Saturday, April 30, 2016

Father Daniel Berrigan, Prophet of Non-Violence and Social Justice Died Today, Statement from the Berrigan Family
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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016 

The Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and poet whose defiant protests helped shape the tactics of opposition to the Vietnam War and landed him in prison, died on Saturday in New York City. He was 94.
The United States was tearing itself apart over civil rights and the war in Southeast Asia when Father Berrigan emerged in the 1960s as an intellectual star of the Roman Catholic “new left,” articulating a view that racism and poverty, militarism and capitalist greed were interconnected pieces of the same big problem: an unjust society.
Father Berrigan; his brother Philip, a Josephite priest; and their allies took their case to the streets with rising disregard for the law or their personal fortunes. A defining point was the burning of Selective Service draft records in Catonsville, Md.
Read more »

Quote from Fr. Dan: "The difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything."

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