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Sisters to participate in panel discussion of documentary

Sometimes, as you all know, Providence moves in mysterious ways.

It did regarding a recent visit from former Terre Haute resident Tamara Perkins.

Providence Associate Amy Inserra has lived next to the Perkins’ family here for quite a while. Recently, it was revealed that Tamara would be inducted into the Terre Haute South High School Hall of Distinction. The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 8.

While reading about this, Amy immediately thought about the 2015 documentary Tamara directed, “Life After Life,” a film about three men who had been incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California. The documentary shows how the men attempted to adapt to the outside world after being paroled.

Amy said she thought about the Sisters of Providence and how many of the sisters minister with those who are incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute.

Amy – who spent time volunteering at Owens Hall as a phone operator – remembered how the sisters would host families of the prisoners when they would come for visits.

“Providence put all of this into action,” Amy said.

As Providence would have it, Amy ran into Tamara at the annual Perkins’ family hayride and the two discussed the possibility of a screening of the documentary locally.

From there, Amy sprung to action and secured the screening at the Indiana Theatre, which is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m., on Sunday, April 9. The Sisters of Providence are co-sponsors of the film screening. There is no cost to attend the event.

Tamara said the path to the documentary began with an invitation to provide the prisoners with a yoga course. She had been teaching the course to troubled youth as a way to help them cope with anger and other issues.

In 2006, she took the course to the prison’s health fair. Only one year later, many of the prisoners began asking her if she would be willing to tell their story. She had help from a friend in getting into film production.

“I had no idea what I was getting into,” Tamara said. “But this just came together for me.”

The result was “Life After Life,” a story about three prisoners, Noel, Harrison and Chris, who were recently paroled, and their struggles with the outside world.

“I had already been involved with grief support work and I think of myself as an activist,” Tamara said. “This (film) is giving voice. It’s providing a path for healing.”

Following the screening, a panel discussion will take place, involving Tamara and other community members, as well as Sister Mary Rita Griffin.

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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1 Comment

  1. Donna Butler on April 11, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I attended this event and it was excellent. Of course we can always count on Sister Mary Rita to come through with such conviction and authenticity!

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