The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Awakening the Creative Spirit:
A Day Inspired by Thomas Merton

October 19th and 20th, 2018

 Bellarmine University


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

Speaker Biographies Registration Information Timetable

Friday Evening - October 19th:

Screening of "The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton" with Morgan Atkinson presenting new segments and interacting with the audience afterwards in a Q & A session.  

Morgan Atkinson is a documentary producer based in Louisville, KY.  In a career spanning 30 + years he has focused on people or groups seeking meaning through a spiritual search. His earlier work on Thomas Merton entitled “Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton” was aired nationally on PBS. Over his career he has written and produced more than 15 long-form documentaries that have been broadcast on PBS stations across the country.

Saturday - October 20th:

Monks, Merton & Music
Br. Paul Quenon, OSCO
Fr. Michael Casagram, OCSO
Dick Sisto
Performing music from Final Office for Father Louis and reading poems Merton's prophetic role in the Church & today's society today Jazz vibraphonist

Keynote Speaker:

Robert Ellsberg
"Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and Dorothy Day"

Robert Ellsberg was managing editor of The Catholic Worker for two years (1976–78), a job that would introduce him to Dorothy Day and consequently would allow him to work with Day for the last five years of her life. This life-changing experience prompted him to convert to Catholicism. Robert returned to Harvard, and earned a degree in religion and literature, and later a Master's in Theology from Harvard Divinity School.

In 1987 he began work as editor-in-chief of Orbis Books. He is the author of several books, many of which have received awards; his Blessed Among All Women tied a Catholic Press Association record by winning awards for Gender, Spirituality, and Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith. He is the editor of the published diaries and letters of Dorothy Day. 

Afternoon Workshops & Special Presentations:

  Track 1 -
1.00 pm - 4.30 pm
  Experiential workshop --calligraphy & sumi ink

Laurie Doctor

All places for the workshop have been filled and there is a waiting list in case any become free.
Track 2
1.00 pm - 2.00 pm 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm
Mercy for People and the Planet

 - Joseph of Arimathea Society

 - The Green Burial Initiative, Susan Classen, co-member, SL


Sacred Sites and Sacred Images    
- Pilgrimage - Will Peterson
- Icons – Sr. Jeana Visel, OSB

Merton in the Gallery & in the Classroom

- Merton as Paradigm
Melanie Prejean-Sullivan

- Thomas Merton Study Project for 5th/6th grades
Shelby Thomas

- Searching for Thomas Merton: An Artistic Tribute
Penny Sisto

Other opportunities for movement, prayer and contemplation during the Conference:

 - Live Jazz music

 - Labyrinth--meditation, prayerful walk and opportunity for reflection/journalling 

 - Tai Chi--Lloyd Kelly,

 - Eucharist celebrated at Our Lady of the Woods chapel by Fr. Michael Casagram, OSCO

Registration Fees:
(including conference registration, refreshments, lunch and wine & cheese reception)

Silverball  Regular - $75.00

                 Silverball Some scholarship funds are available for students


Print out and mail the conference Registration Form


Register using your credit card with: 

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Cancellation Policy
Full refund (less $25 non-refundable deposit) for cancellations before July 1st.
50% after August 15.
25% after September 10th.
No refunds after October 1st.

As you make plans to attend the conference, allow time to enjoy….

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KyCAD exhibition "Merton Among Us"

The 849 Gallery is located at 849 S Third St. Louisville, KY 40203

Hours Thursday and Friday 11:30 - 2:30 or by appointment -
Group and School tours-

The exhibit will feature interpretations of Merton by seven visual artists and seven guest writers.

A 40-page catalog about the exhibitions is being produced.

  * * * * *

 The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine will be open extended hours:

Friday October 19th  8 am - 6:45 pm

Saturday October 20th  8 am - 4 pm

Special exhibit related to Merton's death will be on exhibit.

  * * * * *

Merton Square, 4th Street and Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Site of Merton's Epiphany on March 18, 1958 in downtown Louisville. Merton's mystical experience led him to become more involved in social justice issues like war, nuclear escalation and racism.

In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers … There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander