The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 14TH General Meeting

Merton 100: Living the Legacy

The Fourteenth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society
June 4-7, 2015
at Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky


The year 2015 marks the one hundredth anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth. His life and writings are not merely historically important, but offer a prophetic witness to a vision that points a way into the future. As Merton wrote in an untitled poem, “All theology is a kind of birthday / Each one who is born /Comes into the world as a question / For which old answers / Are not sufficient…” (In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton). The centenary offers an opportunity to consider how we too might set aside easy answers and wrestle with the urgent questions of our day. The Fourteenth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society will focus particularly on ways in which Merton’s life and writings challenge us to continue his legacy through ever-deepening contemplation, compassion, and unity-- a legacy in which deep prayer informs action, action on behalf of justice, and the embrace of the whole world. As Merton concludes that poem: “No one ever got born / All by himself: It takes more than one. / Every birthday / Has its own theology.”

Download the Conference Brochure as an Adobe PFD File - ITMS Conference Brochure

Conference Highlights Registration Information Conference Timetable Student Scholarships

Plenary Speakers:

Christine M. Bochen James Finley Bryan N. Massingale Rt. Revd. Rowan Williams
James Finley Bryan Massingale Rowan Williams

  Thomas Merton
and Interfaith Dialogue Panel
Sidney Griffith Edward K. Kaplan Bonnie B. Thurston
Presidential Address   Closing Liturgy
David J. Belcastro   Joseph E. Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
Art Exhibit
  Charles MacCarthy  


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session
Robert Grip


Chapters Workshop
Michael Brennan


Merton Scholarship
David Belcastro, Patrick O'Connell, Paul Pearson and Joseph Raab


Emerging Scholars
Jason Brown / Joshua Currie / Michael Jerge
Emerging Scholars
Phil Garrity /Hyeokil Kwon / Anna Robertson / Lilin Wu

Guide to Opening Sessions


Concurrent Sessions:

Merton & Personhood
Nass Cannon / Jonathan Sozek
Merton & the Environment
Kathleen Deignan / Marilyn Sundermann
Merton & the Inner Journey
Michael Plekon / Fiona Gardner
Merton & Dialogue with Asia
Patrick F. O'Connell /
Jaechan Anselmo Park
Merton & Discipleship
Daniel P. Horan / Fernando Beltran
Merton & Liberation
Mark C. Meade / Robert Rowen-Herzog
Merton & Poetry
Deborah Kehoe / Lynn Szabo
Merton & Zen
Ed Sellner / Leslie Alldritt
Merton & the Contemplative Pause
Donald Grayston / Gary Hall
Merton, Politics and Prorgress
David Golemboski / Gordon Oyer
Merton & Church
Raymond Carr / Casey Holland
Merton as Educational Model
Dominiek Lootens / Thomas Stewart
Merton & Living Contemplatively
Alan Kolp / Jonathan Ciraulo
Merton, Writers and Saints
John P. Collins / Paul Quenon, OCSO
Merton & Racism
Paul Dekar / Michael McGregor
Merton & Interfaith Dialogue
Susanne Jennings / Cristobal Serran-Pagan
Merton & Historical Rebels
Michael A. Brennan / Jon Sweeney
 Merton & Gender
Peter Savastano / Christopher Pramuk
Merton & Peace
William Apel / James Cronin
Merton & Living in the World
Peter Ellis / Ryan Scruggs
Merton & Meaning
David Henderson / Jeffrey Cooper
  Merton & Nonviolence
John Dear

Guide to Concurrent Sessions and Workshops


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:

The Spirituality of Restlessness: Merton as a Model for 21st Century Contemplative Life
Johnny Sears
Merton, Arasteh, and Final Integration: Exploring Personal Pathways to Spiritual Growth and Maturity
Larry Culliford
How Does the Apple Ripen? Merton, Mepkin, and Contemplative Aging
Christian McNamara and Guerric Heckel
Thomas Merton: Inviting the Edges of Awe - A Meditative Workshop
Marianne Heib
Thomas Merton ... Alive at Fourth and Walnut
James Nagle
SEA & SKY: A Contemplative Performance of Robert Lax's Poetic Masterpiece
S.T. Georgiou and Jacqueline Chew
Learning How to Drink Tea: Studying and Teaching Thomas Merton
Christine M. Bochen
Gloria Mundi
Matthew Gesicki
The Memory Palace of Thomas Merton
Kevin Burns
Shadow Theatre of the Grand Sneeze
Reg Bradley
Praying in Gratitude for the Church of Our Friends
Jonathan Montaldo
Simple Gifts: Meditating with the Legacy of Thomas Merton and the Shakers
Paul M. Pearson
  The Echo of an Echo of a Voice Piercing the Silence: A Prayer Service 0f Silence, Music, and Words Inspired by Thomas Merton and Abraham Joshua Heschel
Jeffrey Kiernan

Registration Fees:
(including conference registration and meals - US Dollars Only)

TO CONFIRM AVAILABILITY - 502 272 8177 / 8099

Silverball ITMS Member - $340.00 (until May 15)**

Silverball Non-Member - $400.00 (Join the ITMS) (until May 15)**

**Places are limited and filling fast, so registration may close earlier.

further information about accommodation at BU)

Silverball $150.00 (Single room for three nights - per person)

Silverball $125.00 (Shared room for three nights - per person)

Additional Lodging is Available for Wednesday 3rd and/or Sunday 7th June.

Print out and mail the conference:

Registration Form


Register using PayPal

early booking is recommended

Cancellation Policy

Off Campus Accommodation Options


Car Air Car Rental Taxis

PDF Map of BU Campus

Optional Excursion to the Abbey of Gethsemani


The Thursday morning excursion to the Abbey of Gethsemani is now fully booked.

Pleasant Hill Shaker Village


The Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is offering ITMS conference attendees a 20% discount for lodging at the village prior to, and immediately following the June conference. Click here for further information. Ask for "Merton Conference" or "Merton 100" when booking.

ITMS Daggy Scholarships

Daggy Youth/Student Scholarships enable young people (ages 14-29) to participate in an International Thomas Merton Society Conference by covering the costs of registration, meals and accommodation. For further information about Daggy Scholarships and an application form go to the Daggy Scholarship Web Page.

Contact the Site Coordinator for further information:
Paul M. Pearson
Thomas Merton Center

Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205

Program Committee

Kathleen Deignan, CND., New Rochelle, NY (Chair)
Paul M. Pearson (Site Coordinator)
David J. Belcastro, Columbus, OH
Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY
James Conner, OCSO., Trappist, KY
Robert G. Grip, Mobile, AL
Judith Hardcastle, North Vancouver, BC
Joseph Madonna, Bronx, NY
Mark C. Meade, Louisville, KY
Jonathan Montaldo, Mantua, NJ
Erlinda G. Paguio, Louisville, KY
Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, Louisville, KY
Monica Weis, SSJ., Rochester, NY

Louisville Site Committee

Paul M. Pearson (Site Coordinator)
Mark C. Meade, Louisville, KY
Erlinda G. Paguio, Louisville, KY
Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, Louisville, KY






Program Committee

L to R: Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, Paul M. Pearson, Mark C. Meade. (Back Row)
 Erlinda G. Paguio, Monica Weis. (Middle Row)
Judith Hardcastle, Christine M. Bochen, Kathleen Deignan, David J. Belcastro, Jonathan Montaldo. (Front Row)