Berrigan brothers

Also found in: Dictionary.

Berrigan brothers

(bĕr`ĭgən), American Catholic priests, writers, and social activists. Daniel Berrigan, 1921–2016, b. Syracuse, N.Y., was ordained in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1952. Travels in France exposed him to the worker-priest movement, and after teaching at secondary schools and at LeMoyne College (1957–63), he devoted himself in the 1960s to civil rights and antipoverty work, eventually becoming a leading activist against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
..... Click the link for more information.
. His poetry had meanwhile appeared in several volumes, including Time without Number (1957). He ultimately wrote more than 50 books, and also taught at Fordham and other universities. Philip Francis Berrigan, 1923–2002, b. Two Harbors, Minn., served in Europe in World War II, grad. from Holy Cross College (1950), and was ordained (1955) in the Josephite order. After holding pastoral and teaching positions, in the 1960s he turned to peace activism.

In 1968 the Berrigans and seven others were arrested for destroying Selective Service files in Catonsville, Md., in an antiwar protest. While in hiding after their conviction, Daniel published a play, The Trial of the Catonsville 9 (1970). Both Berrigans served prison terms. Philip secretly married Sister Elizabeth McAlister, a fellow activist; the couple were later excommunicated. After being paroled in 1972, both brothers continued their involvement in such actions as "Plowshares" protests at weapons plants. They were repeatedly arrested and imprisoned, and continued to write prolifically.


See Daniel Berrigan's autobiographical To Dwell in Peace (1987), Night Flight to Hanoi (1968), The Dark Night of Resistance (1971), and his prison memoir, Lights On in the House of the Dead (1974); J. Dear, ed., Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (2009); Philip Berrigan's autobiographical Fighting the Lamb's War (1997), Prison Journals of a Revolutionary Priest (1970), and Widen the Prison Gates (1973). See also biography of Daniel by R. Curtis (1974); S. Halpert and T. Murray, eds., Witness of the Berrigans (1972); M. Polner and J. O'Grady, Disarmed and Dangerous (1997).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Of the nearly 2,200 Berrigan brother letters stored at Cornell University and DePaul University, fewer than a quarter were culled for these pages.
Despite years of work within the inner-circle of the movement and her close personal relationships with the Berrigan brothers, Walsh never heard back from Dan or again from Phil.
Before I wrote this book, I didn't know anything about the Berrigan brothers, for example, and their 20 years of jail for peace activism.
They celebrated people like Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, the Berrigan brothers, liturgical reformers and others who moved the institution to better reflect the Second Vatican Council's definition of the church as "The People of God." The predominant story seems to have shifted in the past handful of years to criticize this transfor mation rather than praise it.
African-American Bishop Charles Harrison Mason (founder of the Church of God in Christ), fiercely persecuted by the government in World War I, the Pentecostal pacifist leaders, and others must take their honored places with the Berrigan brothers, Dorothy Day and companions, and the generation of pacifist pioneers during World War I.
Now 84, Cornell laments that few students he meets recognize the names of Day, Merton, or the Berrigan brothers. (Philip Berrigan died in 2002; his brother Daniel, a Jesuit priest, died in 2016.)
The Berrigan brothers' felonious forms of nonviolent protest led a nation of Catholics, and millions of others, to both loath and love the brothers, who together made the cover of TIME magazine in 1971 for their opposition to the Vietnam War.
Remembering the importance of churches in mobilizing blacks in the 1950s and 1960s, and of religious figures such as the Berrigan brothers and other clerics in opposing U.S.
Among the many individuals responsible for proselytizing the ethic of civil disobedience as a form of higher virtuousness, three deserve special mention in these reflections: William Sloane Coffin, Jr., chaplain at Yale University during a crucial period in the Sixties and Seventies; and the Berrigan brothers, Daniel and Philip, Catholic priests whose names became synonymous with the antinomian uproar of Sixties radicalism.
The hecklers were immediately hushed by one of the evenings two runners-up, who invoked the names of Martin Luther King Jr., Steven Biko and the Berrigan brothers as she launched into her pitch for a docu series about dissidents.
Long ago, both Berrigan brothers staked out grounds of religious and political conviction.
(An exception is CBS's 60 Minutes, which devoted a segment to the Berrigan brothers and the Plowshares movement last November 16.)