Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

From Common Prayer (

On May 17, 1968, the Catonsville Nine, which included two Catholic priests, went into the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, and burned several hundred draft records in a direct action against the Vietnam War. They were arrested, tried, and found guilty of destroying government property. After the nine were sentenced, one of the priests, Dan Berrigan, asked the judge if the Lord’s Prayer could be recited. All in the courtroom, including the judge and prosecuting attorneys, rose and joined in the prayer.


O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.


Psalm 86:6 – 10

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer : and attend to the voice of my supplications.

In the time of my trouble I will call upon you : for you will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord : nor anything like your works.

All nations you have made will come and worship you, O Lord : and glorify your name.

For you are great; you do wondrous things : and you alone are God.


Dan Berrigan, who died on April 30, 2016, said, “If you’re going to follow Jesus, well, he got killed. That’s just part of the job description: making trouble for peace.”


Today we pray for courage to dig ourselves deeper into the good soil, so that your word may take root in us and bring forth fruit that nourishes those who hunger for freedom. Amen.


May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.