Rita Rathburn, FSPA, interviewed Sister Thea Bowman in 1988 for FSPA Perspectives magazine. Today, the 25th anniversary of Sister Thea's death and on Sister Thea Bowman Day in La Crosse, Wisconsin, we share this excerpt with you.
Sister Rita: You speak so often of the "dream." How would you articulate your dream in May of 1988?
Sister Thea: I dream that by walking and talking and working and praying and playing together we can create a better world for all of us. I dream that we can form the kinds of families and churches and communities in which we share faith--faith in God, faith in ourselves and faith in another but also faith in hope and in joy and in love. I dream of a family, of a church, of a community in which we teach one another and we learn to respect one another and to help one another and that we find joy and meaning in helping and passing on the gifts that have been given to us. I dream of the kind of community in which we find our worth in sharing our gifts and really building up the body that is the body of Christ.
Sister Rita: In what way have the letters "F-S-P-A" enabled you to glow in fire on your Christian journey?
|Rita Rathburn, FSPA
Sister Thea: When I think FSPA, actually I think of people who have enabled me. I think of some of the early FSPA who came to my hometown, Canton, Mississippi, as missionaries--Sister Mildred Burger, Sister Eleanore Nauman, Sister Judith Quinn, Sister Genedine Melder, Sister Theone Beres. They came into my world and showed me the possibility for life and growth that I had not ever dreamed of. They showed me that people from different races and cultures could work together and enjoy it.
Sister Rita: What would you like to say from your heart about anything?
Sister Thea: I'd like to say thank you to all the people who have been so good to me. I'd like to say I'm sorry for the times when I haven't connected properly. I'd like to say that there is still hope that we still can have good news and that we can still be good news for one another and that I think it's worth the effort.