2013 Holstein Award Winner – Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

2013 Holstein Award – Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans.  Since then she has been committed to educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners.  She has accompanied six men to their deaths.  In 1994, Sister Helen turned her experiences into a book entitled Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which held a spot on the New York Times Bestseller List for 31 weeks.  Later the book was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate.  The movie received four Oscar nominations including Tim Robbins for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, Susan Sarandon for Best Actress, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walkin” for Best Song.  Sr. Helen’s second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in December 2004 and describes her accompanying two men to their executions.  She continues her work as a passionate storyteller on speaking tours nationwide and is presently working on her next book, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.

Sr. Prejean initially connected with the Ignatian Solidarity Network by speaking to thousands of young people at their annual event, the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in 2003. At that event she formally introduced the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project, and consequently Jesuit high schools were some of the first institutions in the U.S. to perform the play.

Click here to learn more about the “Dead Man Walking Theater Project”.

 

Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., speaking at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., speaking at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in 2010 in Washington, D.C.


Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J. and Fr. Charlie Currie, S.J. at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in the late 1990's

Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J. and Fr. Charlie Currie, S.J. at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in the late 1990’s

Posts Featuring Prejean

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Over 1,200 to Ask Congress to Stand with Pope Francis at 18th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

In what is estimated to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year, more than 1,200 individuals will go to Capitol Hill on Monday, November 9 to urge members of Congress to address the moral issues raised by Pope Francis during his recent visit to the U.S., including climate change and immigration. The day of advocacy is part of the 18th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) on November 7-9 in Washington, D.C., a national social justice gathering of predominately students and young adults affiliated with U.S. Jesuit institutions and the larger Catholic Church.

Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

  "I realize that I cannot standby silently as my government executes its citizens. If I do not speak out and resist, I am an accomplice."   - Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Loretta Holstein and Sr. Helen Prejean with the Robert M. Holstein Award plaque
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Sr. Helen Prejean Receives ISN's National Leadership Award

The Ignatian Solidarity Network honored Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., with the “Robert M. Holstein: Faith that Does Justice Award” on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at an award reception in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sr. Prejean is an internationally-recognized advocate against the death penalty whose passion is rooted in experiences of ministering to death row inmates. She has spoken around the globe and authored two books including Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which held a spot on the New York Times Bestseller List for thirty-one weeks in 1994.
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Interview with Greg Callaghan - National Coordinator of the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project

Greg Callaghan is the director of the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project based in San Francisco, California. Greg is a graduate of Santa Clara University and Saint Ignatius Preparatory (San Francisco). The interview gives an overview of Greg's work with the project and how a school can become involved.

Saint Ignatius High School Welcomes 500+ for Invisible Neighbors Teach-In

Saint Ignatius High School, a Jesuit Catholic high school located in the heart of Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood will welcome over 500 Catholic high school students and staff from across the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland for the "Invisible Neighbors Teach-In" on Friday, March 8, 2013. The Teach-In is a program developed by the Catholic Schools for Peace & Justice. Most Rev. Richard Lennon, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, will celebrate a Eucharistic liturgy for the group and international speaker, author, and anti-death penalty advocate Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., will speak to the group during the program.

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