Philip Berrigan was born in 1923, and after service in WWII, joined the Josephites, an order originally founded to minister to freed slaves. He was active in the civil rights movement and lectured extensively on race relations and poverty.
Disturbed by U.S. Cold War policy in the early 60s, Berrigan began to speak out against militarism and the arms race. He was often at odds with the Church hierarchy over his peace activities, which ultimately became the focus of his life's work.
Berrigan was assigned to St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore in 1965, and founded the Baltimore Interfaith Peace Mission. This group engaged in various protest activities before the two Baltimore area acts of resistance against the draft: the Customs House raid and the Catonsville Nine action.
Serving time in prison for these two actions, Berrigan secretly married Elizabeth McAlister, a nun. Excommunicated in 1973, the Berrigans founded Jonah House in West Baltimore, a community committed to nonviolent resistance to nuclear arms.
In 1980, Berrigan and other members of the community began the Plowshares movement, staging a protest at King of Prussia, PA. Since then, Plowshares members have continued to protest at weapons factories and nuclear facilities. Philip Berrigan died of cancer in December 2002.