Literati: Sister Helen Prejean

Literati Bookstore Presents Sister Helen Prejean
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
7:00 p.m. in our downtown sanctuary

Literati Bookstore is our neighborhood independent bookstore located just three blocks west of FUMC on Washington Street.

We are very pleased to partner with Literati Bookstore to bring Sister Helen Prejean to our sanctuary for a reading and talk, just four weeks after the release of her latest book, River of Fire.

About the Book: In this revelatory, intimate memoir of her childhood, her spiritual evolution, and how she became “lit” to her crusade, Sister Helen chronicles her journey from one who prayed for God to solve the world’s problems to one engaged full-tilt, hands-on, in the work to transform societal injustices. She writes about growing up in a well-off Baton Rouge family, one that still employed black servants in the racially segregated South, and how she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph at the age of eighteen. Life in the novitiate, which aimed at spiritual holiness, set strict boundaries of separation from the (sinful) “world” – but all that changed in the wake of Vatican II, which brought the winds of change in the Catholic Church. Inspired by Catholic activists such as Dorothy Day in the inner city and Jesuit priests who went to prison for destroying draft files in opposition to the Vietnam war, Sister Helen started to immerse herself in the struggle of poor people in New Orleans forced to live on the margins of society. River of Fire is at turns honest and humorous, and she writes openly about her friendships with other women who have inspired and nurtured her, as well as a close friendship with a priest— obsessively intent on marrying her—and how these relationships challenged her vocation in “new territory of the heart” and propelled her further into deepening both her life in the Sisterhood and her engagement in social justice, where she is today.

River of Fire is a story of faith and spirituality, doubt and belief, addressed to believers, agnostics, and “nones” alike. It tells about “catching on fire” to purpose and passion. Accessible, humorous, luminous and on point for these polarized times when awakened social conscience and citizen action have never been more needed, Sister Helen shows us how to live a spiritual life that is wide awake to the sufferings and creative opportunities of our world.

Helen Prejean, CSJ, is the author of the #1 national bestseller Dead Man Walking. A member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, she has appeared on 60 MinutesFrontlineThe Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s World News TonightThe Rachel Maddow ShowDemocracy Now!Crossfire, NBC’s special series on the death penalty, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and has been featured in The New York Times MagazineUSA TodayLos Angeles Times, and The New York Review of Books.

This is a ticketed event with two options:

  1. Each Book Bundle registration ticket ($28.62 +$2.42 processing fee) includes one hardbound copy of River of Fire, to be picked up at First United Methodist Church the evening of the event, reserved seating, and priority access to the signing line. Literati Bookstore will have additional copies of Sister Mary Prejean’s titles available for sale.
  2. Free Registration is also available. Copies of River of Fire will be available for purchase and free registrants may join the signing line following Book Bundle guests.

All tickets (Book Bundle or Free) are available through Literati Bookstore (tickets are not available at the church).

Would you be willing to help with the event? Please consider helping us out by either ushering or greeting from 6-7 p.m., before the 7 p.m. talk!  Call a friend to join you, and sign up here. For more information, contact Debbie Houghton –