Pax Christi USA learned today that Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., a Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace and one of the most revered figures within the Catholic peace movement, has passed away at age 94. 

Cathy Woodson, National Chair of Pax Christ USA, upon hearing of Berrigan’s passing, said, “I had the privilege of hearing Fr. Berrigan speak at our inner city parish in the early 1980s. His message tied together the call for justice that connected many issues facing those of us sitting in the pews.  His passion for justice and peace, his message about war came across with a sense of power that led me to look closer at how faith leaders in the Catholic peace movement carried out what they preached. He lived his commitment that pushed beyond our expectations and comfort zone, standing strong for peace in our world. He now joins others who have taught us how to be peacemakers; well done thy good and faithful servant as you are welcomed into the kingdom, and thank you.”

From Pax Christi USA Executive Director Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN: “Daniel Berrigan was a man faithful to the transformative values of living out the Gospel. Until his very death, he modeled for all a spirituality of non-violence and peace-making. Pax Christi USA mourns the passing of Dan Berrigan, one of the most widely admired peacemakers of our time. His life and witness have inspired thousands to learn and embody the nonviolence at the heart of Jesus teachings. We give thanks and celebrate the life of Dan, a Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace.” 

Below is an article posted in NCR by Tom Roberts, with links to more stories about Dan. Thanks to Frank Cordaro and the Catholic Worker email list for sharing so many of the links below.

Dan Berrigan – PRESENTE!

by Tom Roberts, NCR

Fr. Dan Berrigan, S.J.
Fr. Dan Berrigan, S.J.

Jesuit Fr. Daniel Berrigan, poet and peacemaker who was one of the most influential voices in shaping Catholic thinking about war and peace during the past century, died today. He was 94.

His death was reported by a number of sources, including Jesuit Fr. James Martin, an editor of America Magazine.

Berrigan gained national attention for his work against the Vietnam War, including his participation in a striking act of civil disobedience with his brother, Philip, also a priest at the time, and seven others who became known as the Catonsville Nine. In 1968, the group burned draft records in the parking lot of a Maryland selective service office from which they had taken files.

It was one of the most spectacular and high-profile actions of a lifetime of civil disobedience and protest against militarism, nuclear weaponry and U.S. war-making.

He was a prolific writer who achieved a remarkable lyricism and poetic force when writing about subjects that normally were explored in academic and military circles. He also plumbed the scriptures and the spiritual depths of the Christian tradition in conducting retreats that challenged the status quo and often upended participants’ presumptions about life in America.

4 thoughts on “OBITUARY: Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace, passes away at age 94

  1. I am saddened, first, by the passing of a man who showed the world exactly what it meant to be authentically Christian in the second half of the 20th century.
    And secondly, by the fact that the church that he represented so faithfully and so forcefully over so many decades, will virtually ignore both his passing and his contribution to his faith, his country, and to the world at large.

  2. Dear Jerry –

    You are so right! Fr. Berrigan’s life and writings taught me what it meant to actually live a Christian life, not just believe in it. From a distance, he was truly a mentor to me and I’m sure so many others. I hope I can continue to speak up and act for justice as he taught by his words and deeds…

    Rich Saluga

  3. We here at the Casa Esther CatholicWorker House in Omro, WI are celebrating the passage of Dan Berrigan. There was a wonderful tribute done today on Amy Goodman’s DEMOCRACY NOW with Jeremy Scahill doing the honors. Jeremy is just one of the many whose peace mission was ignited by Fr. Dan. In the 80’s, I drove from here to attend a lecture by Fr. Dan given at (then) Rosary College in Illinois. One of my better moves. We are proud and thankful that he was a part of our C.W. family. Fr. Joe Mattern, director

Leave a Reply