Wednesday Feb 14 is Ash Wednesday, but the next day Feb 15 is the anniversary of the death of Ben Salmon, World War I Catholic War Resister & Martyr.
I met Ben’s daughter, Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth Salmon, in 2007, when i was at a workshop w Ched Myers in 2007 at Maryknoll. z
I was talking w Sr. Elisabeth, who was attending the workshop, about herself and then my involvement in the Cleveland Catholic Worker, and our work against war-making. Sr Elisabeth then mentioned that she was the daughter of Ben Salmon and his life.
I knew of Ben Salmon through various sources, especially All Saints book by Richard Ellsberg. We talked further and she told me how much her father’s story was suppressed in her own family, because of the ostracism that the family had experienced due to her father’s witness.
I told her then that her father, Ben Salmon, was a powerful witness to many of us. And that his sufferings and death (and his family’s sufferings) spoke to us from beyond death into an eternal witness.
Ben Salmon died in 1932 at age 42, having suffered for many years from the beatings and affliction during his imprisonment.
He had originally been sentenced to death for his refusal to participate in WWI, due to his beliefs as a Catholic and follower of Jesus’ teachings.
REad selected stories from Ben Salmon himself and as well others.
His witness has been suppressed, but now is receiving the attention and power it deserves.
http://www.jonahhouse.org/archive/BenSalmonltr.htm by Ben Salmon himself
http://www.jonahhouse.org/archive/BenSalmon.htm by Daniel Berrigan
Leading the Way for Peace – Maryknoll Sisters