The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 15TH General Meeting


The Fifteenth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society
June 15-18, 2017
at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, New York


Thomas Merton‘s experience of the God of Mercy was the basis of his many conversions. The spirit and landscape of St. Bonaventure helped Merton to focus and clarify what he was to do with such great Mercy, namely to follow God’s call to the monastery at Gethsemani. At the end of The Sign of Jonas, Merton imagines God speaking to him: “I have always overshadowed Jonas with My mercy … Have you had sight of Me, Jonas My child? Mercy within mercy within mercy. I have forgiven the universe without end, because I have never known sin.” In the years that followed, the “endless, infinite mercy of God” shaped his vision and witness in the areas of contemplation, spirituality, social issues, interreligious dialogue, racism, war and non-violence. The Fifteenth General Meeting will focus particularly on the ways in which Mercy informed Merton’s pilgrimage, contemplation, and witness, and invites us to consider how we might live Mercy in our own lives. As Merton wrote in his journal: “mercy, always, in everything, mercy.”    

Download the Conference Brochure as an Adobe PDF File - ITMS Conference Brochure

Conference Highlights Registration Information Conference Timetable Student Scholarships

Plenary Speakers:

M. Shawn Copeland Luke Timothy Johnson Michael N. McGregor Scott Russell Sanders
  Robert Lax: In His Own Words  
“Why Should I Buy a Bed When All That I Want Is Sleep?” - a film by Nicolas Humbert & Werner Penzel   Robert Lax's Psalm
with spoken word, dance and piano
Christine Bachich and Jacqueline Chew

Presidential Address
Michael W. Higgins
Six Contemplative Poems of Thomas Merton
James D'Angelo


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session
Robert Grip

Chapters Workshop
Donna Kristoff, OSU

Merton Scholarship
Deborah Kehoe, Patrick O'Connell, Paul Pearson and Joseph Raab

Merton at St. Bonaventure
Jan Sheridan

Emerging Scholars
Phillip Antilla / Stephanine Redekop

Guide to Opening Sessions


Concurrent Sessions:

Merton and the Carmelite Tradition
Alan Kolp / Cristóbal Serrán-Pagán
Merton at St. Bonaventure
Christine M. Bochen / Mary Frances Coady
Merton and Inter-Religious Pilgrimage
Leslie D. Alldritt / Edward K. Kaplan
Merton and Contemplative Life
Patrick F. O'Connell / Bonnie Thurston
Prophetic Voices
David Golemboski / Gordon Oyer
Merton, Mercy and Wisdom
June-Ann Greeley / Jonathan Sozek
Merton: Revelation and Redemption
Daniel P. Horan / Ryan Scruggs
Merton and Foolish Mercy
Nass Cannon / Michael Plekon
Merton and Archaic Wisdom
Robert Toth / Deborah Kehoe
Merton and Merciful Praxis
Dominiek Lootens / Anna Pfaff
Merton and Formation for Mercy
Christopher Fici / Jonathan Montaldo
Merton, Mysticism and Mercy
Paul R. Dekar / Kathleen Deignan
Merton and Literary Figures
Andrew Belfield / Tom Stewart
Merton and Artistic Expressions
Jon Sweeney / Robert Whalen
Communication and Communion
William Apel

Guide to Concurrent Sessions and Workshops


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:

The Enlightened Teacher: An Inquiry into a Contemplative Curriculum
William Meyer
In Pursuit of Silence:
A Documentary Film
Cassidy Hall 
Overshadowed by Mercy: Thomas Merton and Pope Francis on Experiencing and Sharing God’s Mercy
Paul M Pearson
Merton and the Merciful Gaze as a Creative Act
Marianne Hieb
Merton at St. Bonaventure
Paul J. Spaeth
Merton’s Love of the Natural World and His Sense of the Sacred: A Meditation
Morgan Atkinson
Spirituality of Thomas Merton and Robert Lax through Movement and Music
Jacqueline Chew / Christine Bachich
… saturated with the dew of mercy …  Bernard, to his beloved son, Thomas
Kevin Burns
A Muslim/Christian Peace Pilgrimage with Thomas Merton
Sahar Alsahlani / Mark C. Meade
Allowing Landscape to Nudge Us to Prayer: The Power of Place
Monica Weis

Conversion of Place: Geographic Change in Merton’s America

Kathleen Baker

Merton, the Catholic Peace Fellowship and Peacemaking as an Apostolic Work of Mercy
Shawn Storer
Merton’s Death Seen from the Homegrounds
Paul Quenon


Sturgeon Bay Sunset: A Prayer Service of Silence, Music, and Words Inspired by Christopher Pramuk and Thomas Merton
Jeffrey Kiernan

Registration Fees:
(including conference registration and meals)

Silverball ITMS Member - $290.00 - before May 15

$350.00 - Late Registration (May 15 - June 3)

Silverball   Non-Member - $350.00 - before May 15 (Join the ITMS)

$400.00 - Late Registration (May 15 - June 3)

further information about accommodation at SBU)

Silverball $195.00 (Single room for three nights - per person)

Silverball $120.00 (Share room for three nights - per person)

Additional Lodging is Available for Wednesday 14th and/or Sunday 18th June.

Off Campus Accommodation Options

Cancellation Policy

Print out and mail the conference Registration Form


Register using your credit card with: 

Credit Cards Processed by PayPal



Car Air Airport Transportation Car Rental
Map of SBU Campus

Optional Excursion to "The Cottage"

A limited number of places are available for an excursion to "The Cottage" where Thomas Merton, Robert Lax and other friends spent their summers writing. Further information: "The Cottage" Excursion.

ITMS Daggy Scholarships

Daggy Youth/Student Scholarships enable young people (ages 14-29) to participate in an International Thomas Merton Society Conference by covering the costs of registration, meals and accommodation. For further information about Daggy Scholarships and an application form go to the Daggy Scholarship Web Page.

Contact the Site Coordinator for further information:
Julianne E. Wallace
P. O. Box 845
Reading, PA 19607

Program Committee

David J. Belcastro, Columbus, OH (C0-chair)

Paul M. Pearson, Louisville, KY (Co-chair)

Julianne E. Wallace, St. Bonaventure, NY (Site Coordinator)

Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY

Margaret Carney, OSF., St. Bonaventure, NY

Michael W. Higgins, Bridgeport, CT

Joseph Q. Raab, Adrian, MI

Paul Spaeth, St. Bonaventure, NY

Monica Weis, SSJ., Rochester, NY

St. Bonaventure Site Committee

Julianne E. Wallace (Site Coordinator)  

Paul Spaeth, St. Bonaventure, NY