by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Last month, I spent nearly two glorious weeks traveling through Scotland, speaking on peace and nonviolence. Here is a little diary from my journey on the road to peace in Scotland.
Wednesday, Sept. 11: Edinburgh.
I left New York City yesterday after nearly a week with my friend Daniel Berrigan. At 92, he’s frail and lives permanently now in the Jesuit infirmary, but his spirit is strong. We drove with Fr. Steve Kelly to Syracuse, N.Y., to visit Dan’s older brother, Jerry. Then Steve and I spent the weekend on Block Island, R.I., celebrating the wedding of our friends Barbara and Jim Reale. It was a magnificent occasion, with sunny weather, a cool breeze and great friends from around the country. We took the ferry back to Galilee early Monday morning and spent the rest of Monday again with Dan, reflecting on our lives, our friends and our poor world.
I landed in London and ran across Heathrow through customs and various terminals and barely made my flight to Scotland. I arrived in Edinburgh by noon and went immediately to the BBC Scotland offices, just off the Royal Mile, to record an hourlong interview for their popular national Sunday show, “Sunday Morning with …” One feature of their program is to play favorite songs of their guests. I requested songs by the Beatles, U2 and Joan Baez. So the show began with Baez’s “Blessed Are…” and gave me a chance to talk about her passion for peace.
Later, I walked around Edinburgh, one of my favorite cities, and joined the Jesuits at the Sacred Heart Church community on Lauriston Street, just off the Grassmarket, for dinner. They spoke of the exciting election one year from now, when the Scots have the chance to vote for independence. I hope they will. Independence means the chance, too, to vote against the presence of British nuclear weapons and Trident submarines at Faslane naval base in Scotland.…