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Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
I have a confession! This is the first time in my life that I have celebrated National Comic Book Day. I never knew such a day existed. But now that we're working on the graphic retelling of Dead Man Walking, it seems fitting that this day should not pass by uncelebrated.

Rose (who's writing the script) has a new post that contains a little snippet from the book. Take a look at this draft!

And I encourage you to follow Rose's page so you can come along on the journey to a new, stunning, graphic retelling of DMW - https://www.facebook.com/WriterRoseVines/posts/183449406556976
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
I’m so deeply saddened to hear that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away. She was a trailblazer in the truest sense. I will always treasure the time I spent with her when the Kennedy Center performed the opera of Dead Man Walking a few years ago. Our nation is the poorer for her loss.
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
We hear prosecutors speak of ‘closure’ when seeking the death penalty. In our research for Graphic Dead Man Walking, we discovered how ‘closure’ has its own meaning when it comes to comics, a connection Rose explores in her latest post about GDMW.

Read her post here: https://www.facebook.com/WriterRoseVines/posts/180562060179044
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
I raise my voice in fervent opposition to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast's scandalous offer of an award to Attorney General Barr for his "exemplary Christlike" behavior. I urge the group to immediately rescind their inivtation, and I urge anyone reading this to join me.

What is Christlike about a Catholic believer using his discretionary power as Attorney General to undertake a series of speedy federal executions? In contrast, those in power before him for 17 years chose not to seek death. It has been solely at the direct command of A.G. Barr that five human lives have already been snuffed out, and two other persons—William LeCroy and Christopher Vialva—await almost certain death in a couple of weeks.

What is so grievously scandalous about bestowing a "Catholic" award on this man, so keen to kill criminals under his jurisdiction, is that his attitude and behavior so flagrantly contradicts Catholic teaching. The Church vigorously opposes government killing without exception. Pope Francis recently updated Catholic teaching on the death penalty, stating that, in light of the teachings of Christ, this deliberate taking of life is "an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the human person."

I'm deeply convinced that Jesus himself, the "Christ" in whose name the award is to be bestowed, who taught us to go beyond "an eye for an eye" and to love and forgive our enemies rather than kill them, has my back on this one. I urge anyone reading this, Catholic or not, churchgoer or not, to oppose this use of religious symbolism—an award for "Christlikeness"—which will only serve to legitimize government cruelty and killing.
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
Rose's latest journal entry about creating Graphic Dead Man Walking is live. The days in Barnes and Noble that she mentions, when we were first starting out on this project, were so full of creative energy. And that energy hasn't waned since.

The federal government’s rush to kill has put hundreds, if not thousands, of people at risk of COVID-19 infection: https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2020/09/the-trump-admins-execution-spree-may-have-caused-a-coronavirus-outbreak/

Kazakhstan has taken a major step toward abolishing the death penalty: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/09/kazakhstan-takes-important-step-towards-abolishing-death-penalty/

This will be good: Join us 7:30 tonight for a YouTube Live conversation with Sister @helenprejean in conversation with @PaulGrondahl. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeYjdSDyinY Free and open to the public. #virtualalbanybookfestival

The federal government plans to execute Christopher Vialva today for crimes committed when he was 19 years old. Neuroscience tells us that the human brain doesn’t reach maturity until age 25, if not later. We need science-informed legal reforms that recognize reduced culpability.

In 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4, which restored the right to vote for many formerly incarcerated people. Florida’s legislature and various courts have been trying to undo the will of the people and perpetuate systemic disenfranchisement ever since.

At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Federalist Society leader Leonard Leo said that AG Barr advances the “dignity and worth of every human person.” Catholic teaching says that the death penalty is an “attack on the dignity of the person.” Barr ordered multiple executions.

I missed #NationalVoterRegistrationDay yesterday, but every day is a good day to make sure you have a plan to vote this November. You can check your registration status, learn about absentee and early voting options, and find your polling place at http://vote.org.

US Catholic Bishops @USCCB to President Trump and AG Barr on federal executions slated for this week, invoking St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis: "Enough. Stop these executions."

U.S. bishops urge immediate halt to federal executions https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/09/22/us-bishops-urge-immediate-halt-federal-executions

.@ArchbishopOKC and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann have issued the following statement in response to the federal executions scheduled this week: https://bit.ly/3mM84Uz.

“With this award for Mr. Barr, the ‘National Catholic Prayer Breakfast’ has become a twisted halftime show between executions..."

https://catholicsmobilizing.org/in-the-news/ag-barr-receive-catholic-award-hours-after-authorizing-execution%C2%A0

Why is the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast presenting an award to Attorney General Barr for “fidelity to the Church” when he has ordered an unprecedented number of federal executions in direct contradiction of Catholic teaching on the death penalty?

Sept 22: AG William Barr executes William LeCroy.
Sept 23: National Catholic Prayer Breakfast gives Barr award in "honor and gratitude for fidelity to the church, exemplary selfless and steadfast service."
Sept. 24: Bar executes Christopher Vialva.
God save us. @NCRonline

There is nothing pro-life about our government rendering death row prisoners defenseless, strapping them down, and killing them. The cold, clinical lethal injection protocol doesn’t change the cause of death on the death certificate after an execution: homicide.

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I’m deeply saddened to hear that Justice Ginsburg has passed away. She was a trailblazer in the truest sense. I will always treasure the time I spent with her when the Kennedy Center performed the opera of Dead Man Walking a few years ago. Our nation is the poorer for her loss. ...

I have 10 hardcover copies of Kendi’s deeply rewarding “How to be an Antiracist”. If you would like a copy, donate at least $50 to a bail fund of your choice and send your receipt plus mailing address to rachael@sisterhelen.org. We’ll send a copy to the first 10 people to do. ...

Want to meet me on a Zoom call AND support a great cause? You can even bring along 3 of your friends! Bid now on @Charitybuzz and help @ACLU_SoCal defend and preserve the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and US laws. Search “Sister Helen Prejean” on Charitybuzz.com. Thanks for your support of this incredible organization! ...

This Thursday, I'll be in conversation with Tessie Castillo and Lyle May on Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. The topic is "Why is it so hard to hold criminal justice actors - law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges - accountable?" There are three following events. Please join us! Link is in my bio. ...

A Message from Sister Helen’s Staff:
Today is Sr. Helen’s birthday! This past year has been full of surprises and moments of grace. It’s good people like you who share Sr. Helen’s hope to see a world without executions that keep her going. Please share any birthday wishes in the comments and we’ll make sure they get to her.
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Here’s some Zoom humor for your enjoyment! ...

Here I am – live from my apartment in New Orleans! My team's got me all set up with Zoom. ...

I'm sequestered here in my house in New Orleans, so I thought I'd show you a bit of what's going on here.
This is my writing desk. My Daddy sits with me when I write. The desk was his in his law office.
The statue is St. Joseph – patron of my community, the Sisters of St. Joseph. That cross is made of wood from an oak tree I played under as a child.
You can see St. Luke, writer of one of the Gospels, in the icon as well as a picture of Mary Magdalene's big surprise at the tomb on Easter morning.
The braid of grass across my desk is "sweet grass" from a Northern Cheyenne friend.
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A postcard from me to you! To cook Cajun, you always start with a roux like you see here in my skillet. Heat three big tablespoons of oil until very hot, then slowly add flour and stir, stir, stir until the mixture browns. A roux is different from Yankee gravy. Then add seasonings: yellow onions, scallions, garlic, bell pepper, parsley - and cook, adding water as needed.
I made me some good chicken stew in this roux. First, I baked the chicken in the oven to give it a head start.
Cajun cooking doesn't mean pepper hot. The secret is tasty seasoning and slow cooking. Add Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste. Yum. I first learned to cook when I was writing Dead Man Walking. Been devouring my good stew with rice for the last three days.
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My ticket to the Academy Awards from 24 years ago today – March 25, 1996. Dead Man Walking was well-represented. @susansarandon won Best Actress for playing a nun who was in over her head. @timrobbinshere was nominated for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, and Bruce @springsteen for Best Original Song. That night helped till the soil for a national conversation about the death penalty. ...