Helen Prejean

Helen Prejean

Death Row's Nun
Joyce Duriga; Foreword by Robert Ellsberg
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No person has worked more effectively toward the abolition of the death penalty in the United States than Helen Prejean, CSJ. Her best-selling book Dead Man Walking, and the hit Hollywood film adaptation in which she was played by Susan Sarandon, was a catalyst for drawing national attention to the issue. In the years since then, her continuing and often controversial work with death-row inmates has kept the issue near the forefront of national debate. She has confronted lawyers and judges, politicians and the media, to expose the indignity and injustice of the death penalty and inhumane prison conditions.

In Helen Prejean: Death Row's Nun, Joyce Duriga explores Sister Helen's life growing up in upper-middle-class Louisiana, her growing awareness of the injustice of the death penalty, and its disproportionate targeting of the poor and minorities, and her introduction to death-row inmates Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. Through this book, readers will witness her life's work with victims and their families, and see how she came to understand her role in prison ministry, not only as an activist but as a champion fighting for hope and restorative justice for those facing the death penalty.

Joyce Duriga has served as editor of Chicago Catholic, the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago, since 2007. She also oversees content for www.catholicnewworld.com and the newspaper's social media efforts. Prior to coming to Chicago, she was the associate editor of Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newsweekly. Her work appears regularly in local, regional, and national publications.

Visit PeopleofGodBooks.org to explore more of the books in this engaging series. You'll find author interviews, videos, reading group materials, and more!

When I finished reading the book, I gave thanks to God once again for Sr. Helen Prejean, one of the most remarkable, prophetic women of our times. Her boldness and courage have taken millions of people on a daunting journey to overcome hatred with love, to meet evil with goodness, to forgive rather than avenge ourselves on those who harm us, and to never let ourselves be overcome by hatred. Her heroic efforts to abolish the death penalty have reminded us that we cannot uphold a practice which permanently banishes some members from the human family by killing them. In an age that exalts violence, vengeance and retribution, Helen Prejean is a living icon of the Gospel of life. She has reminded us that people are more than the worst thing they've ever done. There's always the capacity for us to be more than we have been and for God's grace to change us.
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

Product number: E4687
ISBN: 978-0-8146-4687-8
Pages: 112
Publication Date: 08/22/2017