Alumni Blog

A Conversation with Sister Helen Prejean

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on September 5, 2019 at 9:09 AM PDT

A photo of Sister Helen Prejean giving a speech

Best known for her 1993 book Dead Man Walking, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, Sister Helen Prejean recently received an honorary doctorate from Seattle University and delivered the Graduate Commencement address in June.

Together, The College of Arts and Sciences, School of Theology and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and the Elliott Bay Book Company are pleased to welcome her back to campus to talk about her new memoir, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.

This new memoir tells her life story before she worked with death row inmates and leads up to pivotal social justice movements in the 1980s where Dead Man Walking begins. River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey chronicles her time with the congregation of St. Joseph in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, speaks of changes in the early 60s when her life was opened by the ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church and ends with a letter to Pope Francis about her concerns with the exclusion of women in the church. Despite all the work she has done throughout her lifetime addressing structural inequity, Sister Helen courageously uses this book to continue to shine light on areas where she still sees injustices, particularly the treatment of women and LGBTQ people in the church.

Sister Helen travels three-quarters of the year and has spoken in all 50 states. She has also been awarded over 65 honorary degrees throughout her career. Don’t miss this rare opportunity and intimate conversation with Sr. Helen Prejean on campus on September 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.

10th Annual Catholic Heritage Lecture Series

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on July 31, 2019 at 10:07 AM PDT

The Catholic Heritage Lecture Series engages the intellectual and religious communities of Seattle and the SU community to explore aspects of the Catholic intellectual traditions and the intersection of Catholicism and culture.

This year the Institute will highlight the contributions of three particular Catholic populations: Hispanic/Latin American Catholics, African American Catholics and Asian American Catholics. All lectures are free and are held at 7pm in Student Center 160 (LeRoux Room) at Seattle University.

Lecture Dates:

Series Intro: Thursday, October 3 - Thomas Landy, College of the Holy Cross

  • Thomas M. Landy, a sociologist with a specialization in the sociology of religion and Catholicism, is director of the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College of the Holy Cross. He founded and leads research for Catholics & Cultures, a web-based initiative to explore the religious lives and practices of lay Catholics in their particular cultural contexts around the world.

Thursday, November 14 - Cecilia Moore, University of Dayton

  • Cecilia A. Moore is the Associate Director of the Degree Program for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies. Her area of specialization is U.S. Catholic history and she is currently working on the history of black conversion to Roman Catholicism in the 20th century.

Thursday, February 20 - Hosffman Ospino, Boston College

  • Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry where he is also Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry. He is currently advancing a national study on Latino Catholic vocations.

Thursday, May 14 - Gemma Cruz, Australian Catholic University

  • Gemma Tulud Cruz, Filipina-Australian theologian, currently works as Senior Lecturer in Theology and is a member of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University. Gemma's research expertise is in migration theologies and she has served as a consultant to the Sub-Committee on Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity of the US Catholic Bishops' Conference.