In honor of Daniel Berrigan






I don’t have to prove my life. I just have to live. Daniel Berrigan

He lived — Jesuit, poet, educator,
child of Minnesota, brother to five brothers,

peace-wager for Vietnam,
for Central America, the Gulf War,
Kosovo, Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq,

flamethrower of Catonsville,
pounder of warhead nosecones,
pourer of pigs blood on sensitive files,
fugitive from injustice,
Plowshare when all the world
wanted swords,
opponent of abortion, capital punishment
any other way people are killed,

caretaker for those living and dying
with AIDS.

Arrested as a young man, and as a old man,
he peaced the good peace
and he ran hard against the racism,

and one Sunday in the early seventies
he squeezed a wedding
between a demonstration at Attica prison
and teaching a class in the Bronx,
for two actors,
who cold-called him on the phone
when the church would not have them.

Father Berrigan arrived
in his worn short sleeved rainbow shirt,
and a leather cross on a string,
at the back garden of a brownstone.
And I was there
that afternoon in Brooklyn
because Fritz and Linda were my friends,
and because God was planning
to call me into ministry,

the smallest miracle of this good priest.


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4 Responses to In honor of Daniel Berrigan

  1. Pam says:


  2. LL says:

    Truly a life well lived. It was an honor and a blessing to have worked with him in the peace movement and to count him as a mentor.

  3. Maren says:

    Your life shows his influence and your own spin!

  4. Elaine Gaetani says:

    Thank you for remembering this prophet.

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