thea’s name to view hers (and the same for the others).
- January 11, 2013
Carol Baass Sowa, staff writer for San Antonio, Texas' Today's Catholic, wrote: "I did not know her, but had reviewed a smaller book on her some years back by Brother Michael McGrath (This Little Light of Mine Lessons in Living from Sister Thea Bowman, Orbis Books, 2008), which I passed on to my granddaughter, so was excited to see your more detailed book on her wonderful life show up here at Today’s Catholic so I could read and review it too."
Read her meticulous review of Thea's Song here.
- Nov Dec 2012 National Catholic Chaplains' publish a review of Thea's Song.
Bruce Aquilar, BCC titled his review of the Thea biography by Charlene Smith, FSPA, and John Feister, "Biography tells the story of the amazing Sister Thea who shared her gifts through story and song"
This biography reads like a novel – the story of young Bertha, a young black girl from Canton, MS, who at age 15 makes a decision to commit herself to a new life in a faraway place, leaving her beloved home and family. Along the way, she falls in love with the work of a fellow Southerner, William Faulkner, becomes a teacher, studies further in our nation’s capital and visits Europe.
Increasingly exhausted by terminal cancer, this woman perseveres to share her gifts through words and song with many, both in her church and across the land. Bertha became Sister Thea, (whose mother, a teacher, was Episcopalian and whose father, the town doctor, was Methodist), one of the most inspiring Roman Catholic nuns of the 20th century United States.
Read it here.
- December 12, 2012. Thank You, Sisters!
John Feister (with Charlene Smith, FSPA, co-author of Thea's Song) describes his new book, Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives. Read it here. Very nice! Included will be a piece by Fr. Maurice Nutt about Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990). The book will be released in February 2013
- November 22, 2012
Sister Thea Bowman was featured as a “person who has inspired me to let my light shine” in the Nov. 22 issue of the Madison, Wisconsin, Catholic Herald. Recalling an event the reporter Jeff Hedglen attended at age 16, he wrote, “She [Sister Thea] sang slow and sweet, calm and powerful, inviting and engaging, soothing and challenging, all at the same time. It was a moment I have never forgotten.” Read the article here.
- October 15, 2012. "The Joy of Sister Thea Bowman (1937-1990)" by Pat McNamara.
Dr. Pat McNamara is a Professor of Church History at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie. He blogs about American Catholic History at McNamara's Blog.
- October 2012
Thea in Green. Sister Thea Bowman was mentioned in Michael McGrath’s article Faith Circles: Making a mandala with paint and paper (America Magazine, Oct. 22, 2012).
In the section titled Circle of Soul Friends, Michael wrote, “I painted this trio of favorite saints and heroes (Blessed John XXIII, St. Francis de Sales, Sister Thea Bowman), prophets who read the signs of their troubled times and led the way to reform through joyful optimism against all odds.” Full story (and view Michael’s mandala) here.
- The August 3, 2012, edition of Busted Halo, the online magazine for spiritual seekers, featured Sister Thea Bowman. An interesting sidebar to the story included tips to “Stay Fit with Sister Thea.” Read it at http://bustedhalo.com/blogs/sister-thea-bowman-living-joyfully.
- July 2012. Diane Donovan and James Cox, editors at Midwest Book Review, Oregon, Wisconsin (near Madison), recommend Thea's Song: The Life of Thea Bowman by Charlene Smith and John Feister as one of three selections for The Christian Studies Shelf in midwest libraries. The biography is powerful on many levels and assures that Thea's life and contributions won't be forgotten. Read the review here.
- June 2012. Todd Flowerday of Catholic Sensibility writes: As the USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom continues, we take an alternative track here. I’ve been promising more voices, and today, guest blogger Fran Rossi Szpylczyn contributes a stirring testimony for a stirring woman of our times.
No review of worthy women of our church can exclude the woman who would not be excluded at any cost – Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA. A woman religious who stated that she wanted to “go home like a shooting star,” she also lived that way; her life was like a blazing tale of God’s glory, against the sky of her life.
Read Fran Rossi Szpylczyn's essay here.
- June 2012 Midwest Book Review touts Thea's Song: The Life of Thea Bowman as a strong pick for library biography collections focusing on the Civil Rights era and those who tried to make a difference. Read the review here.
- June 10, 2012. “What’s the 411?” With Sharon Kay”
Sister Charlene Smith and John Feister are scheduled as guests on the radio show “What’s the 411?” With Sharon Kay.” The program will air Sunday, June 10, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. CST. Sharon will interview Sister Charlene and John about their book, Thea’s Song.
What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay airs live on 88.1FM WFSK Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.
- May 25, 2012 From The Tidings, Los Angeles CA. Read the article here.
Targeting youth: The Sister Thea Bowman Music Academy
- May 5, 2012. From the National Federation of Priests Council
In Thea’s Song: The Life of Thea Bowman, Sr. Charlene Smith, FSPA and John Feister write a moving chronology of an African American woman born into a Protestant family of freed slaves, went on to join the Catholic Church, become a religious Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, obtain a Ph.D. in English and founded the National Black Sisters Conference.
Perhaps an excerpt from the Introduction best tells about Thea Bowman’s life and why this volume is important: “In the years after the peak of the civil rights movement, in the 1960s and especially in the 1980s, as the nation grappled with the questions of racial identity and equality, hers became a mesmerizing presence wherever she went . . . . Through music and reflection, she helped people everywhere she went to explore their identity and to find their deepest humanity.”
Available for $18.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0302. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.maryknollmall.org.
- Recent reviews of Thea's Song The Life of Thea Bowman.
--Myja Thibault, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., wrote review of Thea biography for American Catholic Studies, the publication of the American Catholic Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pa.
--Savanah Jones, editor, www.SirReadaLot.org, Chapel Hill, N.C., published Thea's Song review in the biography section. Sir Read aLot had also reviewed the biography in 2010.
- Thea's Turn, a play about Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990), by Mary Queen Donnelly.
--Thea's Turn article written by Jen Pick was featured in spring 2012 FSPA Perspectives magazine. Includes colorful photos and playwright Mary Queen Donnelly's take on the October 2011 production in New Orleans, La.
- University of Mississippi reprises 33-minute video of Sister Thea Bowman at their annual international William Faulkner conferences at Oxford, Miss. Highlights from Thea's presentations (1980-1989) are excerpted. Includes Thea singing. Watch her hit an amazing high note at the 1989 conference. See portrait artist Marshall Bouldin finishing his ubiquitous portrait of Thea in her Canton, Miss., home.
--Are You Walkin' With Me? Video is shown in Southern Studies program at Ole Miss each year.
"Are you walkin with me?" Sister Thea Bowman on Vimeo 32:36 (vimeo.com/11113853 - Apr 21, 2010)
At the end of the video, Mike Wallace, CBS 60 Minutes, recalls: "She had the remarkable quality of bringing people together. Black and white. Catholics, Protestants and Jewish. Kids and oldsters. I don't want to . . . I am reluctant to say too much because it will make it sound better than life, but it is pretty hard to go much better than that about Thea Bowman. She was just a remarkable individual."
- "Let Us Love One Another during Holy Week" - The Final Wisdom of Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-+1990)
Sister Thea Bowman was mentioned in an April 1 blog entry by St. Malachi Parish, Cleveland, Ohio. Blogger Father Tony Schuerger writes, “Sr. Thea Bowman was a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (F.S.P.A.). She helped found the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans and was instrumental in the preparation and publication of the American Black Catholic Hymnal, Lead Me, Guide Me.”
- March 27, 2012 - Sister Thea Bowman 16th Annual Scholarship Dinner. View photos here.
- February 2012 – Black History Month - Soul Food Sampler/Sister Thea Bowman Sampler
On Feb. 26, the Soul Food Sampler, long a tradition at St. Peter Claver Parish in St. Paul, Minn., during Black History Month, will be held in conjunction with a very special event in our parish hall following the 10:00 Gospel Choir Mass and Soul Food buffet. We will be having a guest speaker this year. (Many of you will remember the wonderful speakers we had following the inauguration of President Obama at a previous Sampler.) We are excited to have Sister Charlene Smith give a presentation on Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990). Sister Charlene entered the convent at the same time as Sister Thea and co-authored the book Thea’s Song the Life of Thea Bowman.
--View photos and read article by Rita Mae Fischer, FSPA, St. Peter Claver Annual Soul Food Sampler.
--View photos and read article by Patricia Tekippe, FSPA, “Soul Food Sampler”
- The February 5, 2012, issue of Our Sunday Visitor features a four page article on the "History of African American Catholics." The story of African American Catholics is one of discrimination and strife, but ultimately the deep faith of religious and laity alike has prevailed. Sister Thea Bowman is highlighted with African American Converts to Catholicism including Mary Lou Williams and Alex Jones.
- Jan. 16, 2012, issue of the National Catholic Register: The article "Black and Catholic" profiles three black clergymen. One of the men, Josephite Father Anthony Bozeman, lists Sister Thea Bowman as one of his heroes. Read the article here.
- October 31, 2011
Tom Thibodeau and the Religious Leadership in a Diverse World seminar group came to the Franciscan Spirituality Center Halloween evening to explore the biography Thea's Song the Life of Thea Bowman. Left photo in the center is author Charlene Smith, FSPA. Second photo shows group learning about the Thea Collection in FSPA Heritage Department.
- Play at Dominican Shines Light on Sister Thea Bowman
Mary Queen Donnelly, teenage friend of Thea Bowman, wrote Thea's Turn, a play about Thea. It was produced at Xavier University, New Orleans and in Jackson, MS in 2008-2009.
Thea's Turn is the story of Sister Thea Bowman, an African American Protestant born and raised in the deep South. At age 15, she joins the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, an all white Catholic community in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Soon her native culture and the culture of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church clash. The play depicts how the conflict resolves.
The weekend of Oct. 14-15-16, 2011, Thea's Turn will be produced in New Orleans, at St. Mary's Dominican High School.
The play won 2nd place in the national Eudora Welty New Play Series. You might remember in 1990, Mary wrote the popular and often-cited article about Thea's funeral in America Magazine-the first time a black woman ever appeared on their cover.
- Tom Roberts, NCR editor-at-large, new book, The Emerging Catholic Church, Orbis Books, 2011 showcases Thea’s 1989 address to the U. S. Bishops in Chapter One. He ends his book (p. 194) with this perceptive tribute to her:
Perhaps our future vision of heroic priests ought to take its cue from someone like Sr. Thea Bowman, a humble hero who holds a mirror up to our complexity. Sometimes we’ll do things her way, sometimes ours. Thea, great granddaughter of a slave, who understands better than most the messy reality of sin and redemption, of being both out and in, who knows how porous religious borders can be, who can even when dressing us down with a smile, convince us to cross arms and find a common song.
The church, she said, “is a family of families, and the family got to stay together.” And in that family, let no one feel like a motherless child.
- August 2011 issue of The Priest magazine featured a 4-page article “Thea Bowman: Soulful Mystic” by Victor M. Parachin. Topics included: A Methodist in a Catholic School, Loving Environment, Back Home in Canton and Spiritual Roots. Reverend Parachin, an ordained minister, is a freelance writer and author of several books, including Lessons from the Living From the 23rd Psalm.
- Another award for Thea’s Song the Life of Thea Bowman.
More good news from Robert Ellsberg, Publisher, Orbis Books:
The Catholic Press Association has honored Thea's Song with a Second Place Award for Biography: "A unique tone of love pervades this warm and beautiful story of a dynamic black girl who became a religious sister when our church was radically divided, and helped lead us all into a more open, Christ-like church today."
Congratulations! Perfect lead-in to the paperback.
- Highlights from the Christopher Awards ceremony in New York, May 19th. FSPA and Sister Thea Bowman were liberally lauded at the event. Read Sister Charlene Smith's comments on the ceremony and view her photos.
- www.facebook.com/TheChristophers#!/TheChristophers for video, article and many photos from the awards event on their facebook page.
To view photo gallery scroll to The Christophers added 24 new photos to the album 2011 Christopher Awards. Photos courtesy Paul Schneck and Carol Gretter.
- Honoring Christ-Bearers - Catholic New York
A glance in another direction spots Sister Charlene Smith, F.S.P.A., and John Feister, co-authors of Thea's Song: The Life of Thea Bowman.
- Religion Books Among Those Earning Christopher Awards (See photo with Charlene Smith, et al.)
Books by popular Catholic author and Jesuit priest James Martin and biographer Eric Metaxas were among those honored at the 62nd Christopher Awards given at a banquet in New York on May 19.
- A new book from Orbis Books, The Art of Dying and Living by Kerry Washington, features Sister Thea Bowman. - pdf
- 15th Annual Thea Foundation Scholarship Dinner, April 14, 2011 - pdf
- On March 10, 2011, the Christophers confirmed that “Thea’s Song” by Charlene Smith and John Feister has been selected to receive a Christopher Award in the Books for Adults category at the 62nd annual Christopher Awards ceremony. The awards will be presented on Thursday evening, May 19, 2011, in New York City. See all winners in full article, "Award Winners Highlight the Power of Faith, Courage and Action."
- Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990) was featured in the Education section of the March 5 through May 22, 2011, Spirited Women of La Crosse exhibit at the Swarthout Museum in La Crosse, Wisconsin. See photos below. The exhibit highlights how a group of independent American women has shaped the La Crosse community in the areas of health care, education and fine arts.
- In Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question, national best-selling author Michael Leach offers answers to this question. He introduces inspiring Catholics who can make a big difference in people's faith. Chapter 28 features Sister Thea Bowman.
- Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy is named for Franciscan nun
It was a day of celebration for the 277 students of the newly formed Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy as Bishop David Zubik formally blessed the Wilkinsburg school. The school is a merger (August 2010) of Holy Rosary School in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood and St. James in Wilkinsburg.
- Speaker focuses on life of nun considered for sainthood
The Huntington, West Virginia, Herald Dispatch reported that “On Sunday [Feb. 27], St. Peter Claver welcomed Philly-based artist, writer and speaker Michael "Mickey" O'Neill McGrath to share [Sister Thea Bowman’s] legacy.”
- "It's black history all year at museum in Canton" Feb. 19, 2011 Clarion Ledger, Jackson, MS.
The ClarionLedger.com reported that It’s black history month all year at museum in Canton. The article mentions that a portion of the Canton Multicultural Center and Museum honors Sister Thea Bowman, “the first known African-American nun from Canton. Her personal artifacts, clothing and pictures are visible around the museum.” “Sister Thea was very important to me in that she was Catholic and she never forgot her roots," said one museum committee member.
- "Who is Sister Thea?" by Vanessa Barnes, Houston, TX
- The Gulf Coast Catholic blog included Sister Thea in a February 15, 2011 entry. Author Vanessa Barnes’ entry, Who is Sr. Thea Bowman, describes Sister Thea as a “servant of God and young convert to the Catholic faith best known for energizing the African-American Catholic in America.” Vanessa adds, “I owe a large part of my Catholic tenacity to Sr. Thea as I was blessed to witness in person, her witty, powerful and soulful musings about her faith in God and her love for the Catholic Church. Whenever she was in or near the Houston area I was there. She fed me spiritually at a time when my perception was that people of color were far from ordinary in the Catholic Church. Her presence, her delivery, her faith was infectious; oh how I miss what she shared!
- The entry also included a YouTube clip of Sister Thea’s funeral.
- Pharmacy named in honor of Sister Thea
Duquesne University School of Pharmacy established a Center for Pharmacy Sevices in Pittsburgh's Hill District (low income) at One Hope Square, 1901 Centre Avenue. Named it in honor of Sister Thea Bowman! Dedication Feb. 18th. A large framed print of Houston, TX, artist Tony Bryant's painting of Thea will be hung in the center. A reception immediately followed the dedication.
- Concert to benefit Thea Bowman House of Prayer
Heart parish in Camden, NJ is hosting "All Woman Concert" for women and the men who love them -- on Mar. 6th. Proceeds go to Thea Bowman House of Prayer and Women's Spirituality in Camden. Artist Michael McGrath did whimsical poster. (beestill.org). It's on the front page. Several holy gals associated with social justice issues, enjoying tea party -- Mary, Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, Kateri, Therese of Lisieux, Harriet Tubman, et al.
- What makes a fast-track saint?
- Attached is editorial cartoon in Feb 4, 2011, National Catholic Reporter featuring Bowman, Chavez, Day, John XXIII, Romero.
- Informative article published in National Catholic Reporter Feb. 4, 2011. "With beatification of John Paul II, what makes a 'fast-track' saint?"
- Sister Thea Bowman continues in good company. A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration just off the press by Orbis Books includes two selections from Thea, one for April 1st and another for October 5th.
Sister Thea Bowman is featured in On A Journey Together, a process of evangelization and renewal in the Des Moines Diocese. In preparing to celebrate their centennial in 2011, Bishop Richard Pates, says, “This book will guide us making Christ known and loved as we choose to live the Gospel in every moment.” Chapter 4, “The Vocation of the Ordained and Vowed,” highlights three holy persons: Joseph Cardinal Bernadin, Sister Thea Bowman (pp. 39-42) and Teresa of Avila. Readers are asked: How does Jesus speak to me in the lives of Joseph, Thea and Teresa? What surprises me about their lives? What do they teach me about loving others and becoming a whole person?
Sister Thea Bowman’s 1989 address to the U.S. bishops is included in Preaching With Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons, 1750 to the Present. Of note, Thea is the ONLY Catholic included in the anthology. 960 pages.
Two schools consolidate to form Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.
A review of Thea's Song - "Every word," she said, "was uttered in love" by Mary Queen Donnelly. Mississippi Catholic, Sep.17, 2010.
Sister Thea Bowman Foundation 2010 Graduates
Sister Thea Bowman interview featured on the National Catholic Reporter (click on "powerful stuff") and Beliefnet.com blogs July-August 2010. On July 30 and August 1, 2010, bloggers featured an interview with Sister Thea Bowman, "Let me live until I die," from U.S. Catholic 1990, as the topic for their spiritual blogs.
Encounter with sister was 'unforgettable' by Mary Z. McGrath, The Catholic Spirit, July 29, 2010.
"Authors tell the story of a remarkable black nun" by Rachelle Linner, Catholic News Service. July 2010. Reprinted in Catholic Standard, Diocese of Washginton, DC; The Witness, Diocese of Dubuque; The Catholic Light, Diocese of Scranton.
Sister Thea Bowman watercolor by Mary Lou Ferguson, La Crosse, WI. July 2010.
"Sister Thea Bowman, Communicator of Joy" by Antoinette Bosco, The Bottom Line column, Catholic News Service, July 19, 2010. - Reprinted in The Catholic Spirit, Diocese of St.Paul.
"A Dress for Sister Thea" by Carole Greene, Associate Editor, CNS-Catholic News Service, Washington, D.C.
"Sister who preached 'true truths'" by Tom Roberts, editor-at-large, National Catholic Reporter, June 10, 2010
The amazing grace of Sister Thea. Book chronicles inspired life of Franciscan nun by Geri Parlin, La Crosse Tribune, May 2, 2010
A Tablet Forum to Remember by Ed Wilkinson, The Tablet Diocese of Brooklyn NY May 8, 2010
Thea Forum Sister Thea Kept on Trying by Alice Mikolyzk, The Tablet, Diocese of Brooklyn, May 8, 2010
Sister Thea Bowman Her Song Lives On in April 28, 2010 newsletter Friar Jack's E-spirations on americancatholic. org. This article was repeated on AARP blog with positive comment.
Siena College Celebrates Sister Thea, April 15-16, 2010
Talk to recall Sister Thea Bowman by Barbara Oliver, Albany Evangelist, April 8, 2010
20th Anniversary Thea Foundation dinner April 22, 2010. Photos by Kamie Schoonhaven, Duquesne University art department.
Sister Thea Foundation Celebrating Twenty Years of Serving, Supporting and Educating Black Youth in America. 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner
Held Fast in Peace by Barbara Reid, OP, America magazine, April 5, 2010
Thea's Song Orbis Book of the Month book review by Michael Leach
A Soulful Pray-er, Thea's Song book review in America Magazine, April 12, 2010
Catholic News Service - Priest says late nun had ability to bring all races, cultures together
New consolidated school named Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy will serve Pittsburgh’s East End
CNS reprising Thea's "Let us strive to make this week holy . . ." this year 20 years after her homegoing
Sister Thea Revisited by Mary Queen Donnelly
20th annual memorial service at Sister Thea's gravesite held March 30
Songs, art celebrate Thea Bowman's Legacy in Canton, Miss.
Thea's Song featured in Viterbo's Lumen
Sister Thea Bowman featured in Brooklyn Diocese 4th Tablet Forum - Tablet Forum Series ad
Vanessa Bush reviews Thea's Song for Booklist.
Katharyn L. Waldron reviews Thea's Song for amazon.com
Thea Bowman, FSPA, featured April 29, 2010, at 4th annual Tablet Forum, Brooklyn, NY
Art and musical celebration of the life of Sr. Thea Bowman featuring Bro. Michael O’Neill McGrath
"The Courage of Sister Thea Bowman" by Fr. Maurice J. Nutt, CSsR, appears in the March 2010 Ligourian magazine.
Thea's Song book review from “Turning the Pages,” edited by Barbara Beckwith, from St. Anthony Messenger magazine, copyright © March 2010. Used by permission of St. Anthony Messenger Press, 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 800-488-0488. www.americancatholic.org. All rights reserved.”
Sharing a 'Shooting Star:' Sister Charlene writes Thea's Song
Thea-logy - This article originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of U.S. Catholic magazine. To order, call 1-800-328-6515 or visit uscatholic.org.
20th anniversary celebration of Thea Foundation
Sister Thea Bowman Still Speaks - reprinted from CUA Magazine, the alumni magazine of The Catholic University of America.
Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Education Foundation celebrates 13th Annual Scholarship Dinner and looks ahead to 20th anniversary celebration
Duquesne University Magazine article on Sister Thea Bowman - A Foundation for Learning
Sister Thea Bowman in church painting
Thea Bowman Preparatory Academy featured in Hill Rag
Br. Michael O'Neill McGrath announces release of This Little Light
Friends of Sister Thea Bowman Humanitarian Legacy Award 15th Annual Luncheon
The Sister Thea Bowman Black Educational Foundation Twelfth Annual Scholarship Dinner
Amber Watson Receives Sister Thea Bowman Humantarian Legacy Award
Musician Caroline Herring tackles segregation
Thea Bowman House
Thea Bowman by Kysa Daniels
Thea Article by Gayda Hollnagel 2005
Thea News Archive (pdf files)
Thea News March 2008
Thea News March 2007
Thea News March 2006
Thea News September 2005
Thea News March 2005
Thea News September 2004
Thea News March 2004
Thea News September 2003
Thea News March 2003
Thea News September 2002
Thea News March 2002