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The Devil & Daniel Berrigan

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Message Mike Palecek
"Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even."

— Daniel Berrigan

<B>Is This Heaven?</B>

by Mike Palecek


I owe my life to Dan Berrigan.

For good or for bad.

I think for good.

I drove from a smallish, conservative town in northeast Nebraska in January 1979 to begin seminary at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In February or March, Berrigan was speaking at Macalaster College, up Summit Avenue a few blocks at a Vietnam Symposium, whatever that means, along with Eugene McCarthy and a journalist named Gloria Emerson.

Anyway, I went, and I heard, and I walked up to him afterward to introduce myself and ask a stupid question.

A couple of us ended up driving Dan around town that night, to a church to hear John Trudell speak about the FBI burning his family in their home, then over to a TV station where Daniel Schorr was hosting a discussion between Berrigan and some guy from the Kennedy administration. I think it was Ted Sorenson.

All's I know is they let me into this one room and pointed at a table full of food. I could graze as long as we were there. Have at it church boy.

Berrigan also came over to the seminary and spoke to us, about Vietnam, prison, the United States, the Catholic Church.

I was enthralled. I had never heard this stuff before, and likely would not have ever heard it in my seminary instruction.

Well, on a home visit I asked the parish priest who had hooked me up with the seminary, Fr. Walter Nabity.

I asked him about Berrigan and protesting and nuclear weapons and war and all that.

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Author, former peace prisoner, journalist, candidate.
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