Berrigan brothers

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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.
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. 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).

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Some are "superstars" like Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers, Thomas Merton, Eileen Egan, Cesar Chavez, Father Roy Bourgeois, and Sister Helen Prejean.
Coffin and the Berrigan brothers made an enormous effort to legitimize the politics of delegitimation.
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.
He wrote that he applied for conscientious objector status "with the help of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, Thomas Merton and the Berrigan brothers," but was denied.
As America's first televised (but not last colonial) war brought the horrors of Vietnam and napalm into our living rooms, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and the Berrigan brothers joined a growing chorus of Catholic pacifists decrying the injustice and immorality of that "police action.
The action established the Berrigan brothers as national figures, and they became known as the shock troops of the Peace Movement, the high priests of the new Catholic left.
The case has attracted national attention, including a letter of "outrage" from the Berrigan brothers to Fr.