The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University



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Merton's Correspondence with:

Fr. John Thomas Loftus; Fr. John Loftus; Fr. John T. Loftus

Loftus, John Thomas, Fr., O.F.M. Conv., 1908-1969  printer

The top image is a postcard from Merton in Ceylon only 7 days before his death.  The bottom image is the front of the postcard.  (Copyright Thomas Merton Legacy Trust.)  
The top image is a postcard from Merton in Ceylon only 7 days before his death. The bottom image is the front of the postcard. (Copyright Thomas Merton Legacy Trust.) 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1963-1968
Volume: 44 item(s); 56 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This collection of letters contains evidentiary value in detailing the foundation of a collection of Merton's papers at Bellarmine and the establishment of a place on campus to make the collection available, but it also gives insight into Merton's feelings about the establishment of a Merton Center. In addition, there are personal reflections shared between both men on such matters as Vietnam, Camus, and Aldous Huxley. Included are letters to and from Merton, to Bellarmine Library and Paul Birkel, and from Fr. Brendan Connolly, S.J.

Biography

Fr. Loftus served as the academic dean of Bellarmine College from 1953 until his death in 1969. He chair the committee for the establishment of a collection of Merton's papers at Bellarmine. In 1960, Merton would sometimes visit . Loftus was a fan of Merton's work and excited about establishing a connection with Bellarmine.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also John's Book for the collected poems, prose and prayers of John Loftus.

Series List

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

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. 1963/04/17 TLS from Merton Oops! You really put me in a spot. There are all sorts of good reasons why I would like comments on making remarks for honorary degree for Dan [Walsh?] «detailed view»
2. 1964/08/15 TLS from Merton Fr. Illtud Evans O.P. of Blackfriars, is supposed to preach our community retreat «detailed view»
3. 1964/08/24 TLS to Merton Any reason for having a line from you is a good reason. Ursuline, Fr. Friedrich, Dr. Jude Doherty, Fr. Berrigan «detailed view»
4. 1964/09/01 (#01) TLS to Merton A sudden early morning thought reminds me that I have noted somewhere that Seeds of Destruction Seeds of Destruction manuscript for Merton collection «detailed view»
5. 1964/09/01 (#02) TL[c] to Merton A sudden early morning thought reminds me that I have noted somewhere that Seeds of Destruction Seeds of Destruction manuscript for Merton collection «detailed view»
6. 1964/09/03 TLS from Merton Thanks for your good letter about the ms of SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION. sending Mss. of what Seeds of Destruction was before the censors «detailed view»
7. 1964/09/09 TL[c] to Merton Today for some reason is an unexplicably [sic] good day. I do not explain such days. «detailed view»
8. 1964/10/03 TLS from Merton Dan is full of good news about the Committee and its progress. I am certainly grateful Merton's photos and drawings / Merton room / Antoninus «detailed view»
9. 1964/10/26 TLS from Merton Here are some extra copies of the talk to the Abbots. I have sent Jim eleven more abstract drawings Spalding College / Town and Gown Week «detailed view»
10. 1964/11/02 (#01) TLS to Merton Thank you for the copies of the talk to the abbots and for your gracious note. Formal opening of Merton Room / Msgr. Moore / Dr. Abell / Cornelius Hubbuch «detailed view»
11. 1964/11/02 (#02) TL[c] to Merton Thank you for the copies of the talk to the abbots and for your gracious note. Formal opening of Merton Room / Msgr. Moore / Dr. Abell / Cornelius Hubbuch «detailed view»
12. 1964/11/06 (#01) TLS from Merton Your letter reached me only this morning. I am very grateful for it, and the plans for Town Town and Gown Week / Merton room / Msgr. Moore / Mr. Landes «detailed view»
13. 1964/11/06 (#02) TLS[c] from Merton Your letter reached me only this morning. I am very grateful for it, and the plans for Town Town and Gown Week / Merton room / Msgr. Moore / Mr. Landes «detailed view»
14. 1964/12/03 HLS from Merton More stuff for "the room". I sneaked in the other day and have "my key" now. Merton Room / key / feelings about the room «detailed view»
15. 1964/12/05 (#01) TLS from Merton A friend in France discovered these pictures of my Father and two letters written in his last «detailed view»
16. 1964/12/05 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton A friend in France discovered these pictures of my Father and two letters written in his last «detailed view»
17. 1965/08/17 TL[c] to Merton Upon returning to my desk today I found the splendid manuscripts with your appended card. «detailed view»
18. 1965/10/13 (#01) TALS to Merton I trust that this meets with your approval. [on same page Brennan Connolly letter / note by Connolly] Miss Landreth / Irish monastic lore / Phillip McNiff / Boston Public Library «detailed view»
19. 1965/10/13 (#02) TALS from Connolly, Brendan I hope that you will not place all the blame for the delay of a reply to your letter of September 28 carbon copy to Fr. Robert F. Drinan / also contains handwritten note to Merton / Seven Storey Mountain Mss. / for Merton Room dedication «detailed view»
20. 1965/12/16 TL[c] to Merton Thank you for the copy of Motive. The publication is new to me, but a quick run-through Methodist / James Laughlin «detailed view»
21. 1965/12/20? HCS from Merton Here are a couple of items for the Room. The snapshot dates from 1935 when I had hair on my head. Christmas card "Flucht Nach Agypten" / Berrigan «detailed view»
22. 1965/12/28 TL[c] to Merton Thank you for the note and the enclosures. I especially enjoyed the snapshot. "Peace and Protest" / pacifism / Vietnam / Pope Paul / Pope Pius XII / Jim and Sally «detailed view»
23. 1966/02/07 TAL to Birkel, Paul Please note the newest addition to the Merton Collection. It comes to us by direction of Fr. Louis Eileen Curns «detailed view»
24. 1966/04/08 HCS from Merton It was good to see you the other day[.] I will be out tomorrow 3 manuscripts that should be kept confidential during Merton's lifetime «detailed view»
25. 1966/04/11 (#01) TL[c] to Merton I was sorry I had only a few minutes with you. On the other hand, I am very wary of imposing myself hospital / private papers «detailed view»
26. 1966/04/11 (#02) TN to Birkel, Paul Please note contents of the message of Fr. Louis. I have given him assurance we shall be scrupulous «detailed view»
27. 1966/07/08 (#01) TLS from Merton I don't know which of these items have reached "the Room" and which have not. "Franciscan eremitism" / Merton's back «detailed view»
28. 1966/07/08 (#02) TL[c] from Merton I don't know which of these items have reached "the Room" and which have not. "Franciscan eremitism" / Merton's back «detailed view»
29. 1966/07/11 TLS to Merton Thank you for the letter and the enclosures for our deposit and safekeeping. The collection grows. «detailed view»
30. 1967/03/26 TLS[x] from Merton It has been a beautiful warm Easter here, though the most recent news from the East Coast complains Easter Sunday (to Friends) / Jim Forest / Adrienne Mariani / Zen / Vietnam / Camus / "Theoria to Theory" / Easter message «detailed view»
31. 1967/03/31 TLS from Merton The enclosed letter from a Prof. at Duke is self explanatory with my reply-- if they find the Huxley Aldous Huxley / John Slate / drawings / Derby Day «detailed view»
32. 1967/04/03 (#01) TLS to Merton April opens with a letter from you on my desk. A good omen for a usually lovely month. Mr. Slate / Derby Day / drawings / Huxley «detailed view»
33. 1967/04/03 (#02) TL[c] to Merton April opens with a letter from you on my desk. A good omen for a usually lovely month. Mr. Slate / Derby Day / drawings / Huxley «detailed view»
34. 1967/04/03 (#03) TL to Center from Loftus, John Fr. Louis has asked me to trace down a letter to him from Aldous Huxley. Is this possible? Aldous Huxley / Dr. Grover Smith / Duke University «detailed view»
35. 1967/04/13 (#01) TLS from Merton First of all, the information in this note supersedes a message I sent via Dan to Tommie. Naomi Burton / Tommie O'Callaghan «detailed view»
36. 1967/04/13 (#02) TL[c] from Merton First of all, the information in this note supersedes a message I sent via Dan to Tommie. Naomi Burton / Tommie O'Callaghan «detailed view»
37. 1967/04/17 (#01) TLS to Merton Thursday it is. No more than five. The rendezvous will be on or about 11:00 a.m. Dan Walsh «detailed view»
38. 1967/04/17 (#02) TL[c] to Merton Thursday it is. No more than five. The rendezvous will be on or about 11:00 a.m. Dan Walsh «detailed view»
39. 1968/02/08 TN from Delius, Betty I thought you would be interested in knowing that Father Louis plans to bring Mr. Laughlin in problems with the Merton Room (enclosures- rules of use, forms) «detailed view»
40. 1968/07/29 TLS to Merton I have just finished reading you Midsummer Letter 1968. The reasons you give in your first Kennedy's death / Richard Block / Bellarmine-Ursuline merger «detailed view»
41. 1968/08/03 TL[c] from Merton It is good to hear from you. I tried to call you the other day when I was in town, but this letter «detailed view»
42. 1968/12/03 HPCS from Merton To my mind there is no place on earth lovelier than Ceylon. expresses desire "to forget all 'meetings'" / moving on to Thailand the next day «detailed view»
43. undated/no/no (#01) HNS from Merton A few more for the "Collection" - «detailed view»
44. undated/no/no (#02) other[x] from Merton for Father John with cordial good wishes [-] f m Louis [signed mimeograph of "Is the World a Problem?" inscribed "for Father John", likely for John Loftus] «detailed view»

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