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DePaul University Special Collections and Archives


When is it necessary to question the status quo? Who decides? Where do you go from there?

These questions are reflected in the lives of many activists, including the Berrigans. Rooted in their Catholic faith, the Berrigans became pioneers of active Christian nonviolence.

This exhibit primarily focuses on the work and peace actions of Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest; Philip Berrigan, a former Josephite priest; and Elizabeth McAlister, a former nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart. It explores some of the tactics, triumphs, and trials of over fifty years of peace activism.

In the decades after World War II, the Berrigans organized, protested, and spoke out against injustice and violence. They advocated for causes including the civil rights movement, the end of the Vietnam War, and nuclear disarmament. They also helped establish the anti-nuclear Plowshares movement.

Even when activism put the Berrigans at risk of government backlash, they remained persistent. Their example of peace activism inspired the Berrigan-McAlister Award. The award honors the Berrigans’ legacy, as well as continued efforts to resist injustice, transform conflict, and foster reconciliation by Christian peace activists.