The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 16TH General Meeting


Took Place at

Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

from June 27-30, 2019

“O peace, bless this mad place”


Thomas Merton hoped for a peace that the world cannot give—a peace nurtured in silence and prayer. He articulates this in a volume of poems first published in 1963, Emblems in a Season of Fury. In it, Merton passionately petitioned peace for a blessing, writing: "O peace, bless this mad place: Silence love this growth.” For Merton, the forces of division, alienation, and nihilism perpetually hinder our realization of the beloved community. He recognizes all too well our need to shatter our ordinary horizons, to cross internal and external boundaries, and embrace the work of discovering a common humanity. Merton's words resonate today and inspire us into a revolution of love. Like St. Ignatius, Merton calls us to find God in all things, believing that “God uses everything that happens as a means to lead me into solitude…a solitude of heart in which created joys are consumed and reborn in God” (journal of June 13, 1947). In his essay “Rain and the Rhinoceros,” Merton reminds us that solitude is not disengagement from the world, “it is the solitary person (whether in the city or in the desert) who does [hu]mankind the inestimable favor of reminding it of its true capacity for maturity, liberty and peace.”


Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University blends high-tech innovation with a social consciousness grounded in the Jesuit educational tradition. The campus spans 106 lush acres with world-renowned gardens and state-of-the-art facilities all surrounding an iconic Mission.

Santa Clara is located at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, adjacent to San Jose, the 10th largest city in the U.S., and just two miles from San Jose International Airport.

Conference Highlights Registration Information Conference Timetable Student Scholarships

Plenary Speakers

Rose Marie Berger

Robert Ellsberg

Ron Hansen

Daniel Berrigan Panel
Frida Berrigan
Anna Brown
Eric Martin
Ched Myers
  Michael W. Higgins
Panelist Biographies

Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, O.S.B. Cam.

Presidential Address
Mark C. Meade


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session
Robert Grip

Chapters Workshop
Michael Brennan

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

Merton and Journey
Joseph Raab and Kathleen Tarr

Merton in Correspondence
William Apel / Gordon Oyer

Guide to Opening Sessions


Concurrent Session Papers:

Merton and Poetry
Patrick O'Connell / Mary Frances Coady

Merton, the Celts and Wildness
Monica Weis /
Deborah Kehoe

Merton and Writing
Michael McGregor / Jamal Lyksett

Merton and Ecology
Carol Lenox / Robert Whalen

Merton and Racism
Paul Dekar / Gray Matthews

Merton and Racism
 Greg Hillis / Marjorie Corbman

Merton, Dan Berrigan and the Ignatian Tradition
Michael Plekon/ David Golemboski

Merton and the Ignatian Tradition
Dan Horan / Cristóbal Serrán-Pagán

Merton in the Classroom / Merton and Lax
Alan Kolp / Emma McDonald

Merton and Transcending Barriers
David Orberson/ Liam Lynch

Merton and Formation
Tran Dung & Michael Carey / Thomas Malewitz

Merton and the Off-side
Paul M. Pearson

Merton and Peace 1
Bernadette McNary-Zak / Justin Klassen

Merton and Peace 2
Anthony Nuccio / Dominiek Lootens

Merton and Peace 3
Christopher Fici / Jim Robinson

Guide to Concurrent Sessions


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:

Morgan Atkinson / Cassidy Hall Christine Bochen Larry Culliford
Jacqueline Chew, Jacqueline Corl-Seidel and Sue Yoes
Jeff Kiernan Kathleen Deignan, Ceire Kealty and Ashley Hubaykah
Sarah Kothe and Cassidy Hall Kaya Oakes Susan McCaslin and J. S. Porter
Paul Pynkoski Christopher Pramuk Judith Valente

Guide to Concurrent Sessions

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. (Those under 18 at the time of the conference must be accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone whose registration will not be covered by the scholarship.)

Contact the Site Coordinator for further information:
Thomas Merton Center
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205
Email: [email protected]


Program Committee


Michael W. Higgins, Bridgeport, CT (Chair)

Natalie Terry, San Francisco, CA (Site Coordinator)

Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY

Kevin Burns, Ottawa, ON

Cassidy Hall, Venice, CA

Mark C. Meade, Louisville, KY

David Orberson, New Albany, IN

Joseph Q. Raab, Adrian, MI







 Santa Clara Site Committee

Natalie Terry (Site Coordinator)