PHILADELPHIA, PA- Sister Helen Prejean, best-selling author of “Dead Man Walking” and anti-death penalty advocate, will present the lecture, “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues” at Chestnut Hill College on April 6 at 7 p.m. in Sorgenti Arena. The lecture is sponsored by the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Chestnut Hill College.
Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, a convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the Louisiana Angola State Prison’s electric chair.
Upon Sonnier’s request, Sister Helen repeatedly visited him as his spiritual advisor. In doing so, her eyes were opened to the Louisiana state execution process. Sister Helen turned her experiences into a book that not only made the 1994 American Library Associates Notable Book List, but was also nominated for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize.
“Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States” was first on the New York Times best seller list for 31 weeks. The book was also an international best seller and has been translated into ten different languages, made into an opera, and developed into a major motion picture.