Bowman Scholar Program

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Spring 2016 Bowman Scholars

This program is named in honor of Sister Thea Bowman. It is a group of music majors who are invited to help develop the music program at the Catholic Center in the spirit of Sr. Thea Bowman.

One of the main goals of the Bowman Scholar program is to create the foundation for training musicians and artists to serve Catholic parishes, especially predominantly Black congregations, across the nation and around the world. Sr. Thea Bowman was an African American Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.  Born in in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Thea expressed early on  to her Methodist parents that she desired to become Catholic. Soon after she was enrolled in a school served by the Franciscan Sisters, and at age 15 in 1952 she entered their convent in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Through music, dance, poetry and other expressive art forms, Sr. Thea’s message of Black Catholic identity reached the masse.  She understood the need for the Black American experience to be embedded within the Catholic tradition of Christian expression, and sought to eliminate the barriers of racism, misunderstanding, and unilateralism that would hinder the Catholic Church in the U.S. from being fully catholic or universal.

For more information about the Bowman Scholar program, please contact Dr. Kevin Johnson, the Director of Worship and Liturgy at

Click here for more information about the Bowman Scholar Program or to print out an application.