I received this reminiscence about a 20-year friendship with Fr. Thomas Berry from Vic Hummert, former Maryknoll priest and environmental activist who lives in Louisiana.
Thomas Berry and I first met in April 1989 as I awaited an extended visa to teach English in an ecumenical seminary in Matanzas, Cuba. I tried to do some environmental education in the area while patiently waiting for the visa in St. Paul’s parish in Yonkers , NY. With time as a precious gift I decided to phone Thomas Berry in the Riverdale Center on the Hudson River.
“Father Berry , my name is Vic Hummert, a Maryknoll priest. I have been reading some of your papers and would like to know if I could just come to visit you some day.”
“What are you doing for lunch today?”
“Nothing planned. I will get on the train and come down to Riverdale.”
“That would be fine. What do you mean? Coming on the train? You don’t have a car?”
“No, I gave up on cars since going to Hong Kong in 1970.”
“Stay right there, I’ll come and pick you up.”