Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, will speak at Salford Mennonite Church, in Harlesville, Pa., on October 11 and 12.
Prejean is internationally known as an anti-death penalty activist. A Louisiana native, Prejean joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 1957 and began her prison ministry in New Orleans in 1981. Dead Man Walking was inspired by her experience as spiritual adviser for the first inmate whose execution she witnessed.
“The realization that came to me was that people are never going to see this. Executions are a secret ritual, so people don’t have any close-up experience and they never will. I help people navigate across the poles, and I give them a few pertinent facts about how the death penalty is actually practiced.”
The U.S. has executed 1,099 people since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976. 14 states currently have bans on the death penalty. Pennsylvania’s Death Row is the fourth largest in the nation.
Nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize, translated into ten languages, and topping the New York Best Seller List for 31 weeks, Dead Man Walking was adapted for the Oscar-winning movie of the same title released in 1996 and starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
Prejean gives between 120 to 140 lectures worldwide each year. She will speak at Salford Mennonite Church on Saturday evening, Oct. 11, at 7:00 p.m., and on Sunday morning, Oct. 12, for the 9:00 a.m. worship service. For further information, contact Pastor James Lapp at 215-256-0778, Salford Mennonite Church, 480 Groff’s Mill Road, Harleysville, PA 19438. Website: www.salfordmc.org; Phone: 215-256-0778;