River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey

River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey

Author : Helen Prejean

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published date : 2019-08-08

Category : Religion

05 21 321
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About the Book

River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey

Sister Helen Prejean's work as an activist nun, campaigning to educate Americans about the inhumanity of the death penalty, is known to millions worldwide. Less widely known is the evolution of her spiritual journey from one who prayed for God to solve the world's problems to one engaged full-tilt in the work to transform societal injustices. Sister Helen grew up in a well-off Baton Rouge family that still employed black servants. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph at the age of eighteen and was in her forties when she had an awakening that her life's work was to immerse herself in the struggle of poor people, forced to live on the margins of society. In this honest and humorous account Sister Helen writes openly about her friendships with other women who have inspired and nurtured her. Her close friendship with a priest, fiercely intent on marrying her, challenged her vocation in "new territory of the heart." The final page of River of Fire ends with the opening page of Dead Man Walking, when she was first invited to write a man on Louisiana's death row. River of Fire is a book for anyone interested in journeys of faith and spirituality, doubt and belief, and "catching on fire" to purpose and passion. It is a book, written in accessible, luminous prose, about how to live a spiritual life that is wide awake to the sufferings and creative opportunities of our world.

In this revelatory, intimate memoir from the author of Dead Man Walking, the nation's foremost leader in efforts to abolish the death penalty shares the story of her growth as a spiritual leader, speaks out about the challenges of the Catholic Church, and shows that joy and religion are not mutually exclusive.

About the Author

Helen Prejean
a few words

Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ (b. April 21, 1939, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is a vowed Roman Catholic religious sister, one of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, who has become a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.

Her efforts began in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1981, through a correspondence she maintained with a convicted murderer, Elmo Patrick Sonnier, who was sentenced to death by electrocution. She visited Sonnier in prison and agreed to be his spiritual adviser in the months leading up to his death. The experience gave Prejean greater insight into the process involved in executions and she began speaking out against capital punishment. At the same time, she also founded Survive, an organization devoted to providing counselling to the families of victims of violence.

Prejean has since ministered to many other inmates on death row and witnessed several more executions. She served as National Chairperson of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty from 1993 to 1995.

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