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Merton's Correspondence with:

Philip Francis Berrigan; Philip Berrigan

Berrigan, Philip Francis, 1923-2002  printer

Phillip Berrigan on the photo's far right with Daniel Berrigan in a blue plaid shirt in the center and Merton seated on the far left (other person identified as Tony Walsh).  Photo from August 1962 Retreat.  (Copyright Thomas Merton Legacy Trust.)  
Phillip Berrigan on the photo's far right with Daniel Berrigan in a blue plaid shirt in the center and Merton seated on the far left (other person identified as Tony Walsh). Photo from August 1962 Retreat. (Copyright Thomas Merton Legacy Trust.) 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1964-1968
Volume: 12 item(s); 15 pg(s)

Scope and Content

Though he was not as often in contact with Merton as Daniel, Philip Berrigan influenced, and was influenced by, Merton. Philip Berrigan took an active posture of civil disobedience that did not rule out the use of violence toward property if that property were being used in service of immoral ends. Merton struggled with Philip's actions but spoke more with Daniel regarding these issues. Philip's correspondence file contains originals of his letters to Merton and copies of Merton's letters to him.

Biography

Philip Berrigan was a social activist and writer whose acts of civil disobedience during the Vietnam War made him a household name in the peace movement. Younger brother of Daniel Berrigan, he became a priest like his brother, but with the Josephites instead of the Jesuits. He would later marry and would be excommunicated. Throughout his life, he continued to protest nuclear proliferation in the United States and was often imprisoned for his actions.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Records with Source listed as "Cornell University Department of Rare Books" may not be published or reproduced without written permission from the Rare Books Department at Cornell.

Related Information and Links

See also one published letter from Merton to Philip Berrigan in The Hidden Ground of Love, p. 101.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. 1964/09/25 TAL[c] from Merton Sure, by all means have them send the proofs and I will try to writ[e] at least something, if I five day conference of novice masters "kicking around seven main types of misunderstanding" / some peace writings approved for publishing after a rewrite - thinks writings are now stronger / Carole Denise McNair killed in the September 1963 bombing in Birmingham, Alabama - "Picture of a Black Child with a White Doll" «detailed view»
2. 1964/10/no? TLS to Merton You will recall the hopes that Dan and I had that you would write the foreword of our joint asking Merton to write a foreword to his book No Longer Strangers / at meeting at Gethsemani next month, Philip would like to discuss institutionalism - wrote about it in Perspectives «detailed view»
3. 1965/01/18 (#01) TL[c] from Merton Here is the preface. I can send some more copies if you like, but this is the one for printing, as sending preface to No Longer Strangers - may have to send preface to censors / Merton likes content of the book but has some criticisms on style - too much ambiguity that will be understood by friends and misused by enemies «detailed view»
4. 1965/01/18 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Here is the preface. I can send some more copies if you like, but this is the one for printing, as sending preface to No Longer Strangers - may have to send preface to censors / Merton likes content of the book but has some criticisms on style - too much ambiguity that will be understood by friends and misused by enemies «detailed view»
5. 1965/02/no? (#01) HLS to Merton Your note arrived today and I immediately informed Macmillan to go ahead on the preface. Merton did not have to send preface to the censors / reviews of Seeds of Destruction did not give it the credit it deserved - few Christians who have perspective on the road ahead «detailed view»
6. 1965/02/no? (#02) TALS to Merton The foreword arrived, so an immediate word of my gratitude- tremendously pleased with it. correction of one error in Merton's foreword «detailed view»
7. 1966/04/23 HLS[x] from Merton I was glad to get your good letter of the 4th. It reached me when I got home from the hospital. Catholic Peace Fellowship / conflicts with superiors «detailed view»
8. 1967/10/no? other to Merton PRESS STATEMENT (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) [-] On Friday, October 27, 1967, we are entering the statement to the press of group's plan to enter a draft records office in Baltimore, Maryland, and pour their blood on draft records - reasons for actions - biographies of those committing this act: Rev. James Mengel, David Eberhardt, Thomas Lewis, Father Philip Berrigan «detailed view»
9. 1967/12/31 (#01) TL[c] from Merton New Year's eve. The day is darkening and it has been snowing since midnight last night. Snow is support for Philip's act of civil disobedience and the governments charge of conspiracy / John and June Yungblut / Merton's book Faith and Violence dedicated to Philip and Daniel / abbatial election / new foundation in Chile - asking Merton to go down / "Maybe the only honest place is jail-- or the Amazon jungle" «detailed view»
10. 1967/12/31 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton New Year's eve. The day is darkening and it has been snowing since midnight last night. Snow is support for Philip's act of civil disobedience and the governments charge of conspiracy / John and June Yungblut / Merton's book Faith and Violence dedicated to Philip and Daniel / abbatial election / new foundation in Chile - asking Merton to go down / "Maybe the only honest place is jail-- or the Amazon jungle" «detailed view»
11. 1967/12/no? HLS to Merton Apologies for not having kept you better informed. Since getting out of jail, there has been much mentions members of his group, not including Philip, who will be handcuffing themselves together to block entry into draft room at the Customs House / trial in February - charges by federal government of conspiracy to destruction of government property with up to 23 years in jail / Daniel's work at Cornell «detailed view»
12. 1968/09/30 HPCS from Merton Your letter finally caught up with me in Alaska but I am moving on. Impossible to get to trial post card from Mt. McKinley, Alaska / Merton responds to an invitation to attend the trial of the Catonsville Nine, Philip Berrigan, Daniel Berrigan and seven others who broke into a Selective Service office in Catonsville, MD, and burned draft records / Merton will be in India and cannon make the October trial, but is raising money «detailed view»

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