Ralph DiGia Fund for Peace & JusticeIllusStainGlass

And Death No Dominion

Dan Berrigan

I have no long memories of Ralph, only stories that come together in what we call myth. I first heard of this long term peacemaker through the pages of the War Resisters magazine. Then Simon Harak took the (storm tossed) helm of the NY office, and the stories came home, since Simon was living in my community. His style, as is well known hereabouts, was eloquent, even explosive. Simon reported with enthusiasm that he had met and was working with someone whose convictions were unmistakably clear, lived, bespoken, vehement. Ralph DiGia. To Simon’s view, he and Ralph were kindred spirits whose friendship could only flourish. Flourish it did.

In due course, a group of us antiwarniks were invited by Karin and Ralph to their apartment for a brunch. There, in rooms as cheerful and ship shape as a boat cabin, we met a warm welcome and ample, delicious provender. The event was much in their style; unpretentious, heartfelt. (There too, I learned of the ongoing work of Karin on behalf of the children of war in Bosnia. Another saga.) Thank you, Karin and Ralph.

But, but. It seems to me that the longer our noble elders live on, the stronger the implication – all but a pact, a promise, this; death shall have no dominion. Their grandeur robs death of its sting. I think this is true of Ralph. Single of purpose, intent on civility and decency, paying the price, he remains vivid in memory, powerful in example. Thank you, dear friend. Death no dominion, death robbed of its sting. Ralph lives.

Written by , updated 16/5/08

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