from Catholic News Service
CANTON, Miss. — There is no doubt that Sister Thea Bowman possessed a presence. Many of those who knew her well speak of how she enveloped those around her with love, encouragement and positive energy, no matter if they were a lifelong friend or someone she just met.
March 30 marked 25 years since she died in the Canton home where she grew up.
A Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, she was a trailblazer in almost every role — first African-American religious sister from Canton, first to head an office of intercultural awareness, first African-American woman to address the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but to those who grew up under her tutelage in Canton, she was a singular inspiration.
“Calling her an encourager — that’s not even a strong enough word,” said Cornelia Johnson, a student of Sister Bowman. “She was that person who went beyond seeing the good in every person. She helped that good come out more,” Johnson added.
Prior to the anniversary of her death, the editors at the Mississippi Catholic, newspaper of the Jackson Diocese, asked some who knew her to reflect on her legacy and her call to evangelization…