Press & Multimedia Archives

  • Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment

    On April 13, 2012, Sister Helen gave a lecture and Q&A, hosted by Bill Quigley, at the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment. The talk is in three parts. An Afternoon with Sister Helen Prejean

  • Like water going under and around rock

    Sister Helen visited Duke Divinity School in January 2012 and spoke with Faith & Leadership. This video clip is an excerpt from the following edited transcript.

  • Sister Helen Speaks at the Ohio Statehouse

    Sister Helen speaks at the Ohio Statehouse along with state Reps. Ted Celeste, Nickie Antonio and Terry Boose.

  • Witness

    Salt and Light Television Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, has been instrumental in sparking international dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state executions. At the age of 40, she realized that being on the side of poor people was an essential part of the Gospel. She moved ...

  • Dead Man Walking Nun’s Journey Continues

    Now that her story has been told in print, on screen, on the theater stage, and even in opera houses, Sister Helen Prejean finds herself looking back upon her Dead Man Walking experience with her upcoming book, River of Fire: A Spiritual Journey to Death Row. In it, Sister Prejean aims to take the reader ...

  • President Obama and Pope Benedict: Conversation topics

    President Obama met with the press before his visit with Pope Benedict on July 10. He talked about how he admired Cardinal Bernardine’s “seamless garment” approach to pro-life, that the cardinal included in its scope a wide range of issues – “he was concerned about poverty, he was concerned with how children were treated, HE ...

  • Keep the window open

    Regarding Proposed Amendments to California’s proposed amendments to the lethal injection protocol, Sister Helen writes to Mr. Timothy Lockwood, Chief of CDCR Regulation and Policy Management on June 26, 2009. Sr. Prejean urges: All of my remarks about the proposed amendments to the lethal injection protocol center around this theme: KEEP THE WINDOW OPEN – MAKE ...

  • Death penalty opponent Prejean speaks at UCO

    The Edmond Sun By  Kathy Toppins EDMOND — Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States,” spoke Tuesday night at the University of Central Oklahoma about her own walk from innocence to outrage as an anti-death penalty activist. Her book became the basis for the 1995 movie ...

  • A Conversation with Sister Helen Prejean

    Naseem Rakha interviews Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, for Big Picture Productions and Capitol Community Television in Salem, Oregon. Sister Helen Prejean from Big Picture Productions on Vimeo.

  • Sr. Helen Prejean’s “Memo” to President-elect Obama

    Posted by Paul Lauritzen The day after the election, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sr. Helen Prejean to talk to her about the election and what she would say to the new president about the death penalty in this country. As always, her passion for social justice was inspiring. You can listen to ...

  • Debating the Death Penalty

    By Laura Sheehan, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford Wednesday November 5, 2008 A sense of calm permeates our campus, one that is reflected in the stately Georgian brick architecture, the pastoral grounds, and the quiet hum of daily activity. Visitors should not mistake us as a quiet little campus “lost in time,” though. Saint Joseph College, in ...

  • Finding Christ on death row

    The Catholic Commentator Baton Rouge, LA By Debbie Shelley Assistant Editor During a program sponsored by the St. Joseph Spirituality Center in Baton Rouge, Sister Helen Prejean CSJ tells her story about how her involvement with the poor lead her to become a leading advocate for the abolition of the death penalty in the United States. Sister Helen Prejean ...

  • Sr. Helen Prejean addressesThe Democratic Interfaith Gathering in Denver, CO in August, 2008

  • Q&A: “I Tell People How the Death Penalty Is Actually Practiced”

    Interview with abolition activist Sister Helen Prejean From IPS Inter Press News Service WASHINGTON, Jun 18 (IPS) – For over 20 years, Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun, has worked to educate the public about the death penalty. She has been spiritual adviser to eight death row inmates, turning her experience visiting one into the best-selling ...

  • Advocate nun Prejean visits Jersey City for talk on poverty

    by Marc Cicero/The York Street Project The Star-Ledger (online) Wednesday May 7, 2008 “God hides where the poor are.” That was the message delivered by Sister Helen Prejean last week in a talk at the York Street Project in Jersey City, a nonprofit social service organization that provides economically-disadvantaged women and children with housing, education, early childhood development care, ...

  • ‘Dead Man Walking’ author calls for death penalty moratorium in Birmingham-Southern speech

    Birmingham News Toraine Norris News staff writer Sister Helen Prejean, anti-death penalty activist and author of the book “Dead Man Walking,” called Monday for a moratorium on executions in Alabama until its support can be studied. “Do we have to keep going down the road of death in Alabama?” she asked while speaking at the Birmingham-Southern College Bishop’s ...

  • Methodists to honor Helen Prejean

    Nun will receive world peace award The Times-Picayune From staff reports Sister Helen Prejean, the Louisiana nun who became one of the country’s most prominent critics of the death penalty, will receive the 2008 World Methodist Peace Award in a ceremony Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church in New Orleans. Prejean will be honored “for her ...

  • Dead Man Walking, The Journey Continues

    Sister Helen Prejean Speaks at Ashland University Source: Ashland University Sister Helen has served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty from 1985–1995, and has served as Chairperson of the Board from 1993–1995. She is also a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. She ...

  • This I Believe

    As heard on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, January 6, 2008. thisibelieve.org I watch what I do to see what I really believe. Belief and faith are not just words. It’s one thing for me to say I’m a Christian, but I have to embody what it means; I have to live it. So, writing this essay and knowing ...

  • U.N. adopts death penalty moratorium

    The General Assembly’s nonbinding vote comes despite opposition by U.S., other nations. By Maggie Farley Los Angeles Times Staff WriterDecember 19, 2007 UNITED NATIONS— The General Assembly adopted a moratorium on the death penalty Tuesday, overcoming opposition from the United States, China and others that argued each nation should be able to choose for itself how to combat ...

  • Corzine Signs NJ Death Penalty Ban

    By Ed Kasuba KYW Newsradio New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has signed into law a bill making his state the first one in four decades to abolish the death penalty. The move is being hailed worldwide as a victory against capital punishment. Sister Helen Prejean, a nun who gained attention from her book and the eventual movie “Dead ...

  • Five million sign petition to UN calling for end to capital punishment

    Independent Catholic News Five million signatures against the death penalty were presented to Srgian Kerim, president of the 62nd general assembly of the United Nations Organisation on Friday, in New York by a delegation of the Sant’Egidio community and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The petition, signed by people from around the world, demands a ...

  • Sister preaches for end of death penalty

    By Chelsea Delnero “We are worth more than the worst act we commit,” said Sister Helen Prejean as she addressed the Keene community with a lecture on capital punishment Oct. 11. Prejean gave a speech in the Mabel Brown Room to a large audience of Keene State College students, faculty and other community members. Prejean, author of the ...

  • World Day Against the Death Penalty

    On 10 October 2003, the first World Day Against the Death Penalty took place. This event was launched by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which gathers international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Bar Associations, Unions and local governments from all over the world. Established by organizations who participated in the first international Congress against the death ...

  • Sister Helen Prejean calls on Maryland to end death penalty

    By George P. Matysek Jr. Catholic News Service BALTIMORE (CNS) – Standing beneath a large crucifix in the sanctuary of a Baltimore church, Sister Helen Prejean, internationally acclaimed death penalty abolitionist, stretched out her arms and intently fixed her gaze on the hundreds of people who filled the pews. “The cross has become a symbol of the suffering ...

  • “A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty”

    (Washington, D.C.) Because of mistakes and a lack of efficacy, the death penalty is losing the confidence of the American public, according to a new poll by RT Strategies to be released on June 9, 2007 at 12 noon EDT. Almost 40% of the U.S. population believe they would be excluded as jurors in capital ...

  • The Ethical Implications of the Death Penalty

    Podcast from the University of Virginia Lecture by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, who has long had a ministry to death row inmates in Louisiana and who received international acclaim for her book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the US” (1993) which was made into a major motion picture starring Susan ...

  • Death-row nun lashes Guantanamo jail

    The Australian By Matthew Westwood AMERICAN author and nun Helen Prejean has linked the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to attitudes that condone the death penalty. Prejean, author of the book Dead Man Walking, about inmates on death row, said the inhumane treatment of terror suspects on the island was a corruption of US values. “Guantanamo Bay is ...

  • Slowly, sentiment changes on death penalty

    National Catholic Reporter Often enough on this page we have spoken of finding hope in the long haul. It is a phrase, or at least a sentiment, familiar to anyone working for social change. Change comes slowly, in tiny increments, but happen it will if the case can be made and people see sense in it. Nothing ...

  • A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death

    by Antoinette Bosco Columbia magazine U.S. bishops, defending life, launch a campaign to end the death penalty. This article appeared in the November 2006 issue of Columbia magazine, the monthly publication of the Knights of Columbus, New Haven, CT. It is reprinted here with permission of the author and the publisher. Click here to read the full ...

  • Sister Helen Prejean podcasts The Death of Innocents

    Sister Helen Prejean, author of the national bestseller Dead Man Walking, discusses and reads from the new paperback edition of her important second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Click here to hear the podcast.

  • Message from Susan Sarandon read by Sister Helen Prejean at the School of the Americas

    Fort Benning, Georgia The subject of torture is very much in the air these days.  Currently congress is debating how legally to circumvent the Geneva conventions so that information may be extracted from suspected terrorists.  Some blatantly decry the Bill of Rights, saying these rights “go too far.”  Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General, has called the Geneva ...

  • 10 Questions for Helen Prejean

    From the February 21st, 2005 edition of Time Magazine By Amanda Ripley Sister Helen Prejean’s 1993 book against the death penalty, Dead Man Walking, became a movie and even an opera. At 65, she’s only getting angrier. In The Death of Innocents, she escorts two men to their executions – and this time she’s sure they are ...

  • To Prejean, death penalty system is guilty as sin

    From the February 8th, 2005 edition of USA Today By Jacqueline Blais Innocents: Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, has written another anti-death-penalty book.   During the summers of the 5½ years it took Sister Helen Prejean to write The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions (Random House, $25.95), she sought refuge in a ...

  • Sister fights death penalty

    Thursday, November 18, 2004 By Kit Kadlec / News Staff Writer Daily News Transcript While most people have an opinion on the death penalty, few have ever witnessed an execution in person. Yesterday at the Noble and Greenough School, Sister Helen Prejean of the St. Joseph order described her own experience getting to know and then ...

  • Dead Man Learning

    The Times-Picayune By Barri Bronston Staff writer As director Chase Waites was preparing to begin rehearsals for Jesuit High School’s production of “Dead Man Walking,” he wondered how he might best inspire his troupe of teen actors to become – really become – their characters. Among the parts in the play were prison guards and lawyers, reporters and nuns, ...

  • Drama of death row comes to Pittsburgh

    I want to invite Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Tom Murphy, Pennsylvania legislators, as well as all interested Pennsylvanians on a journey with me. l ask of you just one evening. Beginning June 5, sit side by side with me in the darkness of a concert hall in Pittsburgh and experience the musical mosaic and drama of ...

  • Listen first, then ask questions later

    Friday, April 16, 2004 Of Many Things by George M. Anderson, S.J. SISTER HELEN PREJEAN once again last fall spent several days with us at America House. She was in New York in November to consult with the actor-playwright Tim Robbins about the stage version of her book Dead Man Walking. She found time to stop by my ...

  • Famed nun keeps promise to priest

    ‘Dead Man Walking’ author gives rousing speech at rally by Mick Walsh Staff Writer Sister Helen Prejean on Saturday kept a promise she made to fellow Louisianian Roy Bourgeois 13 years ago: She took part in the annual SOA Watch demonstration outside the gates of Fort Benning. Sister Helen, a staunch opponent of the death penalty and author of ...

  • A Message from Susan Sarandon

    To Citizens Protesting the School of the Americas I so wish I could join you in person in your protest at the School of the Americas. Every year I look at the possibility of attending, and this year I almost made it, except for a last-minute turn of events, which happens fairly often in my life. ...

  • NO to the Death Penalty

    International Campaign Two local churches will be lit up outside and people will lead a candlelight prayer vigil to witness as part of the International Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty AND to Support Healing for Victims’ Families. The witness and candlelight prayer vigil will take place on Human Rights Day, Wednesday, December 10, 2003. The ...

  • Too often, justice lost in drive for vengeance

    By Joanie Flatt Special for The Republic For years I’ve wrestled with the question of capital punishment. On one hand, I’ve cheered when juries meted out the ultimate punishment for perpetrators of the most heinous crimes. On the other hand, doubt has gnawed at my gut. How can a society that makes it a crime to take ...

  • Death Penalty Foe Headlines CUA Awards Ceremony

    By Warren Duffie Featured in the Fall 2003 edition of CUA Magazine It was 1 a.m. on an April morning in 1984 when Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., solemnly walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, got into a car with two friends and returned down Highway 66 to Baton Rouge. Before they traveled far, Sister ...

  • Making a difference

    Interview by Rosie Hoban for Madonna magazine.  Many of us know the award-winning film, Dead Man Walking. In August, the opera based on the story had its Australian premiere, and Sr Helen Prejean, author of the original book, attended the opening. Rosie Hoban spoke with her. Catholic nun Helen Prejean says walking alongside a man to ...

  • Report from the front: The inter-religious peace gathering in Aachen, Germany

    Since 1986 the Community of Sant’ Egidio has gathered the religious leaders of the world to pray for peace and to dialogue aboutit. I began attending the gatherings in 1997 in Padua, Italy, where for the first time, I talked about the death penalty and its importance as a challenge to peace. From this time ...

  • The abolition of the death penalty: A target for the 21st century

    On September 9, 2003, at the conference “War and Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue” in Aachen, Germany, Sister Helen delivered a speech, “The Abolition of the Death Penalty: A Target for the XXI Century.” The conference is sponsored by The Community of Sant’Egido which is a movement dedicated to evangelization and works of social ...

  • Report from the front: Australia

    I try to follow where grace leads, and now its pulsing current brings me to Australia and the opera of Dead Man Walking. When the opera was first spun out, I did not know how I might be of service, but now I know that I can play a part in getting the word out ...

  • Honorary Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union

    On June 5, 2003 S. Helen Prejean, CSJ, received an honorary Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Thomas Berry, C.P. was also honored with an honorary Doctor of Theology at the commencement. Each year women and men are honored at the graduation ceremony of about 100 students from Masters and Doctoral programs ...

  • Nun tireless in bid to end death penalty

    Nun tireless in bid to end death penalty Sister is finishing 2nd book By DAVID YONKE BLADE RELIGION EDITOR Sister Helen Prejean has written “only one little book,” as she puts it. But that little book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, caused a big stir in the national debate ...

  • Of Many Things

    Of Many Things By George M. Anderson Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, often stays at America House when she comes to New York. She was here last fall for the opening of the opera based on her book, which recounts her experiences as spiritual advisor to men on death row. What we spoke of, ...

  • The Journey of Dead Man Walking

    The Journey of Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie Article and photo credited to Michigan Opera Theatre The grateful young composer of Dead Man Walking describes how his opera found him, and where it has taken him. It’s hard to believe now, but when Terrence McNally and I first met in New York in 1996 to discuss a possible ...

  • Heroes

    By Dianne Abshire Heroes come in all shapes and sizes; some come willingly, some by accident, and some with great reluctance. But, one thing that ties all heroes together is their sense of duty and responsibility to a greater cause. They have found the courage and conviction to stand for what they believe is right. They ...

  • Nun pushes church for more visible role in anti-death penalty cause

    NEWS BRIEFS Jan-15-2003 By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) — It’s been close to a decade since Sister Helen Prejean first wrote “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States” and triggered a renewed look at capital punishment nationwide. Now the Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille is hoping the Catholic ...

  • Dear Governor Ryan

    January 13, 2003 Dear Governor Ryan, When asked by the press to comment on your decision to grant commutations to all on death row I have three words: INTEGRITY, PRINCIPLE, DECENCY. And these pure values that informed your journey and your decision will be what sustains you as the backlash of criticism is hurled at you. It can’t ...

  • Catholics should hang out with poor people

    It’s not enough to write a few checks to charity. If Christians take their faith seriously, they must spend actual face-to-face time with people who are poor. It took Sister Helen Prejean a while to realize this, but now she believes it’s as essential as going to Mass.

  • Report from the front: A reflection

    (Taken from Reflections on “Dead Man Walking”, written by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ and Lucille Sarrat, Session 6, page 23-24. Available from RENEW International, 888-433-3221; www.renewintl.org) Reflection 1 – Recent Developments in Churches In his visit to St. Louis in January 1999, Pope John Paul II, for the first time ever, positioned the death penalty as a “life ...

 
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