Berrigan Remembered

Daniel J. Berrigan, S.J., was remembered during his funeral Mass as a “fierce, mischievous visionary,” a “Beatnik Jesuit friend,” a priest who “taught the sacrament of resistance” and a loving uncle ruled by faith, not fear. More than 800 people packed the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York to cheer the life of the Jesuit at a festive service on May 6. Berrigan, a poet, author and longtime peace activist, died on April 30 at age 94. Stephen M. Kelly, S.J., said that Berrigan and his late brother and fellow activist Philip were men who lived the Resurrection and challenged religious leaders to know “bomb-blessing has no place in Jesus’ self-giving.” Elizabeth McAlister, widow of Philip Berrigan, ended her eulogy with a call to service. “Sisters and brothers, it is of no service to Dan or to his memory for us to simply hold him up as an icon, especially in ways that exempt us from responsibility,” McAlister said. “How much better would it be if we asked for a double portion of Dan’s spirit, and better yet, if we acted on it?”

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