“There Are So Many Reminders of Death”

Shawn Francis Peters

in The Catonsville Nine

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827855
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950140 | DOI:
“There Are So Many Reminders of Death”

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Few things were more important to Brother David Darst than staying in close contact with his friends and family members. Irrepressibly gregarious, he worked hard at nurturing relationships with a wide variety of people—his fellow Christian Brothers, his biological brothers, young people he had met during summer school sessions, like-minded social and political activists. In 1969 Darst found himself at odds with the Christian Brothers over how they were running their schools. By the fall of that year he seemed to have reached the end of his rope with his religious order. He described the order's novitiate in Glencoe, Missouri, as “the heart of absurd-land” and joked that visiting Christian Brothers College in Memphis made him feel like “Vietcong in the Embassy.” Early in September, he was buffeted by news that one of his Christian Brothers superiors had been killed in a plane crash. A few weeks later, he learned that some young protesters had been killed in Chicago. “It brought up the question of death again,” he wrote to his friends. “There are so many reminders of death.” When his moods were particularly dark, Darst alluded to his own death, sometimes very directly. The prospect of going to jail for his part in the Catonsville protest burdened him so much that he talked about the possibility of committing suicide.

Keywords: David Darst; death; suicide; Christian Brothers

Chapter.  5977 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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