The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Diekmann, Godfrey Leo, Fr., O.S.B., 1908-2002

Click here to exit print-formated view.

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence

Dates of materials: 1950-1965

Volume: 40 item(s); 57 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Fr. Leo Diekmann was a Benedictine priest and editor of Worship, "A review devoted to the Liturgical Apostolate", published at the Liturgical Press of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Besides the subject of liturgical renewal, he wrote to Merton concerning the ecumenical movement and changes to the monastic life after the Second Vatican Council. He was also involved in civil rights marches in the 1960's and had later supported the full ministry of women in the Catholic Church.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Related Information and Links

See published letters from Merton to Diekmann in The School of Charity, pp. 221-222 and 264-265.

Other Finding Aids

If the person in correspondence with Merton has full text records in the Merton Center Digital Collections, there will be a numeric link to them below.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

SeriesDateTypeTo/FromFirst LinesPubFull TextNotes
 1950/04/04 TLS[x]from MertonOur threat to write something for you has materialized. The manuscript is on the way to you via my   
 1955/03/01 TALS[x]from MertonA brief Lenten note from the deserts of Kentucky. First of all, I have been meaning to thank you  on Liturgical Press publishing <i>Praying the Psalms</i> / Merton preaching a sermon objecting to "pious figures of speech about 'the prisoner in the tabernacle', 'Jesus obeys the priest' etc etc, and some of the brethren got very angry" - reading Anscar Vonier and asking for other resources
 1955/04/12 TLSto MertonPlease forgive the delay in answering your friendly and fraternal letter of March first.   
 1955/05/20 TALS[x]from MertonI want to thank you for your very kind letter of Easter week (and here we are in the octave  <i>Eucharistia: Essays on Eucharistic Liturgy and Devotion</i> by Joseph Kramp, S.J. / Merton's "Praying the Psalms" booklet / refusing offer to be associate editor of <u>Worship</u> as he had turned down Ed Rice about doing the same for <u>Jubilee</u> / the Eucharist - <i>Corpus Mysticum</i> by De Luback / [Anscar] Vonier on the Eucharist
 1958/11/17 TL[x]to MertonCould you be persuaded to review Father Bouyer's recent book, THE CISTERCIAN HERIGAGE [sic]  asking Merton to review <i>The Cistercian Heritage</i> by Louis Bouyer / Fr. Hans Ansgar Reinhold, S.J. / Diekmann's visit in Rome to Fr. Robert Leiber, S.J., a close advisor, confessor, and private secretary to Pope Pius XII / laying of the cornerstone of the new abbey church at Collegeville
 1959/01/03 TALS[x]from MertonA long time ago I promised Fr Kilian I would send some articles for <u>Worship</u> and I prepared  [labeled 1958, but 1959 from context and other letters] articles on Ash Wednesday and Easter for <u>Worship</u> currently held up by censors
 1959/01/09 TL[x]to MertonMy sincere thanks to you for the two articles on Ash Wednesday and Easter. (Father Kilian is quite  [9 in date cut off, but mention made of "the graces of 1959"] plans to publish Easter and Ash Wednesday essays by Merton with some extra paragraph breaks / publishing article by Father David Michael Stanley, S.J. / asking for a copy of Merton's Nativity Kerygma
 1959/01/17 TALS[x]from MertonYour letter took a long time to reach me, but Father Abbot gave it to me with information that  censorship of the liturgical articles on Easter and Ash Wednesday / Nativity Kerygma / articles to Fr. Kilian McDonnell, including something on the Prayer of Jesus of the eastern Church / possibility of attending a Scripture week at St. John's Abbey in 1960
 1960/01/07 TALS[x]from MertonIt seems to me that by now Fr Kilian is pretty well stocked with articles for <i>Sponsa Regis</i>,  Merton sends an article for consideration in <u>Worship</u> (seems to be "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration" that was also published in <i>Disputed Questions</i>)
 1960/01/25 (#01)TALSto MertonDon't jump to any precipitous conclusions: I am not rejecting the article which you so kindly sent.  Diekmann's thoughts on the use of large, realistic crucifixes in churches and crucifixes on the altar in relation to Merton's critiques in "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration"
 1960/01/25 (#02)HNSfrom Meinberg, Cloud, Fr.I have read this article. I do not find in it any plea for a <u>large</u> crucifix (of the type we  [letter from Meinberg to Diekmann and enclosed with 1960/01/25 letter to Merton] asks Merton to change "decoration" to "mere decoration" in a number of instances in Merton's "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration" and shares other thoughts
 1960/01/29 TALS[x]from MertonI thank both you and Father Cloud for your valuable remarks. They are helpful in clarifying my own  [contains some handwritten notes by Deikmann on letter] Merton's changes to "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration" - leaving most of his discussion about the crucifix, which Diekmann thought Merton should cut entirely - censors have not reviewed article
 1960/02/24 TLS[x]from MertonYou now have the only complete text of the article on "Absurdity and Sacred Decoration".   
 1960/02/26 TALSto MertonEnclosed are the galley proofs of your article. I had hoped that the approval of the censors would   
 1960/02/29 TALS[x]from MertonHere are the proofs. In order to help matters a little I have added three subtitles. The busy priest  "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration" cleared censors with one change requested regarding the crucifix / idea by Diekmann and Fr. Kilian McDonnell to have an issue clarifying "Liturgy and Spiritual Personalism" - Merton hoping it will not be anti-Maritain [re: Jacques Maritain] - Thomism and liturgy - Fr. Cyprian Vagaggini - liturgists as a faction / Zilboorg - the last time Merton asked about taking the advanced psychiatric seminar at St. John's Abbey, it was refused
 1960/03/04 TLSto MertonThanks for improving the article by the addition of the sub-titles, and by catching the blooper.  Fr. Cyprian Vagaggini not at odds with Jacques Maritain, but rather Dom Aelred Graham / Bernard Haering
 1960/03/23 TL[x]to MertonHerewith several photographs of the new abbey church. I have identified them in each case,   
 1960/06/07 TL[x]to MertonMy best thanks to you for the article. I am very enthusiastic about it and feel certain that there  possiblity of a joint publishing project with European monasteries on the topic of liturgy and spiritual life - Abbey of Pierre qui Viere - Jean Leclercq - the Liturgical Press and Fr. William Heidt - Jacques Maritain
 1960/06/11 HNS[x]from MertonHere is your article - in haste. I hope it is satisfactory and not too long. We can discuss cuts if  Merton agreed to prepare a conference for the Benedictine Academy at Collegeville but was at first unsure if the invitation was in person - his abbot, Dom James Fox, refused him permission - Bob Rambusch
 1960/06/27 TALS[x]from MertonI am happy to report that the censors have passed the Liturgy Article without any changes demanded.  [copied from Sub-Section H.7, Hart Working Files, Accession 2]
 1962/08/16 TALSto MertonI hope your fraternal and monastic charity is broad and deep enough to cover my sin of failing   
 1962/08/27 HPCS[x]from MertonThanks for your good letter. I was happy to get it and this is just to say that you can edit the   
 1962/09/10 HLS[x]from MertonWould you consider a review article, or at least a revew, of JF Powers' new novel?  Merton's review of <i>Morte d"Urban</i> by J.F. Powers - Merton's plans to "write Jim Powers about his book" / <u>Orate Fratres</u> - Fr. Virgil Michel's articles
 1962/09/19 TLSto MertonPlease forgive me for not answering immediately your kind letter of September 10th, offering   
 1962/09/26 TLS[x]from MertonHere is the Powers review. I have enjoyed writing it, and I will send a copy to Jim, assuming he is  J.F. Powers / visit to Gethsemani Abbey by Dom Jean Leclercq / planned article on Pierre de Celle [Peter Cellensis / Peter of Celle]
 1962/10/03 TLS[x]from MertonSuddenly the censor has made a discovery, and a very nice one. He says it is an immemorial custom  [copy of the letter discovered in a cache of materials kept by Dom James Fox regarding censorship of Merton's books - see also "Censors Reports" under the "Morte d'Urban" series regarding Merton's review of the book by J.F. Powers]
 1962/10/16 TLS[x]from MertonMe again. I think that in one paragraph I was unjust to Jim Powers, and I would like if possible  asking to make one change to the review of <i>Morte d"Urban</i>
 1962/10/17 TLSto MertonYour very welcome letter, clearing the Power Review, arrived in time to allow of its printing in   
 1962/10/22 TALSto MertonYour corrections arrived in time. But only because the November issue is a bit late. I had just   
 1963/05/13 TALS[x]from MertonI have thought of you often in these past months, what with your sickness and then your most  sending three essays for <u>Worship</u>: an essay with lengthy scriptural quotes, "The Advent Mystery," and "A Homily on Light and on the Virgin Mother"
 1963/05/22 TALSto MertonYour fraternal charity humbles me. I feel very guilty about not having acknowledged receipt of your   
 1963/06/18 HLS[x]from MertonI am happy that you can use all three articles. I have edited the one on Mary and by all means edit   
 1963/06/26 TL[x]to MertonFriday, June 21, was a great day: the announcement of the election of Paul VI -- and the receipt  retreat given by Diekmann to Protestant ministers at a retreat house in northern Wisconsin and an invitation for Merton to lead a similar retreat there
 1963/12/30 TLS[x]from MertonFirst, the business part of this letter. It concerns the article "The Name of the Lord" which you  French rights for "The Name of the Lord" for <u>Collectanea</u> / The Constitution on the Liturgy promulgated at the Second Vatican Council - regarding changes to the liturgy and to the religious life
 1964/07/15 TAL[c]from MertonThanks very much for your notes on the Einsiedeln meeting. I had already heard from Dom LeclercqYes  
 1964/08/01 TAL[c]from MertonThis document regards mostly Cistercians and Primitive Benedictines and I don't know if it would be   
 1964/no/no? otherto Fox, JamesAbbot Braso of Montserrat will soon be sending you the "official" report on the Einsiedeln meeting.   
 1965/02/08 TLSto MertonIt was during the Second Session of Vatican II, in the fall of 1963, that Dr. Douglas Steere   
 1965/02/13 TL[c]from MertonFor some time I have been aware that your very interesting and important ecumenical conferenceYes  
 1965/04/05 TLSto MertonIt is now a number of weeks since I have written to your Father Abbot, and received his reply,   

    The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University | 2001 Newburg Rd, Louisville KY, 40205 | 502-272-8187

    Copyright © The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. All rights reserved.