At the age of 9, after requesting permission from her Methodist parents, Bertha Bowman joined the Catholic Church, and at 15 became a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, following in the footsteps of the teachers she loved. She took the name “Thea”, meaning “of God.”
After receiving degrees in English, drama and speech, Sister Thea went on to earn masters and doctoral degrees. She taught for 16 years at the elementary, secondary and university level. Part of that time she worked with Native Americans in Wisconsin. She identified with their status outside of the dominant culture.
Later, as a consultant for intercultural awareness, Sister Thea gave presentations across the country, always engaging the participants with her intelligence, charisma, and beautiful voice. In these joyful gatherings Sister Thea sought to break down racial and cultural barriers through singing, gospel preaching, prayer and storytelling.
In 1990, breast cancer claimed the life of the 52-year-old nun. She had continued to lead her gatherings from a wheelchair as her disease painfully metastasized to her bones. Despite her suffering, Sister Thea truly “lived until she died” as she had vowed.
- A fine art, giclée print
- 8 1/2" x 10"
- listing is for print only
Original Artwork by Julie Lonneman