On April 30, 2016, Jesuit peace activist Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan, died after a lifetime of working for justice informed by his Catholic faith. To honor Fr. Berrigan’s work and continue his quest for peace, the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus has established The Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan, SJ, Jesuit Peacemaking Fund.
Fr. Berrigan was best known for his dramatic acts of civil disobedience against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He burned draft files with homemade napalm and later hammered on nuclear weapons to enact the Isaiah prophecy to “beat swords into plowshares.” His actions challenged Americans and Catholics to reexamine their relationship with the state and reject militarism. He constantly asked himself and others: What does the Gospel demand of us?
Later in life, he provided spiritual comfort to those suffering with HIV-AIDS, continually released what would amount to more than 50 books and served well into his 80s alongside the Occupy Wall Street movement. Even as his health faded he inspired others, devoting himself to Scripture study, writing, giving retreats, correspondence with friends and admirers, mentorship of young Jesuits and peace activists.
“Father Daniel Berrigan was a prolific author and an inspiring promoter of peace who was a Jesuit for 76 years and a priest for 63 years,” said USA Northeast Province Provincial Fr. John Cecero, SJ. “Generations of Jesuits, students and colleagues have been, and will continue to be, inspired by his powerful response to the ways the Gospels were calling him.”
The work of Jesuit social ministries has assumed various forms according to times and places, but it has and always will be grounded in the justice of the Gospel. Funds raised through this special effort will:
- benefit Jesuits and Jesuit works in the eastern United States working tirelessly toward peacemaking
- encourage dialogue on contentious social issues
- help with organizing research, training and in-person advocacy for issues related to peace
Thank you for your support of the Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan, SJ, Jesuit Peacemaking Fund. To make a gift, click below, then select "Fr. Daniel J. Berrigan Jesuit Peacemaking Fund" in the dropdown.