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What the Obituaries Missed About My Uncle, Dan Berrigan


What the Obituaries Missed About My Uncle, Dan Berrigan

Frida Berrigan

Father Dan Berrigan’s life, legacy and gifts were celebrated at Saint Francis Xavier Church in New York City on Friday, May 6. The church is supposed to fit only 700 people, but more than a thousand crammed in, packing the aisles and sides, sitting and standing through the more-than-two-hour-long service.


We all were lucky to have had Dan in our lives.


Frida: Your son is such a cherub! I want to reach through the Internet and pinch his cheek!

You were lucky to be so close to Dan Berrigan. Since I believe in family destiny--that groups of souls agree to incarnate to work together on the same "theme" or mission... your connection to such luminaries was hardly an accident; nor are the children that have chosen to come through you (as channel).



Thank Frida. I never met him but I believe his efforts helped me.
I was a draft resister. In '69 or '70 I had some draft counseling, as they called it then, in Voluntown (I'm a Connecticut native) from Marj Swann, at the CNVA (see http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=170884265 ).

This helped me to make up my mind to resist.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Dan Berrigan's efforts had an effect on CNVA, which was then passed on to me, so to speak.


This is such a great article, about such a great man! Thanks for posting this article and sharing it with us.


Life, and death -- opportunity in between. Dan used his opportunity, and so may we all. Thank you very much, Frida, for this moral mortal letter.



Thanks much for sharing those tender thoughts about your uncle Father Dan Berrigan's life ... a gentle, wise man so filled with compassion and love for humanity, even if it meant going to jail for seven years. Having missed going to Vietnam by an act of God and subsequently having lost my best friend who was one of +54,000 American soldiers who died there for nothing, I have only the greatest admiration for your uncle's opposition to that war and wars in general ... politically, morally, cooked up propagandized wars our leaders have come to glorify and justify as being as "natural as American apple pie."


great words- in one part you seemed to have channelled Dan's poetry- I like to think of the early Xtians among the Romans- in the u s of amurika of 2016 I can relate-
we are such a fragment/remnant- young people asleep at the wheel- black lives matter or occupy with no sense of the left history or of the need for leadership or a party
Having poured blood on draft files w Phil B I can relate.
At the same time I feel we need a party that represents the working class and revolutionary tendancies of history- Leon and Che.
As a poet I can only lament the sorry state of present day amurikan poetry- Alice Walker an exception. (and Billy Collins is pretty funny)
then too, as Phil said- the whole violence/non violence question- as a poet i am hip to the shades of grey


Our generation was kept united by civil rights and by the draft and our opposition to the war. The young today may be asleep at the wheel but perhaps we have been asleep in our rocking chairs? There was necessity motivating us and much of that has disappeared for the young. They face climate change and it looks very much like they are wide awake and passing us by in the fast lane out of necessity.

Is it our fault, the political generation of the sixties who let history be rewritten as to who we were and what we did? We let them make the sixties a split personality with civil rights and anti war narratives opposing the druggie drop out unwashed dreamers in colorful clothing panhandlers on the other?

Did we fall asleep at the wheel? I think so. Sometimes I think about what would things have been like were some of the heroes of our generation around as young people today? The courage of principles of the Berrigans (and yourself), the media brash of a William Kunstler (his role in the sixties is very much undereported) or the prayer of the soul by MLK. The young people didn't have that. They had media interpretations of those people and events and photos but when it was their turn where were we? Talking heads, nostalgic liberals, repentant pundits? We were the ones who were asleep at the wheel because we owned the car.

What would Bill Kunstler have said to a GW Bush or even to the Supreme Court deciding to stop the recount? What would MLK have said about the militarized police shooting innocent people for being black. What would the young Berrigans have said about the endless war? Do you see the young people benefiting from those people's media input?

The climate is the one necessity that will unite the young. Sadly the oligarchy is mounting an all out effort to keep Bernie the honest man from giving the future a fighting chance. The fact that we are not motivated to go to Philly and protest the rigged game is us being asleep at the wheel (and our heroes having passed on). The young could have used an Abbie Hoffman. Heck, we could use him still. Those media personalities on the left back then made a big difference. They were born out of necessity. Maybe they will arise for the young born out of climate necessity?


thanx- well said- who am u? must digest- best, dave


w more digestion- this is from jer zy- i was too mean, to a degree- just to see the people at Dan'B's funeral and listen to the eulogy by the Berrigan kids- gives much hope- there is hope, truly