Tuesday, November 1, 2011

They could be saints...

Sr. Thea Bowman
Sr. Thea Bowman was a Catholic nun who spent many years in Mississippi bridging relationships between Black and White people. Her cause is now being considered for sainthood and is, presumably, pursued by her religious order the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

I never truly met her but remember her speaking to our youth group in Greenville when I was a teen. It was a night where the Black parish and White parish got together for entertainment and prayer. Sr. Thea talked about our common faith and common goals. I do remember her being funny. Later I would become friends with her close friend and caretaker, Sr. Dorothy Ann Kundinger. She would tell me of Sr. Thea's humor and compassion. And her love for the blues. She gave me a copy of William Ferris's book on the blues signed for Sr. Thea as a gift.

Padre Quinn and a cute 90's girl
 Fr. Patrick "Paddy" Quinn or more commonly known as "Padre Quinn" was the missionary pastor from the Diocese of Natchez (before the state split into 2 dioceses: Jackson and Biloxi) who set up a base in the city of Saltillo and built churches and missions throughout his career. He worked in Mexico until his death in 1995. His cause for sainthood is being promoted by clergy in Biloxi and Jackson.

Fr. Quinn was my first priest supervisor as a seminarian. I spent 2 months with him in the missions. That was 20 years ago and I'm still tired from it! He had a sense of humor and a determination to get things done. He inspired countless young people to become socially active as well as encouraging priests to endure hardships. I haven't forgotten that summer.