I don't know if it's the same in the south, but up here in the north as soon as a speaker from the deep south opens his/her mouth, everyone starts to smile. Their drawl is so casual, so friendly, so welcoming. And, often, their delivery is down right witty! Do southerners who hear it all the time think the same thing?
That marked the beginning of Sr. Helen Prejean's presentation at the monastery this week. For a woman who has dedicated the last 30+ years of her life to the most serious of subjects (see: Dead Man Walking) she came over as charming, funny, down to earth, and yes, deeply committed to the subject that set a fire in her heart and has been her passion ever since.
Her follow up book,The Death of Innocents, brings to us the new area that she embraced about a decade ago--the innocence of so many of the people on death row throughout the country or, as she shared, primarily in the pockets of the country that have death sentences as a primary "trophy" for their prosecutors.
We are more than blessed, as I'm sure the 200+ people that came to hear her would agree, to have such speakers, such "people of faith and good works" come among us. The local media was here so you can check our local paper for their interview and story.