The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Living Together With Wisdom:
Merton's Call to Transform Our Hearts and Lives


John Eudes Bamberger, OCSO.

Kate Campbell Photo

John Eudes Bamberger, OCSO entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1950. A student of Merton’s from 1952-1955, he worked with Merton in screening applicants to the abbey. He served as 4th abbot of the Abbey of the Genesee, until 2001. He lives in a hermitage at Genesee while continuing to teach and work in the community.

Thomas Merton: Prophet of Renewal, Bamberger's reflections on Merton impact on the monastic life was published by Cistercian Publications in the Fall of 2005.


Kathleen Deignan, CND

Kathleen Deignan, CND is Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY and the founding director of the Iona Spirituality Institute and The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue.  She is President of The International Thomas Merton Society, and sits on the boards of The American Teilhard Association and GreenFaith.  Composer in residence with Schola Ministries, her books include ChristSpirit: The Eschatology of Shaker ChristianityThomas Merton’s Writings on Nature and Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours.

Elizabeth A. Dreyer

Elizabeth A Dreyer, author of Making Sense of God: A Woman’s Perspective, is general editor of the Called to Holiness series and professor of religious studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She lectures widely on the Christian tradition, especially medieval mysticism, grace, the Holy Spirit and contemporary lay spirituality. She wrote Holy Power, Holy Presence: Medieval Metaphors of the Holy Spirit; Passionate Spirituality: Hildegard of Bingen and Hadewijch of Brabant; Earth Crammed With Heaven: A Spirituality of Everyday Life and A Retreat with Catherine of Siena: Living the Truth in Love. With Mark Burrows she edited Minding the Spirit: The Study of Christian Spirituality. She lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with her husband, John Bennett.

Jimmy Locust

Jimmy Locust has shared his talents with superstars Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Debbie Allen. He was a choreographer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics and was nominated for an American Choreography Award in 2001. Locust was recently choreographer for the CW T.V. Network’s The Next. Jimmy has been a studio owner, master teacher and choreographer in the Fairfield County area since 2003.

Christopher Pramuk

Christopher Pramuk teaches at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and is the author of Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (Liturgical Press, 2009). Sophia was awarded a Louie by the ITMS in 2011 for bringing "provocative in-sight and fresh direction to Merton studies." His article “Apocalypticism in a Catholic Key: Lessons from Thomas Merton” was the Catholic Press Association 2010 best article. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Thomas Merton Society. 

Ronald Rolheiser OMI

Ronald Rolheiser OMI, is a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He is a community-builder, lecturer and writer. His books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and his weekly column is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide. Recent books include: Forgotten Among the Lilies: Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears, The Restless Heart: Finding Our Spiritual Home in Times of Loneliness, and The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God.

Deanna Witkowski
Deanna Witkowski

Deanna Witkowsi was Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition and a past guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, pianist/composer/vocalist Deanna Witkowski has been heralded for her “consistently thrilling” playing and her “boundless imagination” (All Music Guide). Moving with remarkable ease between Brazilian, jazz, Afro-Cuban and classical music, Witkowski approaches her work with the heart and technique of a daring improviser. Her 2009 liturgical jazz release, From This Place, led to a second appearance on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday in addition to interviews in print/radio including Interfaith Voices and the National Catholic Reporter. In New York, Witkowski is Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Christian Church, leads her own quartet, and is the pianist in the BMI/New York Jazz Composers Orchestra. Her fifth recording, a solo project featuring arrangements that blend Chopin nocturnes with Brazilian and jazz standards, will be released this fall. To experience Deanna's music, visit

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