Sr. Thea researcher spreads her story

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt barely had time to get settled in his new office in the chancery before he was called upon to share his knowledge of Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA. Sister Thea is one of five women being honored by the Connecting the Dots foundation at their annual Women of Courage and Strength banquet on Saturday, March 24. As part of the banquet, each honoree is invited to submit a video to tell their story. A local non-profit called Spark-O-Matic offered to produce the video about Sister Thea.
On Tuesday, March 13, three Spark-O-Matic students took time out of their spring break to interview Father Maurice at Medgar Evers Library in Jackson. The group is made up of local college and high school students who want to learn more about digital literacy. They have a robotics team and have learned about audio and video production, have gotten lessons in photo editing and have already produced a documentary that will be featured at the Crossroads film festival.
The students had never heard of Sister Thea before they started on this project. They watched a video of her addressing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and read stories about her life. Using photos of Sister Thea, quotes from her writings and Father Maurice’s interview, they plan to produce a video to introduce her to the banquet audience and for use on the diocesan website.
One student, Angel Walton said she was inspired when she watched Sister Thea addressing the bishops. Sr. Thea was in the last stages of her cancer and used a wheelchair by that time, but still spoke with energy and challenged the bishops to stand, link arms and sing “We Shall Overcome.”
Father Maurice is investigating Sister Thea’s life in hopes that the diocese can open a cause for her canonization. He lives in New Orleans, but will travel between his home and the chancery as well as the motherhouse for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Wisconsin to complete his research.