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Phillip Berrigan

John Patrick Liteky, a powerful activist in his own right gives his rendition of Phil's Peace Pancakes

John Patrick Liteky, #83275-020, Cell C-3
Crisp Co. Jail - 197 Hwy 300 S - Cordele, GA 31015
I viewed a site I hadn't been to in a while.
I saw a new post and thought it worthy to post.
Then I looked at the date, March 6th
Phil's been up in those "Clouds of Resistance"
for three months already
I know he's watching the U.N.
I know he's watching the U.S.
I pray to God and Goddess he dumps a little
rain on the War Parade - a flood might work!

the most important ingredient Phillip put
into his peace pancakes was "community"

so here's a post from John Patrick Liteky
he's in jail right now
write him a note or a long letter
his address is at the bottom


- A Poetic Memoir -

For more years than I know
Phil Berrigan and all at Jonah House
Gathered on Sunday Mornings - still do -
At 10 O'clock sharp, community and extended family
The always overflowing community celebration
Of eucharist and gospel exposition
Was/is a joyous sharing of gifts for body and soul,
Illuminating minds, uplifting hearts, filling tummies,
Scripture the foundation, with studied commentary
In turns, opening to all assembled a fuller grasp
Of Jesus' invitation to sit down at table
To join him.

We each brought something - whether word
Or deed - and we all received an abundance
Of both while together we listened, prayed,
Sang, hugged and received God's bounty.
At ceremony's end - not an end at all - Phil & Liz
Summoned us all to a feast most sumptuous
The centerpiece of which was an unending
Platter of Phil's famous - internationally renowned -
Peace Pancakes.
Phil's recipe you see, had not only good taste
To tempt the most discerning disciple
They contained the seeds of yet more lessons
More fruitful insights for our bodies & souls.
Phil had a purpose for everything he did, you see,
And cleaning out the refrigerator, e.g.
Became an object lesson, which he
Made into an art form - as was the
Filling thereof...

On many a frosty morning, I remember,
Before the sun identified the dark horizon
And the direction thereof (I was never sure)
Sisters and brothers, sons and daughters
(None were spared) clamored aboard
The Jonah House van, praying it wouldn't start
So we could return to warm beds
(But Phil seemed to have a knack for
Getting the thing started, he was
Our in-house deus ex machina most times)
So, Phil at the wheel, coffee mug
Precariously on the dashboard
Or held by a "community novice"
At his side, riding "shotgun" (Phil loathed
That phrase!) we would listen to
A scriptural verse and head out
Into traffic-less darkness (no one
Else with any sense was up at that hour)
Wondering what treasures the dumpsters
Held in store for us.
We were bound for glory,
Never disappointed, at least not Phil,
By what we'd discover, uncover,
Turn up, rescue, breathe life back into
From the always overflowing bins
Having the fruits and vegetables
Not chosen for the more upscale markets
(There was/is always a lesson in those dumpsters,
And Phil always got to the hearts of the
Matter, of the lettuce and artichokes too.)
Back home another crew waited
With cleansing basins - sort of like
A baptism ensued - and Phil, once again,
Separated the "good stuff" for the
Neighbors, our fellow poor, and
Then the produce for our table,
Which was always good, too, maybe
A brown leaf or two on a head of lettuce,
A bruised peach, but still quite adequate.
Share-out came later in the morning,
With sometimes eighty people in the queue
Liz was the best master sergeant on those days
When, at the end of a month usually, there
Would be a bit of "jockeying for position"
So to speak.
But that old cliché kicked in -
"All went home tired but happy" -
The food-run crew at the head of the pack.

Sundays, back to Sundays, Phil was up
Before the community, getting the coffee on,
And in the wee quiet time was "re-con-ing
The reefer" scanning the shelves
For always new characters to star
In his impromptu "Peace Pancakes Du Jour"
No browning banana was safe, no nut too
"Hard" to crack, no raisin too wilting,
No apple or pear or peach too bruised -
He rescued them all!
Indeed, Phil seemed to resurrect
These almost forgotten gifts
From God's creation - melon, mango,
Berries both blue and straw -
Once visited by Phil's knowing eye
Likely were proud to be included
As part of the never-ending story -
And never to be duplicated recipe
Comprising the griddle fare to come.

Oh yes, there were eggs, and toast, and coffee,
And bacon or sausage, and cinnamon buns on
Occasion too, and cereals of every faith
But nothing could compare
With Phil's Peace Pancakes.
Phil's grace-filled flapjacks
Seemed to simply multiply
As son Jerry, or daughters
Frida and Kate alternated
As first mate, bringing in
A fresh batch to table
Where Vermont maple syrup
Waited to be poured (a gift
From extended communities
"Abroad") and Phil would,
Like a good captain, oversee
The distribution, seeing to it
No one was left out
("Come on, Patrick, you can surely
Eat some more!" I remember
Him so well, with that huge grin
That went from Maine to California
On that beautiful face
Made in the image and likeness of God

The gospel account of the feeding
Of five thousand now has been updated
By the legend of Phil Berrigan's
Peace Pancakes, and if you don't believe me
Stop by Jonah House, 10 AM sharp, and show
Up hungry for truth, justice, love, family,
And a meal that will stay with you!

John Patrick Liteky, #83275-020, Cell C-3
Crisp Co. Jail - 197 Hwy 300 S - Cordele, GA 31015
remembering daniel 06.Mar.2003 03:03

Andrea Pdx Andreapdx@attbi.com

I have a memory this early morning of meeting Phil Berrigan's brother Daniel.

It was in the 1970's in Salem, Oregon at the Willamette University's Chaplins office.

He was passing through and there was a small impromptu gathering of about a dozen people.

And of course, i was a bit in awe of meeting a movement/folk hero/legend/icon.

There was something impish in how his eyes laughed with a leprechand's mischievious wisdom.

He pulled out a loaf of french bread and broke bread with us and shared communion with us.

It was one of those "magic" moments, when quite unexpectedly you catch sight of the Spirit and feel an understanding of some ancient ritual that empowers the divinity within oneself.

The manner with which he did this was all so unpretentious and spontaneous. He had been doing this all his life. Just being a messenger, delivering the message that life and spirit and god cannot be subject to the power and greed of the ceasar's of this world.

Daniel's (and Philips) concept of Spirit was indeed revolutionary. It was a Spirit that empowered and challenged the individual's conscience to say no to the needless death and suffering that surrounds us.

Now more than ever, we are in need of that Spirit of
Resistance that says no to the barbarism of "shock and awe" and that says yes to the sanctity of all of our lives.