Franciscan Sisters announce events to honor Sister Bowman

La Crosse, Wis. – Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937-1990), is revered as one of the most significant figures in modern Catholicism having dedicated her life working for the black community. During her life, and primarily in the years after the peak of the civil rights movement carrying on the Martin Luther King Jr. legacy, Sister Bowman, a black woman, worked with people of all races to help them see their own lives in a new light. To mark the 25th anniversary of her death following a courageous battle with breast cancer, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration will host a series of events to celebrate her profound influence.
• Friends of Thea: Sharing the Joy, March 29, 2 – 4 p.m., Franciscan Spirituality Center, La Crosse, Wisc. —FSPA invites everyone to a panel discussion focused on Sister Bowman’s legacy as it continues today. Panelists include author and renowned evangelist Rev. Maurice Nutt, artist and writer Brother Mickey McGrath, fellow Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Marla Lang and Thea Foundation’s Mary Lou Jennings.
• Thea Bowman: Life and Legacy on Display, March 17 to 30, Franciscan Spirituality Center, La Crosse, Wisc. —The Franciscan Spirituality Center will showcase art and artifacts, including art by Brother Mickey McGrath, that illustrates Sister Thea’s effect on the world during and after her life.
• Come and See, March 27 to 30, St. Rose Convent, La Crosse, Wisc. FSPA welcomes women 21 to 45 who are interested in living a vowed religious life to a Come and See that includes the art exhibit and panel discussion.
• Mass, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. CST, Mary of the Angels Chapel, St. Rose Convent, La Crosse, Wisc. Recognizing Sister Bowman’s death anniversary, presider and homilist Rev. Maurice Nutt will be joined by the Viterbo University concert choir for Mass. For friends of Sister Bowman unable to attend, Mass will stream live on the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s website.
All event details and registration information is available at
FSPA and the Franciscan Spirituality Center recognize the many ways in which Sister Bowman’s spirit continues to move people to find their deepest humanity. Her influence is profound today, with six schools, a center for women and a foundation bearing her name and all seeking to educate and advance humanity of all backgrounds.
(Based in La Crosse, Wisc., the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are women religious engaged in furthering the work of the Catholic Church and the Gospel. Their partners in ministry, including affiliates and prayer partners, join them in service of God’s mission. The sisters work in the United States and internationally in varied ministries, creating innovative approaches to healing, teaching and praying. Visit FSPA online at or on Facebook at