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Merton's Correspondence with:

Fr. Bernard Collins; Collins, Brendan, Br.

Collins, Bernard, Fr., O.C.S.O. (Br. Brendan Collins)  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1962-1967
Volume: 74 item(s); 92 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This correspondence primarily concerns issues surrounding essays and reviews that Merton was submitting to the journal Monastic Studies and the possibility of a book series on monastic spirituality. Topics for the publication included monastic spirituality, monastic obedience, scriptural studies and ecumenism. The two men also discuss issues within their religious community and other personal issues. In 1965, Merton sends Collins some of his drawings (not included herein).


Fr. Bernard Collins was Editor of Monastic Studies. He and the publication were located at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia, in 1963-1964. Later in 1964, Collins writes from Guadalupe Abbey in Lafayette, Oregon. By 1965 through the rest of the correspondence, he and Monastic Studies have moved to Mount Saviour Monastery in Pine City, New York. In December of 1966, Collins informs Merton that he has changed his religious name to Brendan instead of Bernard, and that not all solemnly professed monks would be addressed as "Father" and that he would now be Brother Brendan.

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Series List

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

Container List

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#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1962/12/18 TALS from Merton We have a brand new Scripture man here just back from Rome: Fr Romanus. Why shouldn't he do «detailed view»
2. 1963/01/12 (#01) HLS from Merton Here is a review for Monastic Studies - not the Knowles book I promised, but another by him, «detailed view»
3. 1963/01/12 (#02) other from Merton David Knowles, O.S.B., The Benedictines, A Digest for Moderns (St. Leo, Florida: St. Leo [book review sent to Collins and enclosed with 1963/January/12 letter] «detailed view»
4. 1963/05/27 TALS from Merton Studies came in this morning. You are really to be congratulated. It is a very fine job «detailed view»
5. 1963/08/05 HLS from Merton Here is the article I was promising (or threatening) to send for Monastic Studies. «detailed view»
6. 1963/08/06 HLS from Merton If you can get me a copy of the Sources Chrétiennes Cur Deus Homo (St Anselm) «detailed view»
7. 1963/08/08? HNS from Merton I would like to try the Turbessi book (will you send one??) and perhaps Theologie de la V.M. [no year on letter - Collins estimates 1964, but seemingly 1963 from contents of 1963/August/24 letter] «detailed view»
8. 1963/08/15? TNS from Merton Jubilee asked me to translate this article of Dom Leclercq and then said they could not publish. [no year on letter - Collins estimates 1964, but seemingly 1963 from contents of 1963/August/24 letter] «detailed view»
9. 1963/08/24 HLS from Merton Here is the Leclercq piece fit to print, more or less. Will you please send your carbon copy to him? «detailed view»
10. 1963/09/11 (#01) TALS from Merton As you may or may not know, the censors have approved "The Humanity of Christ and Monastic Prayer". notes in pen that enclosed poem is not for publication «detailed view»
11. 1963/09/11 (#02) other from Merton SENECA. When the torch is taken And the room is dark The mute wife Knowing Seneca's ways [mimeograph with a handwritten correction (striken punctuation mark) of Merton's poem "Seneca", enclosed with 1963/September/11 letter] «detailed view»
12. 1963/09/11 (#03) TL[c] from Merton As you may or may not know, the censors have approved "The Humanity of Christ and Monastic Prayer". «detailed view»
13. 1963/10/09 HPCS from Merton Sorry - I have been in hospital and busy after getting back. No Turbessi. But I will get our Denis [verso of postcard, calligraphy and image by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN: "Where one finds the Church, one finds the Spirit of God and where the Spirit abides, every kind of grace and blessing is present"] «detailed view»
14. 1963/10/13 HLS from Merton Our Bro Denis - young professed still in novitiate - has done his review of the Knowles book «detailed view»
15. 1963/10/21 HLS from Merton Do you think Rahner's The Christian Commitment would furnish material for a review relevant «detailed view»
16. 1963/10/25 TANS to Merton I'd love to have some reflections on Rahner's Christian Commitment, especially if they're slanted to «detailed view»
17. 1963/10/30 HPCS from Merton Glad the translation came in handy. You must always try to have a fair amount of extra stuff [verso of postcard, calligraphy and image by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN: "True beauty is yours O Mary! The stain of original sin has never marred you+"] «detailed view»
18. 1963/12/09 TALS from Merton Here are two things for the Studies. The Turbessi review and the piece on Cur Deus Homo, «detailed view»
19. 1963/12/18 HCS from Merton I have seen the Happold book on mysticism - it is nothing special. I would prefer to review [card from Maria Laach, Germany] F. Crossfield Happold's Mysticism: A Study and an Anthology / Fr Irenée Valery-Radot on St. Bernard of Clairvaux / Karl Rahner «detailed view»
20. 1963/no/no? HNS from Merton Here is the Rahner review. It turned out a little longer than I anticipated - I hope it is not too [no date, but likely late 1963 or January or February of 1964] «detailed view»
21. 1964/02/28? HNS from Merton Here is another review for our Bro Denis - I hope you can use it - he worked very hard at it [year not on note card but provided by Collins] «detailed view»
22. 1964/03/07 TALS to Merton Thanks very much for that fine review of Rahner. I'll be glad to use it for Monastic Studies, but «detailed view»
23. 1964/03/13 (#01) TLS from Merton I know what you mean about the Rahner review: as a matter of fact I did work a first draft of it «detailed view»
24. 1964/03/13 (#02) TAL[c] from Merton I know what you mean about the Rahner review: as a matter of fact I did work a first draft of it «detailed view»
25. 1964/03/24 HNS from Merton I just ran across a reference to a new book by P. Evdokimov. 'La Vie Spirituelle et la foi au XXe [year not on note card but provided by Collins] «detailed view»
26. 1964/04/23 TLS from Merton The review of Rahner has been accepted by Ramparts, so that takes care of that. I was sorry «detailed view»
27. 1964/05/02 HNS[x] from Merton I know of Fr Claude's book but I regret I can't take it on now. Have proofs of a book of my own [year not on note card but provided by Collins - also contains a copy of a transcript of the letter] «detailed view»
28. 1964/10/18 HLS to Merton Greetings from Oregon! It is a great joy to be here with Dom Hugh and with Dom Columban's fine «detailed view»
29. 1964/10/26 TALS  from Merton to Hugh McKiernan and Bernard Collins I am very glad to hear about the resumption of Monastic Studies and glad that you are working [to Dom Hugh McKiernan (see also the "McKiernan, Hugh" file) and to Fr. Brendan Collins - no date, but seemingly a followup to the 1964/October/18 letter of Collins] «detailed view»
30. 1964/no/no? HNS from Merton Sorry for holding this up. It really reads better than the other translation. I don't know what to [year not on note but estimated year provided by Collins] «detailed view»
31. 1965/03/04 TLS to Merton Would you be interested in reviewing Philipp Dessauer's Natural Meditation ? The next issue «detailed view»
32. 1965/03/09 HNS from Merton I am afraid I had better not take on any more reviews from now until end of summer. [both sides of a note card used - copied onto one page] «detailed view»
33. 1965/03/19 TLS to Merton It was good to hear from you again. Many thanks for your note and the various articles; I liked the «detailed view»
34. 1965/03/23 (#01) TALS from Merton Thanks for your good letter. If you want to print "Renewal of Eremitism" that is just fine with me. «detailed view»
35. 1965/03/23 (#02) other by Merton Julian Green creates a world of closely enmeshed contradictions: the young man who is regarded [Merton sent Collins "To Each His Darkness: Some Paradoxes in Julian Green - an essay and four calligraphic drawings ('Flying Signatures')," a by-fold offprint from the journal Charlatan 1 (Spring 1964)] «detailed view»
36. 1965/03/23 (#03) TL[c] from Merton Thanks for your good letter. If you want to print "Renewal of Eremitism" that is just fine with me. «detailed view»
37. 1965/03/27 TALS to Merton May [sic] thanks for your letter and for the article. I like "The Monastic Vocation and Modern «detailed view»
38. 1965/04/03 (#01) HNS from Merton Here are some of the "calligraphies" - qui potest capere capiat! Hope no one is scandalized. [see #2-4 for enclosures of the same date] «detailed view»
39. 1965/04/03 (#02) other from Merton [3 photographs of Merton's calligraphic drawings from the exhibit "Forty-Three Signatures"] «detailed view»
40. 1965/04/03 (#03) other from Merton Forty - Three Signatures an exhibit of Drawings by Thomas Merton [mimeographed copy of artist's statement accompanying Merton's calligraphic drawings for the exhibit "Forty-Three Signatures"] «detailed view»
41. 1965/04/03 (#04) other from Merton Catholic Herald Citizen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 13, 1965 Dancer II That's the title of this [thermofax copy of newpaper announcement for an exhibit of Merton's calligraphic drawings, "Forty-Three Signatures", with a reproduction of Merton's caligraphy titled "Dancer II"] «detailed view»
42. 1965/04/09 HLS from Merton I find I must send my only copy of Monastic Vocation and Modern Thought to France «detailed view»
43. 1965/04/14 TLS to Merton Here is the carbon you sent me of "Monastic Vocation & Modern Thought". I've made a photocopy «detailed view»
44. 1965/04/15 HLS to Merton Your drawings really speak to me; I like them very much. Many thanks for sending the repros. [dated "Holy Thursday 1965" - verso: woodcut in red with the Latin "Resurrexi"] «detailed view»
45. 1965/05/05 HLS to Merton Thank you very much for the drawings! I like them am delighted to have them. There is [verso: woodcut in black of Christ] «detailed view»
46. 1965/05/22 TLS from Merton I know you probably have too much material but I am nevretheless [sic] sending you this piece «detailed view»
47. 1965/06/03 TLS to Merton Many thanks for your paper on obedience. It is fine as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes «detailed view»
48. 1965/06/06 HLS from Merton Thanks for your letter and for the clarifications. I am glad in fact that you put off "eremitism" «detailed view»
49. 1965/06/12 TALS to Merton Many thanks for your note and inserts for "Monastic Vocation and Modern Thought". I think this is «detailed view»
50. 1965/07/21 TLS to Merton Would you please review Alexander Schmemann's Sacraments and Orthodoxy for us? «detailed view»
51. 1965/07/24 TLS from Merton Sure I will try a review of the Schmeeman book. It will take time for me to get around to it though «detailed view»
52. 1965/08/28 HLS from Merton Here is your review. In fact I make it a Double-header. How is everything? Is Bro Basil ok? «detailed view»
53. 1965/09/10 TLS from Merton Several times you have mentioned to me a translation of Cassian that has been done there. «detailed view»
54. 1965/09/15 (#01) TL to Merton Many thanks for your letter of 10 September. The Cassian translation we would like to see published [letter is ripped at the bottom and incomplete] «detailed view»
55. 1965/09/15 (#02) HNS from Merton No problem at all about showing the drawings. Go ahead. Incidentally I have been invited to send «detailed view»
56. 1965/09/16 TLS to Merton Many thanks for the Schmemann reviews (and for your note) which just came in. It's a great review «detailed view»
57. 1965/09/18 TALS from Merton I can't understand why you never got the Schmemann article, but here is another copy. «detailed view»
58. 1965/09/21 TLS from Merton Your letter arrived yesterday after I had sent off another copy of the Schmemann piece. «detailed view»
59. 1965/09/27 TLS from Merton I presumed to write to Milan for a copy of a book containing conferences on the eremitical life «detailed view»
60. 1965/10/25 HLS from Merton I am working with an Anglican nun who is translating Isaac of Stella. Would you like her «detailed view»
61. 1965/no/no (#01) HNS from Merton When I wrote to you yesterday I forgot I had this longer version of an article that comes exactly [date not on note but estimated year provided by Collins] «detailed view»
62. 1965/no/no (#02) HNS[x] from Merton Congratulations on your most excellent issue of MS. A really fine one. Keep it up. I will have [date not on note but estimated year provided by Collins - Collins notes that original seems to be on handmade paper, possibly made and printed by Victor Hammer with a Merton poem on verso: "One light / one ray and it will be the angels' spring.."] «detailed view»
63. 1966/01/10 TLS from Merton I am told you have written several letters to me recently. I have received nothing from you since «detailed view»
64. 1966/01/11 (#01) TLS from Merton It is certainly a long time since I have heard from you. I want to clear up two small points: «detailed view»
65. 1966/01/11 (#02) other[x] from Merton A Tune for Festive Dances in the Nineteen Sixties Now strike up a concert of action in the electric [poem enclosed with 1966/January/11 letter] «detailed view»
66. 1966/02/12 TALS to Merton Many thanks for the sermon of Isaac and your good introduction; I am glad to have it for Monastic «detailed view»
67. 1966/02/14 TLS from Merton It was good to hear from you. Dom James is absent at an Abbots' meeting in Rome, and this made me «detailed view»
68. 1966/03/09 (#01) TALS from Merton Here is the best copy of "Mon. vocation and Mod. Thought". I am glad you reminded me. This has all «detailed view»
69. 1966/03/09 (#02) TL[c] from Merton Here is the best copy of "Mon. vocation and Mod. Thought". I am glad you reminded me. This has all «detailed view»
70. 1966/03/12 TALS to Merton Many thanks for the good version of "Monastic Vocation and Modern Thought". I have just gone «detailed view»
71. 1966/12/no? HCS to Merton Thanks for all your help and interest in Monastic Studies. I hope you have received the fourth vol. [verso: a quote by John Henry Newman and the note "Printed by Thomas Barry for the monks of Mount Saviour"] «detailed view»
72. 1967/01/26 TNS from Merton I hope you'll enjoy Collegeville. Glad you see so much of Jim, Tom, Dan and all. Would you send «detailed view»
73. 2022/04/23 TLS to Center from Matthews, Christopher A. While going through my priest-friend's belongings during his placement in memory care at our local [donation of undated, handwritten note from Merton: "This is someone you perhaps ought to know about." «detailed view»
74. undated/no/no HNS from Merton This is someone you perhaps ought to know about. What happened to the summer issue of Monastic «detailed view»

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