Berrigan: Provoking With Humor | Sojourners

Berrigan: Provoking With Humor

MANY THANKS FOR the uplifting and amusing articles celebrating Daniel Berrigan's life. In 1988, when I was working at the Jesuit-run Georgetown University, I invited Father Berrigan to address our students during the university's bicentennial celebration. His rejection letter, pecked out on a manual typewriter, has become one of my most prized possessions:

Thank you for your kind invitation to Georgetown. It was pointed out to me that one of the recent "features" of the Georgetown anniversary was an honorary degree conferred on Reagan. This, to the president who has given us the horrid contra war, a trillion-dollar debt, and the appalling numbers of homeless, in Washington and elsewhere. I suppose that somewhere in Georgetown there is a limit set concerning the prostitution of Christianity (and the Jesuits) in this manner. Someday I should like to be informed of said limit. Until then, I must decline your kind invitation.

I didn't agree with Berrigan's assessment of Georgetown, but here's a man who could poke, prod, and provoke with a dose of good humor. How I wish there were more Daniel Berrigans in the world. Oh, how I wish there were more.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1996
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