Daniel Berrigan died last weekend. No matter what you think of the man and his actions, he did have an impact on the American Catholic environment for many years. He had an impact on people’s lives. I was one of those people, having met him when I was a university student in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I had a chance to meet him through the Newman Club…and nothing like the current day Newman Clubs. The chaplain, a good friend still today, arranged for him to come to one of the two locations the club had on this campus, this one a typical suburban tract house just across the street on the opposite side of the campus from the main center. It was an evening to listen to him and ask questions. I can’t remember for sure, but I believe it was when he was on the run from the FBI. I do remember I was the only woman in the room, a very young and shy woman. Since his death, there have been many articles and memorials out on his life or the personal impact he had on the author’s life. This one by the young editor of America Magazine, the Jesuit journal of the US Jesuits, I felt was the best of the bunch…reyanna
By Matt Malone May 16, 2016 Issue America Magazine on-line
Given my vocational choice, it is perhaps unsurprising that one of my favorite movies depicts an activist priest in pitched battle with the forces of injustice. “On the Waterfront,” Elia Kazan’s 1954 masterpiece starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden, is based in part on the life of John M. Corridan, a Jesuit priest who took on the mob-controlled labor unions on Manhattan’s West Side docks. The pivotal scene of the movie is when the priest, played by Malden, is standing over the body of Kayo Dugan, the mob’s most recent victim. As Malden finishes his prayers, one of the dockworkers shouts out, “Go back to your church, Father!”
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