Sister Thea Bowman, a well-known educator, evangelist and gospel singer, died March 30, 1990, but the Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration left behind a legacy that still resonates, including her reflection on Holy Week that was released shortly after her death.
Sister Bowman, who was from Canton, was nationally known for her work to advance the life of her fellow black Catholics in the church. She was 52 when she died of bone cancer. For that last two years of her life the disease forced her to spend most of her time in bed or a wheelchair. She was buried alongside her parents in Memphis, Tenn.
She drew capacity crowds wherever she went, giving lectures and workshops on black Catholic culture and life. She was also a liturgist, a writer on spirituality and an artist. At the time of her death she had been a consultant for intercultural awareness for the Jackson Diocese for about 20 years.