The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Quinquagenary Events

Canada and USA


Asia and Australaisa

South America


Canada and USA







"En Vivant Avec Sagesse" Commémoration Montréal Thomas Merton. 7 et 8 Décembre 2018. Institut de Pastorale des Dominicains 2715, chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Qué, Canada, H3T 1B6. Further details to follow.







Thomas Merton in Alaska Conference at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton on September 28-29, 2018. Further information is available at: Speakers will include Paul M. Pearson, Ron Dart, Gordon Oyer, Paul Quenon, OCSO, and Kathleen Tarr.  Participants will have the opportunity to visit Eagle River, and the site of the former monastery of the Precious Blood Convent where Merton began his 17-day Alaskan itinerary and gave his initial talks to nuns in September 1968.


Thomas Merton in Alaska: Conference Highlights Enduring Impact of Famous Monk” a report of the Alaskan conference by Joel Davidson in the Catholic Anchor.  





"Thomas Merton and the Spiritual Imagination" - a program exploring Merton's legacy to the literary, moral, and mystical imaginations through his life and writings led by Michael W. Higgins, PhD. Friday & Saturday September 7-8, 2018.




"A Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton" - an exhibit of Merton's photographs on loan from the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. September 8 - November 10, 2018. Marie Louise Trichet gallery at Wisdom House. Opening reception and lecture by Paul M. Pearson, September 8th at 3.30 pm. -


District of Columbia.


Washington, D.C.

“Why What You Think You Know About Thomas Merton’s Death is Wrong” – A lecture commemorating the 50th anniversary of Merton’s death.  Guest Speaker Hugh Turley, co-author of The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation. Friday, December 7, 2018, 7:30 pm. at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW., Washington D.C.  For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649.





"'Disappear From View'? Thomas Merton Fifty Years Later and Beyond" - A Conference commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Merton's Death Featuring Keynote Speaker: Richard Rohr, OFM. Friday & Saturday December 7–8, 2018. Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL. Further Information:






"The Road Ahead of Me: Lexington Celebrates Thomas Merton"


Merton Jazz Concert featuring Dick Sisto. December 9th, 2018 at 3.00 pm at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 533 East Main Street, Lexington.


Merton's Kentucky - Photographs by Paul Quenon, OCSO and Harry Hinkle. December 10th, 2018 at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, 251 West Second Street, Lexington. Reception beginning at 5.oo pm. With program beginning at 6.00 pm of readings from Merton by Rebecca Gayle Howell, The Rt. Rev. Brian Cole, Silas House, Daniel Martin Moore, Chef Ouita Michel and Maurice Manning.



"Thomas Merton and Loretto" - display detailing the friendship between Thomas Merton and the Sisters of Loretto in the 1960s, featuring oral histories. Exhibit is installed and will run into 2019. For more information and directions, see information at the website of the Sisters of Loretto Heritage Center:



KyCAD's 849 Gallery on 849 South Third Street, Louisville is hosting an exhibit entitled "Merton Among Us" from October 5th, 2018 through to January 18th, 2019. The exhibit will feature interpretations of Merton by seven visual artists and seven guest writers from the local community. Further information to follow.


"Merton Reads in a Clearing", 14"x22", mixed media on paper, 2016, Joe McGee



Throughout the Fall of 2018 the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University is hosting a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton's death. Speakers and events include:

For further information visit:



"Awakening the Creative Spirit: A Day Inspired by Thomas Merton" - 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. Saturday 20th October at Bellarmine University.


For further information visit:




North Andover:

Thomas Merton and the Religions: An Interfaith Conference on the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas Merton at the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian Muslim Relations Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts on October 16th, 2018. Speakers will include Edward Kaplan, Emma O’Donnell Polyakov, Padraic O’Hare, Martha Hubbard, Gray Henry, Arthur Ledoux, Christina Hardway, and Joseph Kelley.




St. Louis:

"Thomas Merton: Messages for Our Timess" an evening of remembrance of Thomas Merton on the 50th Anniversary of his death. Fr. Donald Goergen, O.P., a gifted professor and author, who is the presenter of the audio program “A Retreat with Thomas Merton,” will be the main speaker. Monday 10th December, 7 pm. De Smet Jesuit High School Chapel, 233 N New Ballas Rd., St. Louis MO 63141. For further information: Messages for Our Times.


New York:


New York City:

A Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton will be on exhibit in the chapel at Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, from March 19th until April 13th, 2018.


"Merton & Me:  A Living Trinity" - Douglas Hertler will  present his own Merton "conversion" story;  an act of storytelling that will explore his own life-changing encounter with Merton's writings.  Discussion and reception to follow. Saturday, September 22nd, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 


Day of Reflection & Jazz Liturgy Saturday, November 3rd,  9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 

- Journey to the True Self - an exploration of the inner transformative journey This retreat day will offer guidance and reflection on the movement from the false to the True Self as experienced by both Merton and Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Merton's entire legacy of prayer, meditation, contemplative life and social conscience can be summed up by the awakening of the True self in Christ. We will gather to continue his passion for integrity of the True Self . Led by Br. Don Bisson.

- Jazz Liturgy 12:00 Noon Jazz keyboardist & NYC Chapter Member, Deanna Witkowski and her jazz trio will accompany a celebratory Mass in honor of Merton’s love of improvisational jazz and how it can support a centered response to the true Self.


Memorial Solemn Mass & Reception.

Celebrants: Daniel P. Horan, OFM & Fr. Raymond M. Rafferty. Monday, December 10th 7:00 p.m. Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 

A partial reconstruction of the 1968 funeral Mass at the Abbey of Gethsemani is planned including Cistercian chant, some medieval and some newly composed by Fr Chrysogonus Waddell, the organist at the Abbey.





"A Day with Thomas Merton and Friends." Presented by Baldwin Wallace University and the Cleveland Chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society at Baldwin Wallace University's Center for Growth and Innovation 340 Front St Berea, OH 44017 on November 17th from 9 am - 3 pm. Presenters include: Josh Daum, Laura Dunson, Alan Kolp, Donna Kristoff, OSU, Rachel McDonald, Tom Snyder and Jim Thornton. For further information and to register:



Taize Prayer: In the Dark Before Dawn - Monday December 10th, 2018 at 7 pm. Mullen St. Angela Chapel, Ursuline College. For further information Cleveland-Taize.





"Thomas Merton Day: A Quiet Day of Rememberance." Monday 10th December, 2018 - 10 am - 4 pm. A Quiet Day commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Merton's Death. The day will be led by Kimberlee Peifer and Glenn Mitchell. Further Information about the day and registration can be found at:



"We Are All Poets Here" - Kathleen Tarr will be at the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh to lead a potluck discussion and to give a short reading from her book on Saturday, Nov. 10 from noon to 2 PM.  The event is open to the public.  To register, call the Merton Center in Pittsburgh at 412-361-3022. 





"Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Conversation Deferred." Friday 19th October, 2018 - 9 am - 4 pm. Speakers will include: Pete Gathje, Deborah Kehoe, Gray Matthews, and Bernadette McNary-Zak. More details to follow. For more information, please contact Gray Matthews, [email protected].





Thomas Merton Memorial - 50th Anniversary. The Seattle Chapter of ITMS and Contemplative Outreach Northwest present a day of commemoration on Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at Our Lady of the Lake Parish.
We will be presenting "Thomas Merton Memorial: A Promise of Love," with guest speakers William Apel and Michael Seely lecturing on Merton's last year and pre-Asian trip. A hosted lunch will follow, along with recordings of Thomas Merton, a presentation table of his works, and a Memorial Mass at 2:00 pm, celebrated by Father Tim Clark, and honoring the 50th anniversary of Merton's death.
Events take place at Our Lady of the Lake Parish Hall, 8900 - 35th Ave NE in Seattle; hosted by Our Lady of the Lake Parish. For more info and to RSVP, contact us at [email protected]

Open the Event Flyer.





March 22, 2018.

Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise: The Spiritual Maturity of Thomas Merton. A Study Day Led by Fiona Gardner in Salisbury.

Full Details:


April 6-8, 2018.

Facing the Life-and-Death Issues. Twelth General Meeting and Conference of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Full Details:


September 22nd, 2018.

A Quiet Day on Thomas Merton with Bonnie Thurston. St. Katharine's House, London E14. For further information: and to book:


November 2nd - 15th, 2018.

Some Reflections in Abstract Art on Themes Arising from Thomas Merton’s Call to Transform Our Hearts and Lives - An Exhibition of Paintings by Robert Wright.
Whirlow Spirituality Centre Whirlow Grange Drive, Sheffield, S11 9RX.

With an intense use of colour, in twenty strikingly silent abstract paintings, Robert explores the solitude and silence of Merton’s dark path of contemplation. He hopes the paintings will open viewers' eyes to another world, beyond words, full of deeper, richer meaning - "charged with the grandeur of God” (G.M. Hopkins) The paintings will be hung in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit for a fortnight. There will be a launch reception on November 2 and two workshops on November 2nd and 5th. Further information, or to book:


November 24, 2018.

Merton and Barth - A Shared Legacy. A study day held at St Michael’s Priory, Milton Keynes with Gary Hall & Ashley Cocksworth.

11.00 - 15.00, includes lunch and midday Eucharist.

The Catholic monk and writer Thomas Merton and the Protestant theologian Karl Barth both died on December 10th, 1968. From their differing backgrounds both have since emerged as extremely influential figures, shaping both twentieth-century Christian thought and yet remaining increasingly relevant to our present times. Email: [email protected]; or tel 01908 242190.


December 8th, 2018.

The Spiritual Roots of Protest & Merton's Enduring Legacy - a study day held at The Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh led by Jim Forest with James Cronin, Hugh Foy, Leah Robinson and Jeffrey Smith. Further details to follow.


December 8th, 2018.

A Day with Thomas Merton on the 50th Anniversary of His Death - The Lion Ballroom, 17, Broad Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DB. Presenters will include:
- Fiona Gardner, psychotherapist, spiritual director, author:
Knowing the Score – Experiencing the Ground of Being: Reflections on Thomas Merton’s Last Communication Given December 10th 1968.
- James D'Angelo, musician, composer:
Settings of Two Poems by Thomas Merton.
- Charles MacCarthy, artist: Merton's Photographs and Paintings Inspired by Them.
- Recording of Merton Teaching His Novices.
To book email:  [email protected] Cost of day: £12.50.


December 13th, 2018.

An evening with Jim Forest Reflecting on Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan. St Pancras Church, Parish Hall, Lancing Street, (off Eversholt Street,) London NW1. 6.45 for 7.00 pm—9.00 pm. For further information: Jim_Forest_London_event_pub.pdf




A l'occasion du 50ème anniversaire de sa disparition: Conférence sur Thomas Merton le 13 décembre de 20h à 21h30 au centre Cormier, 35 Rue Edmond Rostand à Marseille.

"Thomas Merton, une grande figure du dialogue interreligieux" - Agnes Gros, doctorante en théologie.

Le Pape François, dans son discours au Congrès américain en septembre 2015, a cité le frère trappiste Thomas Merton comme une des quatre figures qui ont marqué l’Amérique: ‘un homme de prière […], un homme de dialogue, un promoteur de paix entre les peuples et les religions.’  Grand spirituel, grand écrivain, Thomas Merton s’intéresse très tôt aux autres religions, notamment au bouddhisme zen, à travers son dialogue avec D. T. Sukuzi. En 1968, il est invité à une rencontre interreligieuse monastique en Thaïlande et s’envole pour un long voyage en Asie, où il rencontre notamment le Dalaï Lama à qui il fera une forte impression.  Il meurt accidentellement le 10 décembre, à Bangkok, juste après avoir prononcé une conférence. Au lendemain de Vatican II et de l’ouverture de l’Eglise catholique vers les autres religions, Thomas Merton a ouvert un chemin qui se poursuit encore aujourd’hui.

Que nous dit-il aujourd'hui, 50 ans après son décès?




“To be human in this most inhuman of ages” - A European symposium to mark the  fiftieth anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton.

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th January 2019 at Muensterschwarzach Abbey, Germany.

In his own time Merton lamented the loss of confidence in media communications. He met this with prayer, study, contemplation, voluntary poverty, solitude and writing. In the face of a continuing arms race, violent discrimination of all kinds, social injustice and corruption of public discourse, Merton worked persistently for human solidarity and authentic communication. As political populism, racism, xenophobia and war rhetoric once again seem to become increasingly acceptable in the public sphere, we turn for guidance to Merton’s late writings.  

Speakers include Dr. Bonnie Thurston, P. Dr. Anselm Grün OSB, P. Otto Betler OSB, Abt Michael Reepen OSB, Prof. P. Dr. Kosmas Thielmann OCist, Dr. Malgorzata Poks, Dr. Ash Cocksworth, Dr. h.c. Wunibald Müller, Andreas Ebert, Gary Hall, Detlev Cuntz.

For further details:




Living the Good Life with Thomas Merton.

Monday, 12 November 2018, Ennismore Retreat Centre, Montenotte Cork, Ireland.

Throughout history, philosophers have asked the question: how should we live? In this conversation James Cronin, University College Cork, introduces participants to the writings of American Trappist Thomas Merton (1915-1968) to uncover Merton's understanding of the good life. This conversation explores how Merton's ideas developed within the historical context of his times and it seeks to encouage participants to draw lessons from Merton so as to think through contemporary issues.

For further details: Ennismore Retreat Centre -




June 12 - 15, 2018.

Prophecy and Renewal: Thomas Merton International Symposium. In 2018, between 12 – 15 June, Sant’Anselmo will host an international symposium to explore these reflections on the Aventine Hill in Rome, in conjunction with the Associazione Thomas Merton Italia.

Full Details:




October 26 -28, 2018.

Van Toverberg tot Louteringsberg: Voorbij de tegenstelling geloof/ongeloof. ­ Ter Dennen – Westmalle. Full details available at:




December 8, 2018, Górki Wielkie, Poland.

"Thomas Merton: Living with Wisdom" a Merton Symposium in Poland. Speakers will include: Prof. Stanislaw Obirek, Prof. Michal Kopczyk, Dr. Marek Bernacki, Dr. Malgorzata Poks. Along with lectures and panel discussions, the program will incorporate a jazz concert, a documentary about Merton (with Polish subtitles), spiritual exercises in the form of meditation, and a guided tour of the Kossak Manor in Górki Wielkie, in which famous Polish writer Zofia Kossak spent most of her life.

Further information:


Asia and Australaisa:


South America:



Mendoza, Argentina. 20-21 September 2018. Intercultural Studies Congress in Tribute to Thomas Merton.

This conference focuses on Thomas Merton as a thinker, writer and translator whose legacy is still alive and meaningful in the 21st century. Since Merton’s interests were so varied, and also in order to open up lines of dialogue with researchers of other authors, this Conference will be organized around thematic lines:
a. Merton the translator – Poetic translation
b. Merton and counter-culture – Social and cultural movements in the 1960s
c. Merton and Latin America – Interamerican relations
d. Merton and Asia – East-West Dialogues

Conference registration opens July 1st, 2018.

Contact: [email protected]

For more information, follow this link:


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