Monday, May 2, 2016
Daniel Berrigan, SJ (1921-2016)
Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ has died at the age of 94. In 1969, I ran across this photograph in a newspaper. I had no idea who he was, I wasn't even Catholic at the time, but I was gripped by the irony of the photo. I understood from the caption that he had just been arrested (in connection with Vietnam War protests), but I was struck by the look on his face.
"That," I remember saying to myself, "is the free man in the photo. He may have on the handcuffs, but he is the one who is free."
Today he is indeed free. May the lessons he taught with his words, his actions and his life go out into the world and bear fruit for freedom and justice everywhere.
He had a cameo role in the wonderful 1986 movie, The Mission, written by Robert Bolt. The personal character of the priest portrayed by Jeremy Irons always seemed to me to reflect Daniel Berrigan's best qualities.