National News

Only in Print: Sister Thea On Her Way to Sainthood

By Alexandra Moyen

Sister Thea Bowman, right, with Sister Charlene Smith. (Photo:

ROSEDALE — When Sister Charlene Smith first learned of Sister Thea Bowman’s cause for canonization, she was “pleased” but not “surprised.” She said Sister Thea was “a lot like Jesus” because of her “magnetic” personality.

“Before she died in 1990, the black Catholic Church in the United States declared her saint by acclamation,” Sister Charlene said. “I think that her story becomes even better known. I think people will be very impressed with her and will love it if she is elevated to sainthood.”

There are currently less than a dozen American saints and none of them are black.

The rest of this article can be found exclusively in the July 18 printed version of The Tablet. You can buy it at church for $1, or you can receive future editions of the paper in your mailbox at a discounted rate by subscribing here. Thank you for supporting Catholic journalism.