“Tribute to Daniel Berrigan, S.J. and His Relationship to Thomas Merton”


Rev. John Dear will reflect on Father Berrigan's significance for the Church, the nation and the world and what Thomas Merton meant to him personally. Gordon Oyer will offer reflections on Father Berrigan's relationship with Thomas Merton and the trailblazing retreat Merton hosted at Gethsemani in 1964 for peace & social activists which included Merton's friend Berrigan. 

Gordon Oyer is author of Pursuing the Spiritual Roots of Protest, which recounts the 1964 retreat that Thomas Merton hosted at Gethsemani Abbey for 13 peace and civil rights activists, including his friend Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J. Raised in the Anabaptist Mennonite tradition, Oyer's readings in nonviolence introduced him to the peace writings of Thomas Merton, which led him to also appreciate Merton's contemplative reflections and social critique. He holds an MA in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and recently retired from his professional career at the University of Illinois.  Oyer currently lives in central Illinois.

Gordon Oyer's book Pursuing the Spiritual Roots of Protest will be available for sale at the event. 

Rev. John Dear is an internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, retreat leader, and author, he served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S. After September 11, 2001, he was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Center in New York, and counseled thousands of relatives and rescue workers. John has traveled the war zones of the world, been arrested some 75 times for peace, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, recently visited Afghanistan, given thousands of lectures on peace across the U.S., and served as a pastor of several churches in New Mexico.

His many books include: The Beatitudes of Peace; The Nonviolent Life; Walking the Way; Thomas Merton Peacemaker; A Persistent Peace; Transfiguration;  You Will Be My Witnesses;   Living Peace;  The Questions of Jesus;   The God of Peace;  Jesus the Rebel;   Peace Behind Bars;  and Disarming the Heart.  He has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sen Barbara Mikulski. He works for www.campaignnonviolence.org, is a priest of the Diocese of Monterey, Cal., and lives in New Mexico. See: www.johndear.org and read a his recent piece on Pope Francis at http://www.paceebene.org/2016/12/12/pope-francis-issued-the-catholic-churchs-first-statement-on-nonviolence-ever/

The following books by Rev. John Dear will be available for sale at the event: • Thomas Merton, Peacemaker:  Meditations on Merton, Peacemaking and the Spiritual Life   Apostle of Peace:  Essays in Honor of Daniel Berrigan  • The Non-Violent Life

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. We invite you to mingle afterwards to enjoy drinks and snacks with our guest speakers and other friends of Merton.

Location: Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street just off Broadway, NYC (directions)

Cost: Free for Members & Students; $20 for Non-Members (or similar) 
NB: Members will need to renew their annual membership for the new 2016/17 season before registering for this event.  To do so, please go to  Membership and register for your desired membership level. Then return here to register for this event.


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