The world mourns the death of Daniel Berrigan, SJ : priest, poet and pacifist.
The paths of Fr. Berrigan and the Assumption crossed around 15 years ago. Our Sr. Lory Mapa was asked to give the invocation at a testimonial banquet for Fr. Berrigan and Martin Sheen sponsored by The Welcoming Center in Philadelphia. At the time, Sr. Lory was working at the Archdiocesan Office for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, under the direction of Fr. Tom Betz, O.F.M. Cap.
The invocation that Sr. Lory gave that night still rings true today:
In this evening gathering, let us invoke our good and ever gracious God
who is rich in mercy and full of compassion
especially toward the poor and the oppressed,
the widows and orphans.
In this evening gathering we celebrate the presence of prophets in our midst:
Fr. Daniel Berrigan and Mr. Martin Sheen,
who challenge us to open wide the doors of our hearts
as we continually welcome the strangers in our land --
the migrant workers, new peoples from other lands seeking a new dwelling place.
May their example encourage us to work in upholding the rights of people
to live peaceful lives in their new home.
May the Lord bless the food we eat, our sharing and exchanges
that will enable us to continue in hope and thanksgiving
in our ministry of hospitality, justice and peace
as we look forward to the time when ALL peoples, poor and rich alike,
will partake of the heavenly banquet prepared for us for all eternity.
Rest in the peace of Christ, brave and prophetic peacemaker.