Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking,” speaks to BSM


Meghan Ortizcazarin

Ross gave an introduction to BSM’s guest before the panel began.

As the school hallways hum with discussion over the recent production of “Dead Man Walking” put on by the BSM theater department this last weekend, the play’s subject, Sister Helen Prejean privileged BSM with a timely visit this past week. “Dead Man Walking” centers around Prejean’s experience of being a spiritual adviser to death row inmates. On Wednesday during 8th period and for an hour after school, Sister Helen was joined by an exonerated death row inmate, his lawyer, and a fellow Sister of St. Joseph to answer questions and dive deeper into the death penalty topic.

After analyzing one of Prejean’s speeches in eighth grade, junior Mary Pat Ross contacted her in order to hopefully get her to come speak at BSM. However, due to the high demand and two year wait limit, Ross was unable to get the nun to come share her story at BSM quickly, but as Sister Helen Prejean came to Minnesota to speak at an Archdiocesen conference this week, Mary Pat asked if she could make room to speak at BSM. “I am very lucky to go to a school like Benilde- St. Margaret’s where I have been endlessly supported in this endeavor. The faculty, staff, and students have been more than willing to help my dream come true,” Mary Pat Ross said.

The people in attendance included the junior class, students for human life members, and nuns from Sisters of St. Joseph, as well as any additional students that were able to miss 8th period. Sister Helen followed her first presentation by an hour long panel discussion featuring three other anti-death penalty speakers.