Oil Dedicated to Bertha Bowman (Servant of God)
Oil Dedicated to Bertha Bowman (Servant of God) from A Blessed Call To Love.
Sister Thea Bowman, shared these words a few weeks before dying of cancer in her home in Canton, Mississippi as part of a reflection on Holy Week.
At birth she was given the name Bertha Elizabeth Bowman. She was born in 1937 and reared in Canton, Mississippi. As a child she converted to Catholicism through the inspiration of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity who were her teachers and pastors at Holy Child Jesus Church and School in Canton. These religious communities nurtured her faith and greatly influenced her religious vocation.
Sr. Thea’s conversion to Catholicism was rooted in what she witnessed. She attracted to the Catholic Church by the example of how Catholics seemed to love and care for one another, especially the poor and needy. She impressed with how Catholics put their faith into action.
A granddaughter of slaves, Sr. Thea was born in Yazoo City, Miss., on Dec. 29, 1937, and raised in Canton, Miss. Named Bertha Elizabeth Bowman at birth, Sr. Thea was the only child born to middle-aged parents, Dr. Theon Bowman, a physician, and Mary Esther Bowman, a teacher.
In 1984, Sr. Thea faced devastating challenges. Both her parents passed away, and she diagnosed with breast cancer. She died peacefully March 30, 1990, in the home where she grew up and buried beside her parents and an uncle in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn.
Her tombstone holds the simple yet profound inscription, “She tried.”