In high school, my junior year Religion class was given an assignment to choose a spiritual text from Sister Eileen’s bookshelf to read independently. While many of my classmates chose texts by/about famous saints, another book called to me: Sister Thea Bowman, Shooting Star. I’m not sure what drew me to it initially, but once I plucked it from the shelf, I immediately was drawn in by Sister Thea Bowman‘s glowing spirit.
Sister Thea, a Catholic nun from the South, spoke to my heart and addressed many of the questions/issues/concerns I had about the roles that women and race play in the spiritual, more specifically, Catholic, world. Sister Thea preached on the importance of female leadership in the Church and the need for strengthening the black community within the Church.
Her words struck a chord with me, as I’ve always wondered why women can’t be priests. There are so many gifted female leaders out there that deserve to guide and inspire parishes of people on a higher level.
Now I have my own copy of Sister Thea’s book. I feel like her message resonates beyond the Catholic communities, though, and that’s how I choose to see her influence. Sadly, she died young, in 1990. Often referred to as the “Mother Teresa with soul,” Sister Thea is slowly being considered for sainthood. Saint or not, the Shooting Star’s will span time with her inspiration and love. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from her…
“Sharing life and faith and love is all our business, but in a special way and by a special calling–giving life, sustaining life, sharing life have always been life for women”
On diversity in spirituality:
“God’s glory is revealed because we love one another across the barriers and boundaries of race, culture and class”
R.I.P Sister Thea…