The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Forthcoming Events

Thomas Merton with Road Scholar Program

Road Scholar Program "Week with Thomas Merton"

The Fall 2018 Merton Road Scholar [elderhostel] week will take place from Sunday 21st October until Friday 26th October, 2018. For further details contact Linda Bailey on (502) 272 8161 or by e-mail: or visit the Road Scholar website.

The Spring and Fall 2019 "Weeks with Merton" will be from March 31st - April 5th, 2019 and October 20-25, 2019.

Read about "A Week with Thomas Merton" in the Bellarmine Magazine.

Vanessa F. Hurst

"Thomas Merton:
Being a Contemplative in a World of Action"

October 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd, 2018 - 6.30-8.00 pm.

Bellarmine University


Is your spiritual life first of all a life? For Merton, being contemplative extended past the walls of the Abbey and into the world. His solitude was sustained through his time alone as well as active contemplative engagement with others through his letters, conversations, and books. We’ll explore how you can be a contemplative whose spiritual life is first of all a life. Topics include silence, solitude, communion, and relationship.

INSTRUCTOR: Vanessa F. Hurst was Executive Director of The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living. She is a contemplative, Neural Synchroncy™ facilitator, and mindful coach.


For further information, or to register:

Awakening the Creative Spirit:
A Day Inspired by Thomas Merton

October 20th, 2018

Bellarmine University

Join the ITMS Louisville Chapter and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University for a day long celebration of Thomas Merton's life and thought.

The day will include a keynote address by Robert Ellsberg, Gethsemani Monks who knew Merton, as well as Art, Film, Music and Poetry.

 For further information, or to book, visit:

Elizabeth Johnson

2018 Vernon Robertson Lecture

"Our Common Home:
Merton and Pope Francis on the Natural World"

October 23rd, 2018 at 7 pm

Frazier Hall


Elizabeth Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and joined the religious order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph whose motherhouse is in Brentwood, Long Island, NY. As a young sister the Second Vatican Council energized her interest in matters theological.

After receiving a PhD in theology from Catholic University of America, she taught at that university for ten years before moving to Fordham University where she teaches in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Professor, mentor, writer, editor, and public lecturer at home and abroad, she is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and a former president of the American Theological Society. She was awarded Fordham University’s Teaching Award in 1998 and Professor of the Year Award in 2011.

Dr. Johnson has received fifteen honorary doctorates, the John Courtney Murray Award for distinguished achievement in theology, and numerous other accolades. Her book She Who Is garnered several honors, most notably the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Her work has been translated into thirteen languages.

Spiritual Catalyst for Compassion:

50th Anniversary of the Auspicious Meetings of

Thomas Merton and His Holiness the Dalai Lama
November 8th, 2018 - 7 pm. 

Frazier Hall

Searching for Thomas Merton:
An Artistic Tribute 1968-2018

by Joe  McGee and Penny Sisto

November 30th, 2018 - January 12th, 2019.

Open Daily

McGrath Art Gallery, Bellarmine University


Tibetan Sacred Sand Mandala
by Monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery

December 3rd - 6th, 2018
Daily 10 am - 5 pm

Thomas Merton Center

Opening Ceremony: December 3rd at 11.00 am
Closing Ceremony: December 10th at 11.00 am

To Be Announced

December 9th, 2018 - 3 pm

Frazier Hall


December 10th, 2018 - 7 pm

Cathedral of the Assumption


Mass to mark the 50th Anniversary of the death of
Thomas Merton on December 10th, 1968


Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville.

Concelebrant: Elias Dietz, OCSO., Abbot of Our Lady of Gethsemani.


'the sacrament of advent': Thomas Merton's Lessons and carols

Listen to Bonnie Thurston's talk:
'The Sacrament of Advent': Thomas Merton's Lessons and Carols

Clarinet solo by Anderson Reeves.

Recorded at Our Lady of the Woods Chapel on Friday 9th December, 2016

Bonnie B. Thurston is a founding member, past president and former board member of the ITMS. She is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and formerly professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the editor of Merton and Buddhism (2007), Thomas Merton: On Eastern Meditation, Hidden in the Same Mystery: Thomas Merton and Loretto, and the author of numerous books on scripture and on spirituality, most recently Hidden in God: Discovering the Desert Vision of Charles de Foucauld, Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses, A Place to Pay Attention O Taste and See: A Biblical Reflection of Experiencing God, and is now living in solitude in West Virginia.

The Paradox of Place: Thomas Merton's Photography

The exhibit of Merton's photographs celebrating the 40th Anniversary (1963-2003) of the Thomas Merton Collection at Bellarmine University is now a permanent exhibit displayed in the W. L. Lyons Brown Library on the Bellarmine University campus. This exhibit focuses on the places Merton visited in his final travels of 1968 including California, Alaska and Asia and the contrast with his photographs of Gethsemani and his hermitage.

Click here for a campus map and directions.

Financial assistance is needed to assist with funding these special events at the Thomas Merton Center. If you would be interested in assisting with funding, or becoming a major sponsor for one of these events please contact:
Dr Paul Pearson on (502) 272 8177 or by e-mail: