Honor Father Dan Berrigan: carry the torch of justice & peace!

Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

The Passing of a Legend! 1921-2016

Dan Berrigan1

Father Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and giant of nonviolent activism for justice and peace, died on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University in New York city. He was 94. Dan Berrigan was a poet, educator, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called ‘American military imperialism.’ Along with his late brother Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the antiwar and antidraft movement during the late 1960s, as well as the movement against nuclear weapons. He is the author of 50 books.

In early 1968, Dan made international headlines when he traveled to North Vietnam with U.S. historian Howard Zinn to bring home three U.S. prisoners of war. Later that year, Dan, his brother Phil and seven others took hundreds of draft files from the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland and set the files on fire in the parking lot, using homemade napalm, to protest the Vietnam War. They became known as the Catonsville Nine and inspired over 100 similar acts of protest. In 1980, the Berrigan brothers and six others began the Plowshares Movement when they hammered nuclear warhead nose cones at a General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and became known as the Plowshares Eight.

Resistance was a way of life for Dan. He was arrested dozens of times and spent years in prison for his witness. A few years ago he was asked when he would stop. His answer –”the day after I’m embalmed.” Dan did not believe in heroes. For him, it was the movement and community of people standing together that was important. His passing is an invitation for us to carry on the work of justice and peace. He once said, “Just don’t do something, stand there.” And so we invite you to stand with us in Dan’s memory in this ongoing weekly Friday witness for peace. Dan had Hawaii connections. He spoke at the University of Hawaii about peacemaking, supported Hawaiian leprosy patients at Hale Mohalu, and blessed us by staying several days at our Malu ‘Aina peace farm. Democracy Now just produced a one hour program in tribute to Dan. Links to this and other material about the life of Dan Berrigan are on our website www.malu-aina.org.

Resistance Means Life!

  1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
    4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
    5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622. Email:
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Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 6, 2016 – 763rd week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

On the Life and Witness of Father Daniel Berrigan

Aloha & Mahalo Dan.  You are a great inspiration.  Your spirit will be with us always.

Jim Albertini

Links to news articles, videos, etc. on the life and witness of Father Daniel Berrigan 2021- 2016



I highly recommend watching the full Democracy Now program of about 1hr. You can watch it in parts.  It’s excellent.



Daniel Berrigan, Presente! Dan wrote this poem for the Plowshares Eight (click on link below for Dan’s reflections on the first Plowshares action in 1980). Nuclear Resister co-coordinator Felice Cohen-Joppa read the poem at the Pacific Life Community gathering in March 2016, when the group sat down together to discuss and plan a nonviolent action at Vandenberg Air Force Base the following day. Dan’s words will always be with us, reminding us why we must continue to work for a peaceful and nuclear-free future. (Photo of the Plowshares 8 – Dan is second on the right in the back row) http://www.nukeresister.org/…/swords-into-plowshares-fr-da…/


A good one minute News clip on Dan from NBC

 From a variety of sources on the death of Daniel Berrigan: 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. -more-

(to the Plowshares 8, with love)
by Daniel Berrigan

Some stood up once, and sat down.
Some walked a mile, and walked away.

Some stood up twice, then sat down.
“It’s too much,” they cried.
Some walked two miles, then walked away.
“I’ve had it,” they cried,

Some stood and stood and stood.
They were taken for fools,
they were taken for being taken in.

Some walked and walked and walked –
they walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.

“Why do you stand?” they were asked, and
“Why do you walk?”

“Because of the children,” they said, and
“Because of the heart, and
“Because of the bread,”

“Because the cause is
the heart’s beat, and
the children born, and
the risen bread.”

An album of Dan-related photos:


.how fitting that Dan passes on the anniversary (April 30) of the end of the Viet Nam war that Dan fought so long and so powerfully against…

From Fr. James Martin, SJ

Daniel Berrigan has passed away, friends. He was a giant of nonviolence, and we all stand on his shoulders. Rest in peace and power, Daniel Berrigan!

dan in cuffs

The great Daniel Berrigan, SJ, the Jesuit priest, activist, poet and peacemaker, died today at the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dan was one of the great Catholics of our time, a champion of social justice and a tireless promoter of peace. His influence on the peace movement, particularly during the Vietnam era, cannot be overstated; but his aim was not simply peace in Indochina, but peace everywhere. A friend of everyone from Thomas Merton to Dorothy Day to Martin Sheen, and an inspiration to generations of peacemakers, Dan was also willing to be jailed for his beliefs, which were often unpopular in church circles, and sometimes even among his brother Jesuits. (Though Pedro Arrupe, SJ, then superior general of the Society of Jesus, made a point to visit Dan when he was imprisoned in Danbury Prison in the 1970s.) I greatly admired his particular brand of spiritual courage.

Here is an interview with Dan from 2009, in which he looks back on his long life with gratitude: http://americamagazine.org/…/702/art…/looking-back-gratitude

An overview of his life from the “Jesuits East” magazine: http://www.jesuitseast.org/story-section…

And his “Ten Commandments”: http://americamagazine.org/…/daniel-berrigans-ten-commandme…

Dan was also an immense support to me as a brother Jesuit. I relied on his advice regarding the careful balance between the demands of justice and fidelity, particularly when it came to speaking out on controversial topics. At one point, many years ago, when I was thinking about speaking out on a controversial issue without asking formal permission from my superiors (that is, presuming permission rather than requesting it), he wrote to me and said, “Remember you’re in this for the long haul.” Dan took his commitment to his Jesuit vows as seriously as he did his commitment to peace and justice.

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” said Jesus. So blessed was Dan, and blessed were we to have lived with him.

May he rest in the peace.


Wonderful article in the May 2, 2016 New Yorker magazine by James Carroll in tribute to Dan Berrigan


May 3, 2016 Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/3/jeremy_scahill_remembers_his_longtime_friend?utm_source=Democracy+Now!&utm_campaign=d86998cc21-Daily_Digest&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-d86998cc21-191310153


Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan (1921-2016) died a few days before his 95th birthday. Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip(1923-2002) ,a Josephite priest and Dorothy Day were the most prominent peacemakers of the 20th century.

When Daniel was asked how much time he spent in prison for his courageous efforts on behalf of peace he responded,” I cannot recall how often I have been in jail, but it was not enough.” Biographies certain to follow will tally how frequently the prominent Jesuit was incarcerated. Philip Berrigan spent 11 years in prison.

The pastor of St. Francis Catholic church in Abilene, Texas invited a priest from the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America(legal title for Maryknoll) to speak at all masses one Mission Sunday in October 1990. Maryknoll is based in Ossining, NY, a thousand miles away. I was living I Dallas, a short Southwest flight to Abilene. The ticket was sent to me. I would be met at the Abilene airport by a nun .

Upon arrival I was met instead by a middle aged man who introduced himself as a general from Dyess AFB, eleven miles from Abilene. After introducing himself the general explained he flew B -1 bombers based at Dyess. He apologized for the nun who did not appear. “Sister had some matters to look after at the parish and sent me to pick you up.”

When he explained his role as a pilot for the B-1, recalling some rocky occurrences, I calmly said, “Heard that plane has a few technical problems.” The general quickly took umbrage with my remark and snapped, “It is a great plane.”

After finishing the Saturday PM mass, the general appeared in St. Francis church with a tall Texas who was introduced as “Bill, the owner of a private plane and Abilene radio station.” They told me to throw away my low fare Southwest plane ticket. They would fly me back to Dallas after the masses on Sunday in Bill’s private plane. Both wives standing nearby said they would not be on the flight to Dallas.

Within minutes after leaving Abilene, the Dallas skyline was in view. The Love Field tower instruction was “Take Runway A-14.” The general expressed with bravado: “I will take her in!” We hit the Love Field runway going well over 100mph, causing the small plane to bounce like a kangaroo forcing Bill, the owner to grab control of his endangered plane and save us all. Bill chastised the general: “This is not a *** B-1 bomber, you must come in gently!”

The tower voice came with levity: “All right guys, try that again.” Bill at the controls, we landed smoothly.

The general walked me to the hangar and admitted his embarrassment over the botched landing attempt. “Glad we survived,” I mumbled. The humiliated officer wanted to switch attention from his near fatal crash for the three of us.” Ever hear of Fr. Berrigan?” I replied he was one of my heroes. The general did not hide any feelings. “If I was the officer in charge of Hancock AFB near Syracuse when Berrigan led a protest there, I would have shot him on the spot!” Once inside the hangar I rudely replied:

Good Catholic boy like you would have killed a priest because someone was acting for peace?”

When Father Daniel Berrigan went underground in ‘The Holy Outlaw’



Wonderful impromptu talk by Jeremy Scahill on his friendship with, and the influence of, Dan Berrigan

Scahill and Dan B


Three minute good video tribute to Dan Berrigan by Chris Hayes on MSNBC


Dan Berrigan: “How can people who are supposedly so wise, respond to realities in such a base or baseless manner?”
By Kevin Anthony Stoda
Have you ever tried to debate with or simply lobby the powers that be? What was the response? Learn what always dumbfounded Daniel Berrigan–and me.

Dan Berrigan: “How can people who are supposedly so wise, respond to realities in such a base or baseless manner?”
By Kevin Anthony Stoda
Have you ever tried to debate with or simply lobby the powers that be? What was the response? Learn what always dumbfounded Daniel Berrigan–and me.


Dan Berrigan: “How can people who are supposedly so wise, respond to realities in such a base or baseless manner?”
By Kevin Anthony Stoda
Have you ever tried to debate with or simply lobby the powers that be? What was the response? Learn what always dumbfounded Daniel Berrigan–and me.


Bearing the Cross by Chris Hedges on the life of Dan Berrigan


Don’t add to the perception of Hawaii corruption: Vote down SB 2816, HB 2501 and HB 1581

(I just sent the message below to all of Hawaii’s legislators and members of the news media)

Aloha legislators:

Please don’t add to the perception of Hawaii’s corruption. The perception is bad enough.

Hawaii: “The only state in which both legislative and executive branches are perceived to be very corrupt”

… Hawaii’s aggregate scores are in the highest quartiles of both illegal and legal corruption ….

Our organization strongly urges you to vote down SB 2816, HB2501 and HB 1581.  It’s time to do the right thing!

Both SB 2816 and HB 1581 appear to be efforts by Governor David Ige and various special interests to ram thru TMT and criminalize peaceful first amendment protest on State lands.  Please protect the constitutional right of free speech and the right of citizens to protest.  Attempts to fast tract TMT in the past caused major problems for the state and a second attempt is likely to result in more of the same.  Allow existing legal due process procedures to stand.  No more special legislation for special interests. Vote down these bills.

We also urge you to vote down HB2501 which we view as a sneaky bill involving corporate theft of public streams.  Our organization has been growing kalo in Kurtistown for 36 years and we want to support small scale taro farmers and the people’s right to water (not A&B Big 5 corporate interests) on Maui.

Mahalo for your consideration.

Jim Albertini


Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

Happy May Day Solidarity

With Kapu Aloha

Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. goes back to God


FYI  Father Daniel Berrigan, 94 went back to God today.  I’m sure it’s a grand welcoming.

Dan was a great inspiration to many, myself included.   The Democracy Now piece and the NY Times article below gives more on his life.  And there is plenty more.  Just google Daniel Berrigan. I highly recommend reading some of his many books.  One place to start is his autobiography “To Dwell in peace.”





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.