The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 12TH General Meeting

The Twelfth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society
June 9-12, 2011
at Loyola University, Chicago,

Thomas Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemani on December 10, 1941; so in the Twelfth General Meeting, the ITMS will mark the seventieth anniversary of this pivotal moment in his life. The Abbey of Gethsemani became the first real home that Merton had ever known. In The Sign of Jonas Merton wrote “This is the land where you have given me roots in eternity, O God of heaven and earth. This is the burning promised land, the house of God, the gate of heaven, the place of peace, the place of silence, the place of wrestling with the angel.” The monastic life provided Merton with the spirituality and the structure to produce some of the great spiritual texts of our time. Merton’s exploration of spirituality and monasticism and its relevance for the modern world transformed monasticism and influenced innumerable people around the world, as he became a prophetic critic of contemporary urban crises and an agent of social transformation.


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

Plenary Speakers:

Douglas Burton-Christie Martin E. Marty Robert F. Morneau Esther de Waal

Friday Evening
Thomas Merton’s Celestial and Urban Music:
 A concert of Thomas Merton’s Poetry Set to Music.
  Presidential Address Dorothy Day Roundtable Closing Liturgy
  Robert Grip Robert Ellsberg , Tom Cornell and Rosalie Riegle James Conner, OCSO


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session I
Robert Grip
Merton: Monasticism
East and West
Nass Cannon

Researching Merton
Mark Meade / Andrea Neuhoff

Emerging Scholars
Eric Anglada / Vanessa Wibberley /
Hyeokil Kwon
First-Timers' Session II
Soul Searching: The Thomas Merton Story
Morgan Atkinson
Chapters Workshop
John King
Merton and the Challenge of Technology
Paul Dekar / Gary Purdy
Merton and Cuba:
1940, 1959, 1962
Don Grayston


Concurrent Sessions:

Merton: Vision and Revision
Mary Frances Coady / Patrick F. O’Connell
Merton’s Mysticism: City and Cosmos
Cristóbal Serrán-Pagán / Robert Peach
Merton: Shaping a Culture of Justice
William Apel / Robert Weldon Whalen
Merton and the Education of the Heart
Mary McDonald / Ty Anderson
Merton and Poetic Imagination
Lynn Szabo / Małgorzata Poks
Merton and Marxism
David Golemboski / Marc Boswell
Merton: Desert and City
Patrick Cousins / Christopher Pramuk
Merton: Camus, Milosz, Hopkins
David Belcastro /Mary Sommerset
Merton and Monastic Vision
Christine Bochen / Young-Suck Moon
Merton and Contemporary Culture
Jeff Kiernan / Dan P. Horan, OFM
Merton and the Wild Ones
Angus Stuart / Joseph Madonna
Merton and Two Historical Voices
Kathleen Deignan, CND / Joshua Hollmann
Merton and the Human Community
Steven Millies / Larry Culliford
Merton in Correspondence
Maria Barrera / Fiona Gardner
Merton: Paradox and Struggle
Lars Adolfsson / Ed Kaplan
  Merton and the Earthly Paradise
Katharine Bubel / Hans Gustafson


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:

Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day:
Pilgrims and Prophets of Peace
Sharon Halsey-Hoover / David Hoover
The Paradox of Place: Experiencing ‘All the Times and Moods of One Good Place’ with Thomas Merton
Paul M. Pearson
Another Door To Contemplation:
Wisdom in Thomas Merton’s Art
Mary Louise Heffernan, SSJ
Merton and Mission
Mark Filut, OCSO
Doing Lectio with Thomas Merton
Suzanne Zuercher
A Signed Confession of Crimes Against the State
Gray Matthews
Soul Friends: Merton and Modern Poets
Judith Valente / Charles Reynard
Finding the Sky Within
Monica Weis, SSJ
Seeing Through the Eyes of Thomas Merton:
The New York Years
Jan Sheridan
Uncommon Vision: The Life and Times of
John Howard Griffin
Morgan Atkinson
Drawn into the Mystery: Art-Journaling® with lines, shapes and spaces as a way of meditation and prayer
Marianne Hieb

Program Committee

Donald Grayston, Vancouver, BC. Canada (Chair)
 Michael A Brennan, Chicago, IL (Site Coordinator)
 Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY
 Vaughn Fayle, Chicago, IL
 Robert G. Grip, Mobile, AL
 Paul M Pearson, Louisville, KY
 Monica Weis, Rochester, NY

Suzanne Zuercher, Chicago, IL  

Chicago Site Committee


Michael A. Brennan (Site Coordinator)

Vaughn Fayle, Chicago, IL
Suzanne Zuercher, Chicago, IL





L to R: Suzanne Zuercher, Paul M. Pearson, Robert G. Grip, Monica Weis, Vaughn Fayle,
Christine M. Bochen, Michael A. Brennan, Donald Grayston.