The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Quinquagenary Events

Canada and USA


Asia and Australaisa

South America


Canada and USA







"En Vivant Avec Sagesse" Commémoration Montréal Thomas Merton. 7 et 8 Décembre 2018. Institut de Pastorale des Dominicains 2715, chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Qué, Canada, H3T 1B6. Further details to follow.







Thomas Merton in Alaska Conference at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton on September 28-29, 2018. Further information is available at: Speakers will include Ron Dart, Jonathan Montaldo and Paul M. Pearson.  Participants will have the opportunity to visit Eagle River, and the site of the former monastery of the Precious Blood Convent where Merton began his 17-day Alaskan itinerary and gave his initial talks to nuns in September 1968.





"Thomas Merton and the Spiritual Imagination" - a program exploring Merton's legacy to the literary, moral, and mystical imaginations through his life and writings led by Michael W. Higgins, PhD. Friday & Saturday September 7-8, 2018.




"A Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton" - an exhibit of Merton's photographs on loan from the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. September 8 - November 10, 2018. Marie Louise Trichet gallery at Wisdom House. Opening reception and lecture by Paul M. Pearson, September 8th at 3.30 pm. -




"'Disappear From View'? Thomas Merton Fifty Years Later and Beyond" - A Conference commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Merton's Death Featuring Keynote Speaker: Richard Rohr, OFM. Friday & Saturday December 7–8, 2018. Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL. Further Information on speakers, schedule, and registration to follow.





KyCAD's 849 Gallery on 849 South Third Street, Louisville is hosting an exhibit entitled "Merton Among Us" from October 5th, 2018 through to January 18th, 2019. The exhibit will feature interpretations of Merton by seven visual artists and seven guest writers from the local community. Further information to follow.


"Merton Reads in a Clearing", 14"x22", mixed media on paper, 2016, Joe McGee



Throughout the Fall of 2018 the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University is hosting a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton's death. Speakers and events include:

For further information visit:



"Awakening the Creative Spirit: A Day Inspired by Thomas Merton" - Join the ITMS Louisville Chapter and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University for a day long celebration of Thomas Merton's life and thought. The day will include a keynote address by Robert Ellsberg, Gethsemani Monks who knew Merton, as well as Art, Film, Music and Poetry. Saturday 20th October at Bellarmine University.


For further information visit:




North Andover:

Thomas Merton and the Religions: An Interfaith Conference on the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas Merton at the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian Muslim Relations Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts on October 16th, 2018. Speakers will include Edward Kaplan, Emma O’Donnell Polyakov, Padraic O’Hare, Martha Hubbard, Gray Henry, Arthur Ledoux, Christina Hardway, and Joseph Kelley.


New York:


New York City:

A Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton will be on exhibit in the chapel at Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, from March 19th until April 13th, 2018.


"Merton & Me:  A Living Trinity" - Douglas Hertler will  present his own Merton "conversion" story;  an act of storytelling that will explore his own life-changing encounter with Merton's writings.  Discussion and reception to follow. Saturday, September 22nd, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 


Day of Reflection & Jazz Liturgy Saturday, November 3rd,  9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 

- Journey to the True Self - an exploration of the inner transformative journey This retreat day will offer guidance and reflection on the movement from the false to the True Self as experienced by both Merton and Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Merton's entire legacy of prayer, meditation, contemplative life and social conscience can be summed up by the awakening of the True self in Christ. We will gather to continue his passion for integrity of the True Self . Led by Br. Don Bisson.

- Jazz Liturgy 12:00 Noon Jazz keyboardist & NYC Chapter Member, Deanna Witkowski and her jazz trio will accompany a celebratory Mass in honor of Merton’s love of improvisational jazz and how it can support a centered response to the true Self.


Memorial Solemn Mass & Reception.

Celebrants: Daniel P. Horan, OFM & Fr. Raymond M. Rafferty. Monday, December 10th 7:00 p.m. Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, NYC, NY. 

A partial reconstruction of the 1968 funeral Mass at the Abbey of Gethsemani is planned including Cistercian chant, some medieval and some newly composed by Fr Chrysogonus Waddell, the organist at the Abbey.




Lancaster, PA 17602

"Thomas Merton Day: A Quiet Day of Rememberance." Monday 10th December, 2018 - 10 am - 4 pm. A Quiet Day commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Merton's Death. The day will be led by Kimberlee Peifer and Glenn Mitchell. Further Information about the day and registration can be found at:





March 22, 2018.

Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise: The Spiritual Maturity of Thomas Merton. A Study Day Led by Fiona Gardner in Salisbury.

Full Details:


April 6-8, 2018.

Facing the Life-and-Death Issues. Twelth General Meeting and Conference of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Full Details:


September 22nd, 2018.

A Quiet Day on Thomas Merton with Bonnie Thurston. St. Katharine's House, London E14. For further information:


November 24, 2018.

Merton and Barth - A Shared Legacy. A study day held at St Michael’s Priory, Milton Keynes with Gary Hall & Ashley Cocksworth.

The Catholic monk and writer Thomas Merton and the Protestant theologian Karl Barth both died on December 10th, 1968. From their differing backgrounds both have since emerged as extremely influential figures, shaping both twentieth-century Christian thought and yet remaining increasingly relevant to our present times. Further details to follow.


December 8th, 2018.

The Spiritual Roots of Protest & Merton's Enduring Legacy - a study day held at The Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh led by Jim Forest with James Cronin, Hugh Foy, Leah Robinson and Jeffrey Smith. Further details to follow.




“To be human in this most inhuman of ages” - A European symposium to mark the  fiftieth anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton.

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th January 2019 at Muensterschwarzach Abbey, Germany.

In his own time Merton lamented the loss of confidence in media communications. He met this with prayer, study, contemplation, voluntary poverty, solitude and writing. In the face of a continuing arms race, violent discrimination of all kinds, social injustice and corruption of public discourse, Merton worked persistently for human solidarity and authentic communication. As political populism, racism, xenophobia and war rhetoric once again seem to become increasingly acceptable in the public sphere, we turn for guidance to Merton’s late writings.  

Speakers include Dr. Bonnie Thurston, P. Dr. Anselm Grün OSB, P. Otto Betler OSB, Abt Michael Reepen OSB, Prof. P. Dr. Kosmas Thielmann OCist, Dr. Malgorzata Poks, Dr. Ash Cocksworth, Dr. h.c. Wunibald Müller, Andreas Ebert, Gary Hall, Detlev Cuntz.

For further details:




June 12 - 15, 2018.

Prophecy and Renewal: Thomas Merton International Symposium. In 2018, between 12 – 15 June, Sant’Anselmo will host an international symposium to explore these reflections on the Aventine Hill in Rome, in conjunction with the Associazione Thomas Merton Italia.

Full Details:




December 8, 2018, Górki Wielkie, Poland.

"Thomas Merton: Living with Wisdom" a Merton Symposium in Poland. Speakers will include: Prof. Stanisław Obirek, Prof. Michał Kopczyk, Dr. Marek Bernacki, Dr. Małgorzata Poks. Along with lectures and panel discussions, the program will incorporate a jazz concert, a documentary about Merton (with Polish subtitles), spiritual exercises in the form of meditation, and a guided tour of the Kossak Manor in Górki Wielkie, in which famous Polish writer Zofia Kossak spent most of her life.

Further information:


Asia and Australaisa:


South America:



Mendoza, Argentina. 20-21 September 2018. Intercultural Studies Congress in Tribute to Thomas Merton.

This conference focuses on Thomas Merton as a thinker, writer and translator whose legacy is still alive and meaningful in the 21st century. Since Merton’s interests were so varied, and also in order to open up lines of dialogue with researchers of other authors, this Conference will be organized around thematic lines:
a. Merton the translator – Poetic translation
b. Merton and counter-culture – Social and cultural movements in the 1960s
c. Merton and Latin America – Interamerican relations
d. Merton and Asia – East-West Dialogues

Conference registration opens July 1st, 2018.


For more information, follow this link:


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