John Berrigan is the Director General of DG FISMA, part of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Financial Stability, Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA). In this capacity he oversees policy making and legislative initiatives related to the financial sector at EU-level.
He represents the Commission on the Economic and Financial Committee, Financial Services Committee and Single Resolution Board. His work encompasses analysis of the financial sector in both Europe and beyond as well as monitoring national financial systems within that bloc.
Early Life and Education
Berrigan was raised in Syracuse, New York. After studying English at the University of Oklahoma, he relocated to New York City in 1961 and formed friendships with poets Dick Gallup, Joe Brainard and Charles Padgett.
Berrigan was an influential figure in American Expressionism, an offshoot of the so-called Beat Generation. His works were heavily influenced by Thomas Wolfe, William Saroyan and Jack Kerouac’s writings.
During the Vietnam War, Berrigan and his brother Philip took dramatic acts of civil disobedience against the United States government. Together with seven other activists, they broke into a draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland and burned their draft files.
He was an active participant in the Catholic Worker movement, which seeks to apply religious principles to social problems. For several years he volunteered at St. Vincent’s hospital in New York where he assisted AIDS patients; additionally he served as professor of peace studies at Fordham University in New York.
John Berrigan was an acclaimed writer who was deeply engaged in peace activism and religion throughout his lifetime. His poetry career spanned more than 35 years, featuring reflections on war resistance, prison life, and peace that are often featured within his works.
He was a member of the Jesuit Catholic Church and an ordained priest in 1952 (Lewis). Throughout his professional career, Berrigan taught peace and justice courses at Fordham University.
He served as a visiting lecturer at various universities and colleges throughout the country, serving as an active writer and activist who worked against the Vietnam War and other armed conflicts. Additionally, he traveled to Latin America to research the effects of U.S. wars on people there.
Achievements and Honors
Berrigan was a poet and Jesuit priest renowned for his anti-war activism. He worked to combat racism, poverty, and American foreign intervention within his community as well as abroad.
Berrigan’s writings, particularly his poetry, expressed his worldly beliefs with clarity and unflinching imagery. He was a member of the Catonsville Nine anti-draft activist group and helped found Plowshares Movement.
He was also a member of the Catholic Worker movement, led by Dorothy Day. He and his brother Philip were arrested numerous times while protesting nuclear weapons testing.
John Berrigan’s personal life was marked by a series of actions against the Vietnam War. As one of the leading figures in that movement, he dedicated himself to numerous campaigns for peace and nonviolent resistance.
He published numerous poems and essays, as well as writing several books on the Hebrew prophets. Additionally, he served as hospital chaplain and ministered to AIDS patients.
He resided in New York City for most of his life and was close friends with Ron Padgett, William Brainard and Thomas Gallup. Unlike Padgett who wrote with an air of self-conscious urbanity, Berrigan often addressed intimate or private matters in his poetry. His works are intimate, sad, graceful and affectionate in nature.
John Berrigan was an American Jesuit priest who championed peace and helped spur global opposition to war. He authored numerous books on both war and nuclear weapons, and gained notoriety for his anti-nuclear activism.
He was an influential figure within the Catholic Church and widely credited with inspiring religious resistance to the Vietnam War. As one of the world’s most renowned priests, his work helped shift the focus of national debate on war away from military issues to questions of faith.
After serving a prison sentence for burning draft files, Berrigan joined an underground movement against Vietnam War called The Weather Underground. He strongly advised them against violence, writing in his journal that “The death of one human is too high a price for vindication of any principle, however sacred.”