And yeah, I’m categorizing this one under “Saints and Soldiers.” 🙂
Here are two obituaries for Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
OBITUARY: Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace,
passes away at age 94, NCR April 30, 2016
“Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94”
by DANIEL LEWIS, NY Times, APRIL 30, 2016
And here is a statement written by Frida Kerrigan:
April 30, 2016
Daniel Berrigan, Uncle, Brother, Friend,
A statement from the Family of Father Dan Berrigan, SJ
This afternoon around 2:30, a great soul left this earth. Close family missed the “time of death” by half an hour, but Dan was not alone, held and prayed out of this plane of existence by his friends. We – Liz McAlister, Kate, Jerry and Frida Berrigan, Carla and Marc Berrigan-Pittarelli—were blessed to be among friends—Patrick Walsh, Joe Cosgrove, Father Joe Towle and Maureen McCafferty—able to surround Daniel Berrigan’s body for the afternoon into the evening.
We were able to be with our memories of our Uncle, Friend and Brother in Law—birthdays and baptisms, weddings and wakes, funerals and Christmas dinners, long meals and longer walks, arrests and marches and court appearances.
It was a sacrament to be with Dan and feel his spirit move out of his body and into each of us and into the world. We see our fathers in him—Jerry Berrigan who died in July 2015 and Phil Berrigan who died in December 2002. We see our children in him—we think that little Madeline Vida Berrigan Sheehan-Gaumer (born February 2014) is his pre-incarnation with her dark skin, bright eyes and big ears.
We see the future in him – his commitment to making the world a little more human, a little more truthful.
We are bereft. We are so sad. We are aching and wrung out. Our bodies are tired as Dan’s was—after a hip fracture, repeated infections, prolonged frailty. And we are so grateful: for the excellent and conscientious care Dan received at Murray Weigel, for his long life and considerable gifts, for his grace in each of our lives, for his courage and witness and prodigious vocabulary. Dan taught us that every person is a miracle, every person has a story, every person is worthy of respect.
And we are so aware of all he did and all he was and all he created in almost 95 years of life lived with enthusiasm, commitment, seriousness, and almost holy humor.
We talked this afternoon of Dan Berrigan’s uncanny sense of ceremony and ritual, his deep appreciation of the feminine, and his ability to be in the right place at the right time. He was not strategic, he was not opportunistic, but he understood solidarity—the power of showing
up for people and struggles and communities. We reflect back on his long life and we are in awe of the depth and breadth of his commitment to peace and justice—from the Palestinians’ struggle for land and recognition and justice; to the gay community’s fight for health care,
equal rights and humanity; to the fractured and polluted earth that is crying out for nuclear disarmament; to a deep commitment to the imprisoned, the poor, the homeless, the ill and infirm.
We are aware that no one person can pick up this heavy burden, but that there is enough work for each and every one of us. We can all move forward Dan Berrigan’s work for humanity. Dan told an interviewer: “Peacemaking is tough, unfinished, blood-ridden. Everything is worse now than when I started, but I’m at peace. We walk our hope and that’s the only way of keeping it going. We’ve got faith, we’ve got one another, we’ve got religious discipline…” We do have
it, all of it, thanks to Dan.
Dan was at peace. He was ready to relinquish his body. His spirit is free, it is alive in the world and it is waiting for you.
The Camden 28 were a group of “Catholic left” anti-Vietnam War activists who in 1971 planned and executed a raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board.
The Military slavers will come for your wives, girlfriends, daughters and granddaughters if and when they feel it is necessary. And since the U.S. is now in a state of permanent, low level war, which can escalate at any time into a major conflagration, it can happen sooner than you think. Here’s the link:
Hey guys, are we Catholics or are we cowards? When are we gonna get our act together and organize some resistance to the violent, pagan Evil Empire which threatens everything we hold sacred? It has been done before and can happen again.
How a handful of pacifists and nuns exposed the vulnerability of America’s nuclear-weapons sites.
The New Yorker, March 9, 2015
“Why Civil Resistance Works” by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephen, the 2011 groundbreaking study on civil resistance.
Their study found that “between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as their violent counterparts.”
And Erica Chenoweth’s TED Talk:
An article from a 1965 issue of Commonweal.
“Where the witness of the five men does help is in their insistence upon moral judgment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, not the government, not circumstances, not “credibility” nor the necessity of “honoring our commitments” nor “national interest” can release the individual from making a conscientious judgment on the particular events occurring in Vietnam. Every responsible citizen, and in particular every draftable male, must make this judgment today. Nor can he even make it once and for all; should circumstances change, he must be ready to reverse his position tomorrow.”
If only every student at a Catholic high school or college was required to read this book! I am reading it now and highly recommend it.
This book is a history of the peace tradition in the Roman Catholic Church from the time of the Gospels to the twentieth century. Its purpose is to show that there is a continuing, unbroken, and self-sustaining stream within Catholicism from the martyrs and pacifists of the early church to John XXIII and the peacemakers of our time.
Read the reviews on Amazon.
“To reach peace, teach peace.” — Pope John Paul II
“The overall and enduring atmosphere on the square is peaceful non-violence,” reports Nazar. “There is no alcohol allowed. There is prayer every hour. There is no retaliation for the violence — and now five killings — by the special forces, except the stones to keep them at a distance. You really have to be impressed with the nature of this revolution.”