Daniel Berrigan Walt Whitman Martin Sheen Nick Virgilio Edwina Gateley Mother Theresa Thich Naht Hahn Mairead Corrigan Mick Maloney Eugene O’Donnell Barbara Dever Harry Reasoner Othmar Carli Sister Peg Hynes Cesar Chavez Eileen Egan Paddy Doherty Michael Flatley Tommy Sands Lester Conner Father Des Wilson
FAMOUS FACES AT SACRED HEART
Martin Sheen is celebrated for his acting in both films and television, where he is known for his roles as political figures (West Wing and “Kennedy” are two notable examples). Martin Sheen has not shied away from politics in his personal life either. He is an outspoken opponent of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC), a U.S.-sponsored program for training Latin American soldiers in torture and interrogation techniques, and has been arrested in protests against the SOA/WHINSEC every year since 1998. These protests count among over 70 arrests for political causes, about which he notes: “I love my country enough to suffer its wrath.”
He was influenced early in life by a meeting with Dorothy Day, and he’s been keeping good company ever since: his first act of civil disobedience was beside Daniel Berrigan. A liberal and faithful Catholic and devoted family man, he has been married to his wife Janet since 196. He has worked for peace and justice across the whole spectrum of life issues: abortion, capital punishment, farm workers’ rights, nuclear testing and war. In 2001, he was named a “Remarkable Pro-Life Man” by the Catholic organization Feminists for Life, and in 2008 Notre Dame University awarded him the Laetare Medal for outstanding service to the Church and society.
Sheen graciously donated his time and skills to narrate Poet of Poverty, a film based on the letters of Father Michael Doyle. He would have been familiar with Michael Doyle’s letters, having been given the “green book”, It’s a Terrible Day, Thanks Be To God, by his pastor, Msr. John Sheridan of Our Lady of Malibu in California. He applied his actor’s instincts well enough to quote from it almost as faithfully as the author himself.
Those who were fortunate enough to meet him during his visit to Camden discovered not only a distinguished actor and man of integrity, but an affable story teller and lover of jokes. He enjoyed a tour of the neighborhood and visited the church, the greenhouse and the future site of the Waterfront South Theater, where he extemporaneously recited lines of the poet Tagore and sang with Barbara and Shauna Dever in a hole in the ground, where the foundation of the South Camden Theater was being built at the time.