Missives of Love and Conscience

book reviewBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, written for On the Edge, A Detroit Catholic Worker paper

The Berrigan Letters: Personal Correspondence Between Daniel and Phillip Berrigan , arrived here by post unbidden from Orbis, just days before the news of Daniel’s death in NYC (+April 30, 2016+). I carried it east to the wake and funeral. It was soaked with rain in my pack during the procession from Mary House (NY CW) to the church.  Its stiff warp and wrinkle is a sweet remembrance.

The publication was initiated by Dan himself with such events on the horizon.  It is a gift, even if one that suffers from the haste of getting it into his frail and failing hands. Continue reading

A Call to Action

bcm-logoBy Tommy Airey

White people: no one is asking you to apologize for your ancestors. We are asking you to dismantle the systems they built and that you maintain. We have no use for your guilt. What we want from you is action.
Sylvia McAdam, co-founder of Idle No More

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Snow came early this year to the Canadian prairies, but there were some logs of hope burning in the fireplace of the soul last weekend at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon as 100 First Nations and white settler leaders convened for the Fall 2016 Bartimaeus Institute entitled The Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls Churches to Action: Building Capacity for Restorative Solidarity.  The seven residential school survivors in attendance served as elders, guiding participants with both historical memory and spiritual anticipation. Continue reading

Praying Ourselves Down From Our Privileged Perch

prayerBy Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

Prayer is central to Luke’s Gospel. The opening scene has the assembly of the people in Jerusalem praying while Zechariah is doing his priestly duty (1.10). The adult Jesus’s first appearance in the gospel is while he is praying (3.21). Luke regularly shows us Jesus at prayer as he discerns the Way (5.16; 6.12; 9.18; 9.28-29). Continue reading

Remembering his Uncle

jerryDaniel Berrigan Memorial
September 30, 2016
St. Thomas More Parish, Kalamazoo
Jerry Berrigan

It is wonderful to be with you all on this last evening of September.  I need to begin by expressing my gratitude, deep beyond words, for this circle and each individual within it and for many more who couldn’t be here tonight.  You are my community and my family, your lives and the friendships we share undergird everything we do at Peace House and not only make our work possible but make our lives rich beyond any measure.  Thank you, for everything.  Continue reading

I Am Being “Unsettled”

perkinsonA excerpt from Dr. James Perkinson’s “Unsettling Whiteness: Refocusing Christian Theology on Its Own Indigenous Roots” in Wrongs to Rights: How Churches Can Engage the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2016): 

What is this thing called “Whiteness” as a force of history?  A hidden Power that inhabits institutions, influences policies, whispers in psyches, and colors perceptions without itself appearing, except in shadows and at the edge of vision.  I have only become aware of how profoundly this Power has moved my will, shaped my desire, and birthed my thought, as black and native people in my life have called out its nearly invisible Presence that is so obvious to them.  I am married to a Filipina, from a country colonized by my own for half a century, so the scrutiny is relentless–but also very healing, in the midst of the “trouble” it occasions.  I am, year-by-year, deepening my understanding that I am a Settler on someone else’s land, and enjoy access to unjust amounts of “resources” and goods because of someone else’s labour.  I am being “unsettled.” Or more precisely, what is being unsettled within and around me is White Power (I am actually more than just the Whiteness that “possesses” me).

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

maxresdefaultby Mary Oliver

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on…