Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Social Justice Institute – Daniel Berrigan and a Spirituality of Prophecy

March 10 @ 4:00 pm - March 12 @ 11:00 am

Few voices in our generation have been as prophetic as that of Daniel Berrigan. He was not just an extraordinary advocate for justice and peace on the streets, but his books also articulate a spirituality of prophecy that is rare in its balance of passion and nuance, challenging us to be prophets of love and not of alienation.  This conference, leaning upon some of his closest friends and associates, will examine and celebrate his life, his spirituality, and his legacy.

The first 200 people to register will receive a FREE copy of Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings, by John Dear!

Pay What you Can

In the spirit of social justice and inclusivity, so that all might attend regardless of means, registration for this conference will be based on what you can afford. To cover costs, the suggested payment is $100. If you cannot pay $100, then pay whatever is within your means. If you are blessed with abundance, please consider paying more to offset those who cannot pay  the suggested rate. This three day conference registration includes meals. Lodging rates are not included and must be purchased separately – Please call Laurence Gonzalez for ORC room reservations: (210) 341-1366, ext. 306.


Rev. John Dear is an internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, retreat leader, and author, he served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S. After September 11, 2001, he was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Center in New York, and counseled thousands of relatives and rescue workers. John has traveled the war zones of the world, been arrested some 75 times for peace, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, recently visited Afghanistan, given thousands of lectures on peace across the U.S., and served as a pastor of several churches in New Mexico.

His thirty five books include: The Beatitudes of Peace; The Nonviolent Life; Walking the Way; Thomas Merton Peacemaker; A Persistent Peace; Transfiguration;  You Will Be My Witnesses;   Living Peace;  The Questions of Jesus;   The God of Peace;  Jesus the Rebel;   Peace Behind Bars; Lazarus Come Forth! and Disarming the Heart.  He has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sen. Barbara Mikulski. He works for www.campaignnonviolence.org, is a priest of the Diocese of Monterey, Cal., and lives in New Mexico.

Recently, John helped draft Pope Francis’ Jan. 1, 2017 World Day of Peace message, “Nonviolence.” John was a close collaborator of Daniel Berrigan for nearly four decades; edited five books of his writings, including “Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings”; and is Dan’s literary executor. See: www.johndear.org


Elizabeth McAlister, born in 1939, is a longtime peace activist and wife of Philip Berrigan (1923-2002). Elizabeth was a Catholic Nun for 14 years and left in 1973 to marry Philip. Together they founded Jonah House, a nonviolent resistance community in Baltimore, Maryland, where they lived and raised their three children: Frida, Jerome, and Kathleen. They sought to live simply, to serve the poor of their neighborhood, to study the scriptures together, and to put flesh on them in their life together, their teaching, and their nonviolent resistance. For many years they supported themselves and their community by contract painting. They published a quarterly newsletter, YEAR ONE; collected and distributed food to their neighbors twice a week; organized for nonviolent resistance conducting “Faith and Resistance Retreats” at least 3 times a year as well as facilitating plowshares action. In Baltimore, where death row was located, they organized and participated in protest against the death penalty until the state ended that practice. They also demonstrated with regularity against the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab (which does 91 – 93% of its work in research for the Department of the Navy).

Elizabeth was party to numerous trials – to include the Harrisburg Seven trial in 1972 and the Griffiss Plowshares Seven trial in 1984 – primarily for resistance to the Vietnam War and later (after 1975) to Nuclear Gamesmanship. She was jailed July 1984 – July 1986 at Federal Correctional Institution, Alderson, WV, in addition to shorter sentences in the D.C. Detention Center; Alexandria City Jail; Arlington County Jail; the Howard Co. Jail in Maryland; the Public Safety Building in Syracuse, NY; and the Oneida Co. Jail, NY.

Elizabeth earned an Undergraduate Degree in Art History at Marymount College, Tarrytown, N.Y.; and a Graduate Degree in Art History at Hunter College of New York City. She taught Art History at Marymount College (Tarrytown, N.Y.) and at Ramapo College (N.J.) for more than 9 years.

Elizabeth has lectured on nonviolent resistance, community, prayer and peacemaking throughout the United States and in Canada.

Robert Ellsberg has spent the last thirty years as editor-in-chief and publisher of Orbis Books, where he worked with Daniel Berrigan on many books. His friendship with Berrigan extends back to 1975 and the five years he spent as part of the Catholic Worker community in New York City. There he also worked closely with Dorothy Day, whose selected writings, diaries, and letters he has edited. He is the author of numerous books, including The Saints’ Guide to Happiness, and more recently Blessed Among Us, which draws on his daily column on saints for “Give Us This Day.”


Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI is a Roman Catholic priest, member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and  president of Oblate School of Theology. Rolheiser is a theologian, professor, and award-winning author. Apart from his academic knowledge in systematic theology and philosophy, he has become a popular speaker in contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world. He writes a weekly column that is carried in over 70 newspapers around the world. He is a popular speaker in the areas of contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world. His latest work is Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity.



Lodging available at the Oblate Renewal Center  $70 single; $40 double

Please call Laurence Gonzalez for ORC room reservations: (210) 341-1366, ext. 306


Friday, March 10, 2017

4:00pm Registration Whitley Theological Center (WTC)
5:00pm Keynote: The Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan – John Dear WTC 101
6:30pm Dinner – Provided by St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish Mobile Loaves & Fishes WTC
7:30pm Keynote: The Peacemaking Lessons of Daniel Berrigan – John Dear WTC 101
8:45pm Reception WTC

Saturday, March 11, 2017

8:00am Registration – Coffee sponsored by Starbucks WTC
8:30am Keynote: Walking with Daniel Berrigan – Elizabeth McAlister WTC 101
10:00am Health Break
10:30am Keynote: Daniel Berrigan and the Communion of Saints – Robert Ellsberg WTC 101
12:00pm Lunch

1:30pm Breakout Session #1
A – The Power of Simplicity – Patti Radle WTC 100
B – Peace is our Birthright – peaceCENTER (Collier/Helmke) WTC 102
C – The Dignity of the Human Person: Social Justice and LGBT Catholics – Dignity San Antonio (De Los Santos/Gonzales/Myers) WTC 104
D – Know Your Rights – RAICES WTC 105

2:30pm Health Break

3:00pm Breakout Session #2
A – The Power of Simplicity – Patti Radle WTC 100
B – Peace is our Birthright – peaceCENTER (Collier/Helmke) WTC 102
C – The Dignity of the Human Person: Social Justice and LGBT Catholics – Dignity San Antonio (De Los Santos/Gonzales/Myers) WTC 104
D – Know Your Rights – RAICES WTC 105

4:00pm Health Break
4:30pm Keynote: Daniel Berrigan and a Spirituality of Prophecy – Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI WTC 101
5:30pm Presentation of Social Justice Advocate Awards WTC 101
6:00pm Networking Reception WTC

Sunday, March 12, 2017

8:30am Labyrinth Experience adjacent to Immaculate Conception Chapel
8:30am Sunday Liturgy Immaculate Conception Chapel
10:00am Brunch and Closing Remarks – Brunch sponsored by Paul and Betty Vance WTC 100-102



2017 Social Justice Advocate Award Recipients

  • Trinity University student, Maria Teresa Kamel
  • peaceCENTER co-founder, Rev. Ann Helmke


Exhibiting Partners

  • peaceCENTER
  • Compassionate San Antonio
  • Catholic Worker House
  • Inner City Development
  • Martinez Street Women’s Center
  • Pax Christi
  • Dignity San Antonio
  • COPS/Metro
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Mobile Loaves & Fishes



  • University of the Incarnate Word
  • Catholic Worker House
  • Dignity San Antonio

All refunds are subject to a 10% fee.  




March 10 @ 4:00 pm
March 12 @ 11:00 am
Event Categories:
, ,


Whitley Theological Center
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio , TX 78216 United States
+ Google Map
(210) 341-1366 x 406