Artful dispatches from the places where we find ourselves
Jerry Berrigan, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is the son of Philip Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister, who spent their lives in the struggle for peace and justice. Jerry grew up at Jonah House, the faith-based community dedicated to resistance to war and nuclear weapons cofounded by his parents in 1973. While a student at Kalamazoo College (MI) in the 1990s Jerry met Molly Mechtenberg, whom he would eventually marry, and Jen Kipka and Mike DeWaele; the four friends founded Peace House in Kalamazoo in 2006. Peace House, a community in the Catholic Worker movement, creates programming to benefit children and families in Kalamazoo's Eastside neighborhood, where 59% of residents live below the poverty line. Their overarching hope is to help create, in the words of Catholic Worker cofounder Peter Maurin, "a new society within the shell of the old...a place where it is easier for people to be good."