2020 Catholic Press Association second place award, best new religious book series
With every passing year since her death in 1990, more people are recognizing Sister Thea Bowman as one of the most inspiring figures in American Catholic history. This granddaughter of slaves became Catholic on her own initiative at the age of nine. As a Franciscan sister, she lived a wide-ranging ministry of joy, music, and justice.
Now Father Maurice Nutt offers a new biography of Sister Thea that introduces her and sheds new light on who she was. Drawing on careful research and the insights of people who were close to her, Nutt explores her personality, her passion, her mission, and her prayer. He captures Thea Bowman as she was: an unapologetically African American woman, a religious sister who deeply loved God and the people to whom she ministered through teaching, preaching, and singing, and who embraced the blessing of her ancestry, the wisdom of the "old folks," and a passion for justice and equality for all God's children.
Maurice J. Nutt, CSsR, holds a doctor of ministry degree in preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology. He is a noted retreat, revival, and parish mission preacher both nationally and internationally. He is a former director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. He is the convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium. Father Nutt serves as the Diocesan Liaison of the Cause for Canonization of Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA, for the Diocese of Jackson.
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When Sister Thea was asked what she understood her vocation to be about, she confidently replied, "I'm a teacher." Hers was a lifetime of education, growing into the incredible person of faith God called her to be. Maurice Nutt masterfully presents the uncompromising message and unsurpassable life of Thea Bowman, his professor and friend. Looking to learn from life's teachable moments? Let Thea's class begin!
Byron Miller, CSsR, President, Liguori Publications
Maurice Nutt contributes a welcome biography of Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA, whose life and ministry as a prophetic African American woman enriched a church sorely in need of her sprit. An educator par excellence, a sensitive pastoral person who used her voice-both speaking and singing-to create change, Thea Bowman remains, years after her death, a vibrant presence. This introductory book paves the way for a fuller, more detailed biography as her fame deepens and endures.
Thea Bowman sojourned in the Catholic Church step by step leaning on God's everlasting arms. Step by step she journeyed fighting the evils of miseducation and racism in the classroom, in the convent, and in the church before children as well as bishops. This book captures many aspects of this saint of God. She dared to be Black and Catholic, never apologetic but always graceful and grace-filled through it all. She brought the good news and was the good news. Throughout her life and even in her death, she was a witness for the Lord.
+Bishop Fernand J Cheri, III, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans
This is not only a delightful read-a cavorting through someone's life-but also a chance to examine history through the lens of faith.
In this biography, Maurice Nutt introduces us to the remarkable, faith-filled life of Sister Thea Bowman, who taught, preached, sang, evangelized, and spread the joy of Jesus Christ with steadfast determination and love. Until her very last breath, Sister Thea was committed to sharing with the Church and the world the beautiful gifts of African and African American culture. In a time when the lives of black and brown people seem to matter so very little, we need the challenge of her example and her witness.
M. Shawn Copeland, Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College
Doctor Thea Bowman made her mark on the world through her avid promotion of the black Catholic experience—a joy-filled project meant to awaken the Catholic Church in the United States to the beauty and value of millions of Christians of color. In music, teaching and preaching, she took the Gospel into spaces that drew life from her, but that also gave her the power to make further witness. The story of this remarkable life is given in a powerful way in this book.
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