Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, an early critic of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam who for years challenged the country’s reliance on military might, died April 30. He was 94.
The author of several books of poetry and one of the first Catholic priests to receive a federal sentence for peace activism, Father Berrigan protested government policies in word and in deeds, which garnered several stays in jail and in federal prison.
Father Berrigan died in the company of family. In a statement issued shortly after the priest’s death, the family said, “It was a sacrament to be with Dan and feel his spirit move out of his body and into each of us and in the world.”
“Dan taught us that every person is a miracle, every person has a story, every person is worthy of respect,” the statement said. “And we are so aware of all he did and all he was and all he created in almost 95 years of life lived with enthusiasm, commitment, seriousness and almost holy humor.”
The “heavy burden” of peacemaking will continue among many people, the family added, saying, “We can all move forward Dan Berrigan’s work for humanity.”