The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Advanced Search 

Merton's Correspondence with:

Sr. Mary Madeleva; Sr. M. Madeleva; Mother Mary Madeleva; Sr. Madaleva

Madeleva (Mary Madeleva), Sr., C.S.C., 1887-1964  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1953-1963
Volume: 26 item(s); 38 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Sr. Mary Madeleva, born Mary Evaline Wolff, was a Sister of the Holy Cross who served as long time president of Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is also known as a poet and literary critic. She shared with Merton a love of medieval Christian mysticism. In his letter, Merton specifically praises Julian of Norwich. By the first extant letter in 1953, Merton and Sr. Madeleva had seemed to have already written letters to each other. (Source: "Madeleva, Mary." World Authors." 1996. Wilson Biographies Plus. Online. H.W. Wilson. Bellarmine University Library, Louisville, KY. 2 Nov. 2005. ‹›.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also Cold War Letters #51 published in Witness to Freedom, pp. 43-44.

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

Click icons for links: ✓="Published | Library Record", ✉="Scanned" | 🗷="Scanned, Viewable Only at Merton Center"

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1948/10/21 TLS[x] from Merton For a long time I have been wanting to write you a line for several reasons. First of all I wanted Ruth Hallisy [or Ruth Halissey] - What Is Contemplation? booklet / Lucile Hasley «detailed view»
2. 1948/10/25 TL[x] to Merton Your letter of October twenty-first has opened to me the only door through which I can enter your Ruth Hallisy [or Ruth Halissey] - What Is Contemplation? booklet / Lucile Hasley / Thirty Poems, The Seven Storey Mountain, Figures for an Apocalypse «detailed view»
3. 1948/11/08 TLS[x] from Merton Many thanks for your kind letter which I have not been able to answer until this moment, having been praise for Saint Mary's College and its curriculum / Evelyn Waugh / The Seven Storey Mountain, Figures for an Apocalypse, What Is Contemplation? «detailed view»
4. 1948/12/01 TL[x] to Merton The essay on contemplation is in print and should be delivered to us within the week. What Is Contemplation? booklet / talk in Chicago on Merton's poetry / Evelyn Waugh «detailed view»
5. 1948/12/14 TALS[x] from Merton The booklets just arrived, and I assure you they are splendid. The red is just the thing. sending What Is Contemplation? booklet to The Catholic Worker / Evelyn Waugh's visit to Gethsemani Abbey and return to England / work in the woods / asks for Sr. Madeleva's books «detailed view»
6. 1949/01/03 TL[x] to Merton The holidays are devastating to correspondence. I have wanted to write you about the little booklet What Is Contemplation? booklet printing and sales costs «detailed view»
7. 1949/02/15 TLS[x] from Merton Reverend Father gives me the pleasant charge of answering your letter of the fourth, and of telling asking for 1,000 additional copies of What Is Contemplation? booklet printing - positive feedback from Jacque Maritain regarding Merton's sections on "The Test" and "Quietism" / Sr. Madeleva's positive review of Merton's poems in The Thomist (January 1949) with noted cricism of Merton from by Fr. John Daniel Fearon, O.P. which criticized Merton's article "Active and Contemplative Orders" from the December 5, 1947 edition of Commonweal - F.-D. Joret, O.P. - see also Fr. Nicholas Halligan. O.P. file «detailed view»
8. 1949/05/02 TL[x] to Merton The special edition of "Seeds of Contemplation" has just come. The book is gloriously Cistercian agnostic friend and professor at Berkeley who read and enjoyed Figures for an Apocalypse, The Seven Storey Mountain, Seeds of Contemplation / sanctity of nature / Fr. Thomas Plassman / Robert Speaight / Roland Ramirez - St. Louis Grignon De Montfort «detailed view»
9. 1949/06/17 TLS[x] from Merton For some time I have been corresponding with a Belgian lady, a lawyer, with a university degree, help with the immigration visa for a Belgian friend / Merton's ordination / sending Gethsemani Magnificat «detailed view»
10. 1949/08/24 TL[x] to Merton At last I can greet you by your proper name, the name that God foreordained for you from all Merton's ordination / Sr. Madeleva's visit to Salt Lake City and to the Trappist monastary of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah «detailed view»
11. 1949/09/03 TLS[x] from Merton First, I remember I have not yet thanked you for the consignment of new copies of the pamphlet What Is Contemplation? - translation into French by Mme Latinis / the priesthood and ordination / Gethsemani Magnificat, The Waters of Siloe / the Trappist monastary of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah / using Gethsemani's rare book vault / anthology of Catholic verse - New Directions «detailed view»
12. 1949/10/14 TL[x] to Merton At last I can greet you by your proper name, the name that God foreordained for you from all Gethsemani Magnificat, The Waters of Siloe - question about the pronunication of "Siloe" / Madeleva contributing two poems for anthology of Catholic verse - New Directions / Madeleva speaking in Fort Wayne January 22 for the Catholic Evidence Lectures on "Thomas Merton, the Poet" «detailed view»
13. 1949/10/no? TLS[x] from Merton Many thanks for your charming letter. Really it does bother me to think that you have to waste regarding the pronunication of "Siloe" (The Waters of Siloe) «detailed view»
14. 1950/02/04 TLS[x] from Merton This is to acknowledge the Mass stipend and to thank you warmly for it. I cannot tell you exactly Dan Walsh "who has had to suffer what almost amount to the pains of public execution in making speeches about me" «detailed view»
15. 1950/06/03 TLS[x] from Merton This is a belated note to thank you for your kindness in sending us eight hundred of the last copies receipt of the last 800 copies of What Is Contemplation? - reprints in Ireland and Italy / full length book on contemplation in the works / Fr. Jean Danielou coming to Notre Dame «detailed view»
16. 1951/10/24 TL[x] to Merton Some days ago a copy of "The Ascent to Truth" came to my desk with the compliments of the author. «detailed view»
17. 1953/07/03 TALS[x] from Merton It has been a long time since I have written to you and I am glad to have an excuse to do so now. What Is Contemplation? reprint by Templegate Press / Charles Journet - Wisdom of Faith / Sr. Madeleva on St. Hilda in Saints for Now - Wyndham Lewis's essay on Pius V / sending Ed Rice's new magazine, Jubilee «detailed view»
18. 1953/07/08 TLS to Merton Although our letter are infrequent there are not many days in my week when your name or your work «detailed view»
19. 1962/02/27 TLS to Merton On my desk I have a remarkable manuscript, Ascetical and Mystical Theology. It carries «detailed view»
20. 1962/03/09 (#01) transcript from Merton The chief reason why Julian of Norwich and the other English Mystics are not in the notes I sent, [Cold War Letters #51 - transcript from bound set] «detailed view»
21. 1962/03/09 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton Yes, the notes are mine ("ours" monastically, not editorially. I mean the plural in this case is [Cold War Letters #51] Julian of Norwich and the English mystics - St. John of the Cross «detailed view»
22. 1962/11/07 TL[x] to Merton On my return to my office after intermittent absences north, east and west, I found such a welcome appreciation for sending A Thomas Merton Reader «detailed view»
23. 1962/11/28 TL[x] to Merton Your text, Peace in the Post-Christian Era, has just come. I am writing at once to tell you appreciation for sending Peace in the Post-Christian Era «detailed view»
24. 1963/05/31 TL[x] to Merton Your manuscripts came in the morning's mail. Thank you for enriching my life and sharing your own «detailed view»
25. 1963/06/28 TLS[x] from Merton I am sorry to be such a wretched correspondent. But it has been good to hear from you, and now I death of Pope John XXIII and election of Pope Paul VI «detailed view»
26. 1963/10/09 TLS to Merton You are constantly enriching my life and exalting me spiritually. Now you come to examine «detailed view»

Printer-Friendly Version   Return to the Top of the Page