Dead Man Walking

I had the opportunity to hear Sister Helen Prejean (writer of the book Dead Man Walking), along with,  music composer Jake Heggie and director Kelly Robinson in a panel discussion last evening.  Sister Helen chatted with me about my teaching as she signed the inside of her book, The Death of Innocence, with the words, “Choose Life”.
She was such a strong presence on the stage, an extremely articulate and ‘immediate’ storyteller.  I could only describe the encounter as ‘magical’ and filled with passion, intelligence and thought-provoking content.  I wished very much that my children had been sitting alongside me.  I believe last evening was for me, a life-defining moment.

Sister Prejean

Image from here.
Some of the words taken from my notebook this morning….no commentary will be offered on these….but I put them out there for you all to think about.
“Right relationships.”
“Live your life about essential things…don’t trivialize your life…be concerned with hearts, lives, doing things about anything ‘essential’.”
“We only change when we feel loved.”
“We are an unawakened society.”
A light hearted moment was when speaking of one of the musical motifs in the opera, Sister Helen broke into singing…
“My journey, my journey, my journey to the truth….”
Another, was when I had the opportunity to visit Jake Heggie personally, while he ate his jumbalaya (we were all served red wine and good cajun food….red snapper and jumbalaya) and he visited about his schedule….and the various events in other major cities leading up to the Opera.  What an awesome evening!

Dead Man Walking

Screening of the film Dead Man Walking
Following the movie, enjoy some refreshments as Dr. Anne Moore discusses: Dead Man Walking: What Gospel to Follow – The Intersection of Religion, Film and Popular Culture.This lecture is will explore religion as a dynamic force within popular culture, especially film. Using the film Dead Man Walking as an example, we will examine the numerous religious and spiritual themes current in the popular medium of film, the different versions of the gospel portrayed in Dead Man Walking and how these different gospels are part of the religious conversation in our contemporary culture.
A Taste of the OperaJoin special guest Sister Helen Prejean and the creators of the opera including composer Jake Heggie, and stage director Kelly Robinson, for a lively discussion hosted by Andrea Marantz about the making of Dead Man Walking.After the panel discussion, there will be a Q & A session followed by some light refreshments and food from the region where the story takes place – the southern USA. Catered by Cannery Row. Refreshments supplied by Wine Cellar South.
I was so pleased to be a part of the screening and discussion led by Dr. Anne Moore on Friday night and am anticipating meeting Sister Helen Prejean this coming week, as the opera, Dead Man Walking makes its debut in Calgary this week.  Many issues of religion, film and popular culture were explored after a screening of the film, one that I had seen some time ago, but through a completely different lens.  The introductory remarks were well-crafted and left the attendees quietly munching on popcorn and sipping from straws…as the story unfolded in new light.
A contempory issue of concern….a search I think, for identity versus anonymity….a classic case for humanity!



I attended the opera, Turandot, with two of my girlfriends last night.  I was spellbound! It was so rich and beautiful and the voices carried me away to a story about love.  The voices in some respects intoxicated me!  I particularly loved Ping Pong and Pang…and their revelations about the small homes that they had by rivers….or in the hills.  They were basically pondering, “What the hell are we doing here?  in this palace?  Are we really content?”
The greatest lesson of the opera for me was this; “The way to be glorified is to awaken to the magic of the moment…to be aware that you are fully alive!”  These are words that I have lived by for quite some time.  It is never too late to wake to a new beginning!