Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Patrick Delahanty, March 27, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - His seminary work for justice

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Partial Transcript: I am Betty Bayè and I'm interviewing Father Patrick Delahanty.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses his family's work for justice as well as the work he done during his major seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He also discusses the Berrigan brothers and their fight against the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Actions; Anti-war activists; Assistant warden's office; Aunts; Baltimore County Jail; Blood; Brothers; Catonsville Nine; Colleges; Community affairs; Corrections officers; DNA; Daniel Berrigan; Deloris Delahanty; Demonstrations; Department of Corrections; Dormitories; Downtown; Draft cards; Draft offices; Draft records; Equally; Fair play; Faith; Fathers; First offenders; Guilty; Halfway houses; Heroin addicts; High schools; Holy Thursday; Homemakers; Indianapolis Star; Inmates; Inner city; Institution of Pewee Valley; Jesuit priests; Junior; Justice; Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame; Liturgy; Madeline Elrod Delahanty; Major seminary; Medium security prison; Meeting; Mothers; Neighbors; Newspapers; Notes; Order priests; Pastors; People; Petitions; Philip Berrigan; Priests; Pro-bono; Programs; Purpose; Reporters; Resistance; Richard Pat Delahanty; Rights; Robin Delahanty; Saint Thomas Seminary; Seminary; Senior; St. Mary's Seminary and University; Systems; TV stations; Trials; Uncles; Unfairness; Unjust; Unwillingness; Victory; Volunteers; Wardens; Zoning cases

Subjects: Activists, Human rights; Baltimore (Md.); Catholicism; Eddyville (Ky.); Education; Justice.; La Grange (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.); Pewee Valley (Ky.); Prisons.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:12:00 - Why he became a priest

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Partial Transcript: You know, and I just want to roll back a little bit because one of the things that I, I have is, um, you know, there are lots of people who are Catholics who don't become priests.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty talks about the reasons he became a priest and whether or not he feels a sense of loss about not being able to get married or have children.

Keywords: Archbishops; Bishops; Calling; Children; Conscious; Family; Force; Happy; Immigration; Lawyers; Loss; Love; Mantel; Ministry; National non-profit; Non-government organization; Parents; Photographs; Priests; Role models; Seminary; Statues; Teachers; Tied down; Towns; Trinity High School

Subjects: Careers; Catholicism; Catholics--Kentucky; Marriage; Priesthood.; Religion

00:16:25 - Scandal and the Catholic Church

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Partial Transcript: You know what I, I--this is--it's not off subject, but a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses his feelings towards the priest accused of molesting young boys, as well as how he thinks it showed failure within the church. He also talks about how the parish he is over is isolated from the rest of the parishes in Louisville, Kentucky because it is in the west end of the city.

Keywords: Abuse; Accused; Atmosphere; Boys; Card playing; Charters; Christ the King; Classmates; Clergy; Clergy talk; Conferences; Cry room; Factual; Failures; Faith; Flash; Harm; Houses; Institutional church; Isolation; Jobs; Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame; Leo Craycroft; Letters; Marriage counseling; Media; News; Parish ministry; Parishes; Pastors; Perpetrators; Police; Presidents; Problems; Rumors; Schools; Sheila Schuster; St. Charles Parish; St. Mary's Seminary and University; Strikes; Team ministry; The Courier-Journal; Trauma; Trick-or-treating; Vernon Robertson; Whites; William McMurry; Worry

Subjects: Catholic Church; Catholicism; Catholics--Kentucky; Louisville (Ky.); Molestation of children; Scandals.; Segregation.

00:26:47 - The King and Kennedy assassinations

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Partial Transcript: Well, you know, when you were in seminary, uh, I think you were in seminary when Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses his memories of the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinations, as well as what actions he took after those assassinations to help the communities in which he lived.

Keywords: Art departments; Canned goods; Cardinals; Collar; Community Action Commission; Deloris Delahanty; Episcopal priests; Experience; Fires; Future; George Schaffer; Houses; Housing; Lots; Meetings; Members; Military; Parishes; Parties; Pastors; Philip Berrigan; Photographs; Reactions; Riots; Robin Delahanty; Roommates; Schools; Seminary; Skip Sanders; Spying; Summer; Teams; Vernon Robertson; War on Poverty; Warhouse; White people; Work

Subjects: Assassination; Baltimore (Md.); Catholics--Kentucky; Communities.; Death.; Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Louisville (Ky.); Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:32:23 - The influence of literature

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Partial Transcript: Besides what you, what you saw with your own eyes, was there some reading, some book, some something that had like a tremendous influence on you during this period?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the books that he read during the time of the civil rights disputes in the sixties as a teenager. He also discusses some of the current reads that are of great importance to understanding civil rights even today.

Keywords: "I'm Not Your Negro"; African American studies; Attitudes; Black Like Me (Book); Books; Brown v. Board of Education; Change; Classes; Claude Brown; Documentary; Earning; Experiences; Harlem renaissance; Hours; Impact; Influence; Laws; Manchild in the Promised Land (Book); Novels; Parting the Waters; People; Powerful; Quotes; Reading; Relevant; Richard Wright; Sadness; Sense; Study hall; Taylor Branch; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Book); To Kill a Mockingbird (Book)

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans.; Assassination; Civil rights movements; Education; Evers, Medgar Wiley, 1925-1963; History.; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Literature.; Malcolm X, 1925-1965

00:38:58 - An ex-convict halfway house

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Partial Transcript: And I want--you know--there are so many social issues that one could choose to focus on in Kentucky, and Louisville, and the nation, and the world.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the process of getting a halfway house built in the neighborhood where his parish is located in Louisville, Kentucky. He also begins to talk about why he chose to become an advocate for those who are in need, as well as discusses the meaning behind the name of his parish.

Keywords: Advocacy; Backlash; Crimes; Dome; Economic; Fair housing; Halfway houses; Hate Crime Statistics Working Group; Immigrants; Jeff Ellis; Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Kings; Lawns; Living wage; Martyrs; Money; Neighbors; Nest; Parishes; Petitions; Ross Jessup; Saint Charles of Lwanga; Section 8 housing; Social issues; St. Charles Parish; Uganda; Windows; Zoning cases

Subjects: African Americans.; Ex-convicts; Louisville (Ky.); Neighborhoods.; Race relations

00:43:34 - The Lindsey Scott case

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Partial Transcript: But, uh, but that was another big venture that took a while and the other, the other one that, that, that took so much time and it was--turned out very well, ultimately, was that Lindsey Scott--

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses his role in getting the Lindsey Scott case appealed for a retrial. He talks about the key people in the case that allowed for the attorneys to prove his innocence as well as raising money to pay for the detective work needed to find evidence. Lastly, he talks about how the case impacted his life.

Keywords: 60 Minutes; Alibi witness; Alibis; Apartments; Appeals; Attempted murder; Attorney/client privilege; Attorneys; Cases; Charges; Clippings; Comas; Cops; Courtrooms; Daughters; Ed Bradley; Exonerated; Frank Hadad; Freedom; Guilty; Helpful; Husbands; Impact; Joy; Jury; Leavenworth; Leg work; Lindsey Scott; Lolita Scott; Mamie Till; Marine Corporal; Military; Money; Mothers; Newspapers; Parents; Parking lots; Police; Powerful; Private detectives; Rape; Reports; Reputable; Roles; Secretaries; Security detail; Sons; Stories; Tapes; Tenacious; Tom Clark; Towns; Trials; Verdicts; Washington Post; White supremacy; Witnesses; Yellowpages

Subjects: African Americans.; Discrimination.; Louisville (Ky.); Race relations; Social issues, justice and status; Trials.; United States. Marine Corps

00:55:25 - Advocating for refugees

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Partial Transcript: And what about--let's talk a little bit about your work, too, with immigrants.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty talks about his time working with immigrants, especially with refugees, that are coming into the United States and his work getting changes made to a bill regarding restricting what groups of people are able to receive a driver's license. He also discusses the countries that the refugees came from, as well as tells a story about a family being put in danger by the head of household because he wished to return to their home country to fight the war. He also talks about some of the attitudes towards the immigrants within the communities in which they were being resettled.

Keywords: Advocacy; Affordable housing; Airports; Apartments; Archbishops; Attitudes; Attorneys; Bills; Bosnia; Cases; Catholic Charities; Charades; Children; Colors; Complex; Cuba; Dan Johnson; Dangers; Driver's licenses; Egypt; English; Foreigners; Friends; Government; Hands; Heart; Help; Home; Husbands; Illegal; Immigration department; Instrumental; Iraq; Jobs; Kenya; Language barriers; Libya; Males; Money; Muammar Gaddafi; Neighborhood funds; Neighborhoods; Orientation programs; Paralegals; Passports; People; Plans; Press; Problems; Protect; Rent; Resettlement programs; Resilient; Resolution; Rwanda; Schools; Sinks; Somalia; Sponsors; St. John Vianney; State department; Stories; Stoves; Successful; Superintendents; Toilets; Tough; Tribal areas; Undocumented; Upset; Vietnam; Vigil; Washing dishes; Wife; Wives

Subjects: Advocates of immigration; Communities.; Education; Families.; Immigrants.; Refugees.; United States of America; War.

01:06:27 - Advocating for the abolishment of the death penalty

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Partial Transcript: --(Delahanty laughs)--Y, your life is so interesting.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses his work associated with the abolishment of the death penalty in Kentucky. He tells of how he worked with the Senators and Representatives to first abolish the death penalty for the mentally disabled and then continued to work his way towards his real goal. He also talks about his relationship with David Williams and Gerald Neal.

Keywords: Agreement; Associated Press; Attorney; Attorney general; Ben Chandler; Bill Clinton; Call; Cases; Charts; Circumstances; Committee agendas; Committees; Commonwealth attorney; Compromise; Congress; Copy; Courts; Dan Meyerson; David Williams; Death sentence; Defendants; Democrats; Districts; Gerald Neal; Hearings; Human life; Human trafficking bill; Interns; Isolate; Issues; Judges; Jury; Kentucky; Law schools; Laws; Leaders; Legislative aid; Legislatures; Life sentence; Meetings; Memory; Mentally disabled people; Mitch McConnell; Money; Narrow; Offices; Phones; Potlucks; Powerful; Principles; Prisoners; Prisons; Process; Racial justice act; Reports; Republicans; Responsible; Retardation; Robbery; Senate; Sessions; Smart; Social media; Sophistication; Supreme Court; Suzy Post; Talking; Technology; Training programs; Votes; Work

Subjects: African Americans.; Catholic Church; Catholicism; Death penalty; Death.; Mental health.; Racism; Voting

01:21:11 - Problems that he believes need fixing

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Partial Transcript: But, but let me, let me, let me just ask you.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty talks about some of the problems that exist still today that need to be worked on and dealt with.

Keywords: America; Benefitting; Cases; Civil rights legislation; Cops; Credibility; Crimes; Criminal justice system; Degrees; Done; Drawbridge effect; Endemic; Equal; Evidence; Family-centered; Farmers; Fees; Government; Hope; Illegal labor; Jobs; John F. Kennedy; Kentucky; Life sentences; Malcolm X; Pain; Pills; Police; Programs; Proposals; Records; Reform; Refugees; Reinforcement; Right; Skills; Standard; Standards; Test scores; Tomatoes; Treatment; Videos; Work; Wrong

Subjects: Change.; Drug abuse; Education; Immigration; Segregation

01:27:17 - On the battlefield

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Partial Transcript: Well, you know, there's a, uh, there's an old saying.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses how his faith plays into him fighting for human rights as well as how the pope is using symbolism to tell a story. He also talks about going to Washington, D.C. to attend the March for Our Lives demonstration orchestrated by the surviving students of the Parkland High School shooting.

Keywords: Art; Bandaid; Battlefield; Buildings; Cheap; Children; Clean water; Cops; Crowds; Crutches; Culture; Dance; Death penalty; Demonstrate; Develop; Ease; Emma Gonzales; Energy; Events; Experience; Filter systems; Guns; Help; Hope; Immigration; Impact; Interview; Juvenile delinquents; Knowledge; Leaders; March for Our Lives; Marginalized groups; Money; Music; Nervous; Numbers; Offices; Parkland High School; Peace; People; Pictures; Planning; Platform; Police; Poor; Pope; Power; Priests; Programs; Rally; Saying; Silence; Social justice; Songs; Speech; Structure; Students; Symbolic; Teachers; Videos; Walk; Water training; Water with Blessings; Water women; Wheelchairs; Writing

Subjects: African Americans.; Catholicism; Faith.; Families.; God.; Religion; School shootings.; Voting; Washington (D.C.)

01:36:30 - Living his life for the future

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Partial Transcript: Now, y, you've given us--we--you've given us your time.

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses how he wants people viewing the interview in the future to respond to what they've heard and what he thinks they should take away from his life.

Keywords: Children; Drum major for justice; Gender; Ideas; Important; Kickbacks; Legislature; Life; March for Justice; Martin Luther King Jr.; Mistreatment; Movements; Prison system; Problems; Purifying; Race; Realists; Researchers; Seeds; Senate; Sharing; Speeches; Students; Trees

Subjects: Change.; Death penalty; Justice.