| The mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Prejean's congregation,
is to work toward the union of God and neighbor without distinction.
Death penalty opponent and activist Sister of St. Joseph Helen Prejean made headlines and was a trending topic on Twitter Monday for doing what she does best: social justice ministry. Sister Prejean was called to testify for the defense in the sentencing of the convicted Boston Marathon bomber. She said she had met with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev five times and that "he expressed sympathy for his victims during their talks," according to Boston.com. The jury is deliberating a sentence of death or life in prison for Tsarnaev.
Last November at the University of Michigan, Prejean challenged students to ponder the question that calls her to continue to advocate against the death penalty: “Are people worth more than the worst thing they have done?”
Prejean's story has become the subject of movies (including the Academy Award-winning Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn), books, and even an opera. She has inspired national debate on the death penalty and helped drive the Catholic Church’s opposition to state executions. Prejean divides her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling death row prisoners, which has included accompanying six men to their deaths. She also travels around the world giving talks about her ministry.
Read more about her ministry and challenge to college students here.