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Merton's Correspondence with:

Fr. Godfrey Leo Diekmann; Fr. Leo Diekmann; Fr. Godfrey Diekmann

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


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.

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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

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#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1950/04/04 TLS[x] from Merton Our threat to write something for you has materialized. The manuscript is on the way to you via my «detailed view»
2. 1955/03/01 TALS[x] from Merton A brief Lenten note from the deserts of Kentucky. First of all, I have been meaning to thank you on Liturgical Press publishing Praying the Psalms / 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 «detailed view»
3. 1955/04/12 TLS to Merton Please forgive the delay in answering your friendly and fraternal letter of March first. «detailed view»
4. 1955/05/20 TALS[x] from Merton I want to thank you for your very kind letter of Easter week (and here we are in the octave Eucharistia: Essays on Eucharistic Liturgy and Devotion by Joseph Kramp, S.J. / Merton's "Praying the Psalms" booklet / refusing offer to be associate editor of Worship as he had turned down Ed Rice about doing the same for Jubilee / the Eucharist - Corpus Mysticum by De Luback / [Anscar] Vonier on the Eucharist «detailed view»
5. 1958/11/17 TL[x] to Merton Could you be persuaded to review Father Bouyer's recent book, THE CISTERCIAN HERIGAGE [sic] asking Merton to review The Cistercian Heritage 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 «detailed view»
6. 1959/01/03 TALS[x] from Merton A long time ago I promised Fr Kilian I would send some articles for Worship and I prepared [labeled 1958, but 1959 from context and other letters] articles on Ash Wednesday and Easter for Worship currently held up by censors «detailed view»
7. 1959/01/09 TL[x] to Merton My 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 «detailed view»
8. 1959/01/17 TALS[x] from Merton Your 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 «detailed view»
9. 1960/01/07 TALS[x] from Merton It seems to me that by now Fr Kilian is pretty well stocked with articles for Sponsa Regis, Merton sends an article for consideration in Worship (seems to be "Absurdity in Sacred Decoration" that was also published in Disputed Questions) «detailed view»
10. 1960/01/25 (#01) TALS to Merton Don'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" «detailed view»
11. 1960/01/25 (#02) HNS from Meinberg, Cloud, Fr. I have read this article. I do not find in it any plea for a large 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 «detailed view»
12. 1960/01/29 TALS[x] from Merton I 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 «detailed view»
13. 1960/02/24 TLS[x] from Merton You now have the only complete text of the article on "Absurdity and Sacred Decoration". «detailed view»
14. 1960/02/26 TALS to Merton Enclosed are the galley proofs of your article. I had hoped that the approval of the censors would «detailed view»
15. 1960/02/29 TALS[x] from Merton Here 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 «detailed view»
16. 1960/03/04 TLS to Merton Thanks 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 «detailed view»
17. 1960/03/23 TL[x] to Merton Herewith several photographs of the new abbey church. I have identified them in each case, «detailed view»
18. 1960/06/07 TL[x] to Merton My 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 «detailed view»
19. 1960/06/11 HNS[x] from Merton Here 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 «detailed view»
20. 1960/06/27 TALS[x] from Merton I 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] «detailed view»
21. 1962/08/16 TALS to Merton I hope your fraternal and monastic charity is broad and deep enough to cover my sin of failing «detailed view»
22. 1962/08/27 HPCS[x] from Merton Thanks for your good letter. I was happy to get it and this is just to say that you can edit the «detailed view»
23. 1962/09/10 HLS[x] from Merton Would you consider a review article, or at least a revew, of JF Powers' new novel? Merton's review of Morte d"Urban by J.F. Powers - Merton's plans to "write Jim Powers about his book" / Orate Fratres - Fr. Virgil Michel's articles «detailed view»
24. 1962/09/19 TLS to Merton Please forgive me for not answering immediately your kind letter of September 10th, offering «detailed view»
25. 1962/09/26 TLS[x] from Merton Here 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] «detailed view»
26. 1962/10/03 TLS[x] from Merton Suddenly 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] «detailed view»
27. 1962/10/16 TLS[x] from Merton Me 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 Morte d"Urban «detailed view»
28. 1962/10/17 TLS to Merton Your very welcome letter, clearing the Power Review, arrived in time to allow of its printing in «detailed view»
29. 1962/10/22 TALS to Merton Your corrections arrived in time. But only because the November issue is a bit late. I had just «detailed view»
30. 1963/05/13 TALS[x] from Merton I have thought of you often in these past months, what with your sickness and then your most sending three essays for Worship: an essay with lengthy scriptural quotes, "The Advent Mystery," and "A Homily on Light and on the Virgin Mother" «detailed view»
31. 1963/05/22 TALS to Merton Your fraternal charity humbles me. I feel very guilty about not having acknowledged receipt of your «detailed view»
32. 1963/06/18 HLS[x] from Merton I am happy that you can use all three articles. I have edited the one on Mary and by all means edit «detailed view»
33. 1963/06/26 TL[x] to Merton Friday, 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 «detailed view»
34. 1963/12/30 TLS[x] from Merton First, 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 Collectanea / The Constitution on the Liturgy promulgated at the Second Vatican Council - regarding changes to the liturgy and to the religious life «detailed view»
35. 1964/07/15 TAL[c] from Merton Thanks very much for your notes on the Einsiedeln meeting. I had already heard from Dom Leclercq «detailed view»
36. 1964/08/01 TAL[c] from Merton This document regards mostly Cistercians and Primitive Benedictines and I don't know if it would be «detailed view»
37. 1964/no/no? other to Fox, James Abbot Braso of Montserrat will soon be sending you the "official" report on the Einsiedeln meeting. «detailed view»
38. 1965/02/08 TLS to Merton It was during the Second Session of Vatican II, in the fall of 1963, that Dr. Douglas Steere «detailed view»
39. 1965/02/13 TL[c] from Merton For some time I have been aware that your very interesting and important ecumenical conference «detailed view»
40. 1965/04/05 TLS to Merton It is now a number of weeks since I have written to your Father Abbot, and received his reply, «detailed view»

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