think the difference between me and some other people is that I'm content
to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in
order to make change, But if each one of us would light a candle we'd
have a tremendous light."
Sr. Thea Bowman in her 1987 interview
with Mike Wallace of CBSís 60 minutes.
Sister Thea Bowman was born December 29,
1937, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Her parents, Dr. Theon (a physician)
and Mary Esther (a teacher), understood the necessity for Thea to obtain
a quality education. After prayful consideration, Thea was enrolled in
Holy Child Jesus Catholic School, in Canton, Mississippi.
In 1965, Sr. Thea received a B.A. in
English, Speech and Drama from Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
In 1969, she received an M.A. in English and in 1972, a Ph.D. in English
Language, Literature, and Linguistics; both degrees from The Catholic
University of America in Washington, D.C. The grandfather of a slave, Sr.
Thea Bowman is the first African-American woman to receive a Doctorate in
Theology from Boston College.
Sr. Theaís zealous spirit helped all those
around her to grow in an awareness of their individual gifts and an
appreciation of African Americanís rich cultural heritage. Her career
included teaching at Blessed Sacrament School in La Crosse, Wisconsin,
Holy Child Jesus High School in Canton, Mississippi, the Catholic
University of America in Washington, D.C., and Viterbo College in La
Crosse, Wisconsin. She was instrumental in establishing the Institute of
Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
After 16 years of teaching, the bishop of
Jackson, MS asked her to serve as a Consultant for Intercultural
Awareness for the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi. In this capacity, Sr.
Thea gave lively presentations filled with wonderful storytelling, Gospel
preaching, soulful singing and heartfelt prayer- all directed at honoring
God and breaking down racial and cultural barriers.
Sr. Thea lived a life full of joy, faith,
peace and praise to God until her death on March 30, 1990. Funeral
services were held at Holy Child Jesus in Canton, MS, and St. Maryís
Catholic Church in Jackson, MS.
As she often said, ďIf anybody
asks you who I am, just tell them Iím a child of God.Ē
Copyright © 2014-2015 -- Sister Thea Bowman Catholic
School, Jackson, Mississippi All Rights Reserved