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Merton's Correspondence with:

Catherine de Hueck Doherty; Catherine Doherty; de Hueck, Catherine; Catherine deHueck Doherty

Doherty, Catherine de Hueck, 1896-1985, "The Baroness"  printer

 
 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1941-1966, 1968
Volume: 66 item(s); 127 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This is one of the correspondence collections spanning the longest number of years of Merton's life, from the year before he entered Gethsemani through the later years of his life. We see some of his motivations for choosing Gethsemani over a life of service among the poor, but also the way he response to his responsibility to the rest of the world. His continued contact with Doherty serves as a connection out to the larger world even before he expressly addressed social justice issues from the monastery. The file consists of original letters and photocopies of letters from Doherty, and photocopies and carbon copies of letters from Merton. Merton typically did not regularly keep copies of letters from others before the early 1960's, so his retention of many of these letters from Doherty are an expression of their importance to him.

Biography

Catherine de Hueck Doherty, also referred to as "The Baroness" because of her marriage to Russian noble Baron Boris de Hueck, fled after the Soviet revolution into Canada. Having lost everything, she went from financial struggle and a failed marriage to rebuilding her fortunes by the end of the 1920's. However, wealth did not bring her fulfillment and she decided to give away her money and work among the poor in 1930. She established the first Friendship House in Toronto and later in the 1930's created one in New York's Harlem. After marrying Eddie Doherty in 1943, they founded Madonna House in rural Ontario, a place of retreat and lay apostolate training. Merton heard her speak at St. Bonaventure College while teaching there and felt inspired to come to Harlem and work among the poor in 1941. By the end of that year, he had decided on a vocation as a Trappist at Gethsemani, but remained in touch with Doherty. There is currently a cause for canonization of Doherty. (Source: The Hidden Ground of Love, p. 3.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

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

Please contact the St. Sergius Archives of Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario, to request those materials for which this institution is labeled the source.

Related Information and Links

See also published letters from Merton to Doherty in The Hidden Ground of Love, pp. 3-24; and see also the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file.

Series List

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

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. 1939/06/26 other   The Story of Friendship House By The Baroness Catherine de Hueck [-] What it is? [-] How it started? Doherty's pamphlet [30 pgs.] on the goals, history and future of Friendship House «detailed view»
2. 1941/10/06 TALS[x] from Merton First, thanks very much for letting me stand around Friendship House for a couple of weeks «detailed view»
3. 1941/10/14 TAL to Merton Your letter of October 6th, was a little gem all its own, I did enjoy its rambling ways, and here is «detailed view»
4. 1941/10/25 TL to Merton Not having a coat I cannot strip it to answer yours...thanks though for the compliment of liking my «detailed view»
5. 1941/11/10 TALS[x] from Merton ...I feel rather astonished, to begin with, at the subtle way you interpreted the big fanfare «detailed view»
6. 1941/12/06 TALS[x] from Merton Many thanks for your fine letter from Chicago. I feel very guilty for bringing up all that business «detailed view»
7. 1941/12/13 (#01) TLS to Merton Your letter was awaiting me upon my return. It would be foolish for me to say that I wasn't «detailed view»
8. 1941/12/13 (#02) HPCS[x] from Merton I entered the community as a postulant this afternoon. After that it will no doubt be hard, but «detailed view»
9. 1949/02/14 TALS[x] from Merton After all these years I have an excuse to say hello and ask your prayers. The excuse is this. «detailed view»
10. 1950/02/06 HLS to Merton This letter is one of a beggar - asking alms from you - the alms of prayer - for my new book. «detailed view»
11. 1950/02/13 HNS[x] from Merton I was certainly glad to hear of those 4 books. They all sound well and I'll keep praying at Mass. «detailed view»
12. 1956/01/24 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton Dom M. James Fox has written to us about your request concerning an early Thomas Merton manuscript. [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
13. 1956/02/29 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Your letter of February 21st arrived with the MS - both safely. I am sorry that there [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
14. 1956/03/14 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton I have had two copies of the Journal made, and I am returning your own copy under separate cover [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
15. 1956/03/16 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Thank you very much for your letter of March 5. I am glad that the little misunderstanding that [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
16. 1956/05/21 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Thank you for writing. I have been wondering what had happened to you, the manuscript, Father Louis [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
17. 1956/05/25 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton Thanks so much for your letter of May 21st. I will certainly get together with Farrar Straus [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
18. 1956/07/10 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Now I hate to think Madonna House is ruining the lives of your four nieces in England who used [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
19. 1956/07/26 TL[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton I have had the following from the Abbot at Gethsemani: "Since good Catherine is in her most [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
20. 1956/08/13 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton Initial good news from Gethsemani. Tom writes: "The Abbot General says we can go ahead with [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
21. 1956/08/17 TLS to Merton It is such a joy to me that there is really a valid reason for me to write to you, for though I know «detailed view»
22. 1956/08/17 (#01) TL[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Thanks for your letter of August 13 which I hasten to answer. I also enclose a copy of my letter [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
23. 1956/08/21 (#01) TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton Thanks so much for your letter of August 17th. I'm sure you will get some letter from Tom but [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
24. 1956/08/22 TALS[x] from Merton Thanks very much for your letter. I was, and always am, glad to hear from you. Occasionally I get «detailed view»
25. 1956/09/03 TL[x] to Merton Thank you so very, very much for sending me that official release. It will do the trick with «detailed view»
26. 1956/10/04 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton I am so happy to send for your signature two copies of the contract for THE CUBAN JOURNAL OF THOMAS [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
27. 1957/03/19 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton I just wanted to let you know that the Merton Journal has not been [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
28. 1957/03/25 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton It certainly was nice to hear from you. I kind of have been wondering what has been happening [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
29. 1957/10/16 TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton I'm appalled to have the enclosed from Father Abbott [sic] Fox but I just hope that it will work out [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
30. 1957/11/06 TL[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Your letter, which I just read from my return from Rome and the Lay Congress there and the many long [copied from the "Curtis Brown, Ltd." file] news about The Secular Journal being held up by censors "has been quite a blow" - "in absolute dire need of money" «detailed view»
31. 1957/12/19 TLS[x] to Stone, Naomi Burton Happy, holy Christmas to you! And I hope your New Year will be filled with peace and joy! [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
32. 1957/12/28 TLS[x] from Merton We have all been waiting for a long time to find out what would be the final judgment «detailed view»
33. 1957/12/30 (#01) TL[x] from Stone, Naomi Burton I'm terribly sorry to answer your letter of the 19th with any gloom and I've delayed answering it [see the "Stone, Naomi Burton" file for letter - Naomi Burton Stone was Merton's literary agent from New York] «detailed view»
34. 1958/01/18 TLS to Merton Your faithful letter of December 28th reached me a few days late. I would be a liar if I said «detailed view»
35. 1958/02/11 TLS[x] from Merton Today we are celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Lourdes, and part of the celebration, for me, «detailed view»
36. 1958/02/17 TL[x] to Merton Frankly I read the first paragraph of your letter and felt slightly weak. It is no use denying that «detailed view»
37. 1958/08/26 TLS to Merton A thin parcel came the other day in the mail. It was late in the evening that I opened it - «detailed view»
38. 1958/09/18 TALS[x] from Merton Your deeply moving letter came the other day, just before I received from New York proofs of «detailed view»
39. 1958/09/25 (#01) TALS[x] to Merton You sure put some obedience on me- and I mean it! This is the second time you do this to me- [some parts of letter were removed - accompanying note from St. Sergius Archives of Madonna House of 1977/12/03 states that portions referring to a living person were removed according to Doherty's wishes] «detailed view»
40. 1958/09/25 (#02) TL[x] to Merton You sure put some obedience on me- and I mean it! This is the second time you do this to me- [some parts of letter were removed for reasons of confidentiality] «detailed view»
41. 1961/02/24 (#01) HLS[x] from Gabriel, Fr., O.C.S.O. It is 2 weeks now since I left our Passionist Monastery in Baltimore to come here, and it is almost [the Gabriel authoring the letter had recently left a Baltimore Passionist Monastery to enter Gethsemani as a Trappist - see the next record of the same date for a note Merton adds to the letter] «detailed view»
42. 1961/02/24 (#02) HNS[x] from Merton It was good to hear a letter about Madonna House from this good priest who is entering here [see the previous record of the same date for the letter on which Merton's note was written] «detailed view»
43. 1961/03/17 TL[c] to Merton I haven't thanked you yet for the beautiful inscription on the wonderful book GOD IS MY LIFE. «detailed view»
44. 1961/05/26 TALS to Merton Lately I have been in great agony of spirits and so I come knocking at your door asking for the alms «detailed view»
45. 1961/07/22 TLS[x] from Merton Your letter was written on May 26 (anniversary of my ordination) and here we are already «detailed view»
46. 1962/03/17 TLS to Merton Are you weary? With the terrible weariness of one, who stands before our "man-made hell"? «detailed view»
47. 1962/06/04 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton Your long, wonderful letter has gone for nearly three months without an answer. But you can guess [Cold War Letters #79] «detailed view»
48. 1962/06/04 (#02) transcript from Merton Your long, wonderful letter has gone for nearly three months without an answer. But you can guess [Cold War Letters #79] «detailed view»
49. 1962/10/11 TALS to Merton Your letter of June 4 has remained unanswered for a long time. But I know that you did not expect «detailed view»
50. 1962/11/12 TLS[x] from Merton It was good to get your letter and the poems, and especially the columns from your paper. «detailed view»
51. 1963/05/08 (#01) HL[d] to Merton There are between our letters long periods of silence. I know you do not mind this, in fact I know [labeled "1st draft"] «detailed view»
52. 1963/05/08 (#02) transcript to Merton There are between our letters long periods of silence. I know you do not mind this, in fact I know [typed transcript of letter] «detailed view»
53. 1963/07/29 TL[x] to Merton It is always thus with us.. you and me. You have written me in November 12, 1962, exactly.. and I «detailed view»
54. 1964/11/15 HLS to Merton It has been a long time since I have written to you.. But then speech is not always needed, «detailed view»
55. 1964/11/21 (#01) TAL[c] from Merton If I don't answer your letter right away I will put it aside and then it will get buried in the pile «detailed view»
56. 1964/11/21 (#02) TL[c] from Merton If I don't answer your letter right away I will put it aside and then it will get buried in the pile «detailed view»
57. 1965/12/16 TAL[x] to Merton What shall I say, this week before Christmas, to you whom my heart loves, perhaps share with you my «detailed view»
58. 1966/01/12 (#01) TL[c] from Merton I have been wanting to answer your Christmas letter and your Advent anguish. It is probably gone «detailed view»
59. 1966/01/12 (#02) TLS[x] from Merton I have been wanting to answer your Christmas letter and your Advent anguish. It is probably gone «detailed view»
60. 1966/11/24 TL[x] from Monks of Gethsemani See the note herewith on Father Louis. Thanks a lot for your letter to him. He read it and much «detailed view»
61. 1968/12/12 TAL[c] to Burns, Flavian Thank you for your telegram. Father Louis in some strange mysterious way, I never quite understood, [to Abbot Flavian Burns of Gethsemani Abbey upon hearing of the death of Merton] «detailed view»
62. 1984/02/05 TALS[x]  from Shannon, William / to Starks, Richard This morning I called Madonna House and spoke with Ms Janet Thompson who suggested that [Fr. William Shannon was editor of The Hidden Ground of Love - Fr. Richard L. Starks was archivist of Madonna House] «detailed view»
63. 1984/02/12 TLS  from Starks, Richard / to Shannon, William Have received your inquiry about letters from Merton to Doherty, and have reviewed our files [attached is a copy of the inventory of letters held at the Madonna House Archives] «detailed view»
64. 1984/02/28 TLS  from Starks, Richard / to Shannon, William According to my inventory of Merton's letters to Catherine, as well as your list in a letter to me, «detailed view»
65. undated/no/no other   Catherine de Hueck Doherty, born into a wealthy Russian family in 1900, was married at the age of 15 «detailed view»

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