The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Madeleva (Mary Madeleva), Sr., C.S.C., 1887-1964

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Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence

Dates of materials: 1953-1963

Volume: 26 item(s); 38 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Sr. Mary Madeleva, born Mary Evaline Wolff, was a Sister of the Holy Cross who served as long time president of Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is also known as a poet and literary critic. She shared with Merton a love of medieval Christian mysticism. In his letter, Merton specifically praises Julian of Norwich. By the first extant letter in 1953, Merton and Sr. Madeleva had seemed to have already written letters to each other. (Source: "Madeleva, Mary." World Authors." 1996. Wilson Biographies Plus. Online. H.W. Wilson. Bellarmine University Library, Louisville, KY. 2 Nov. 2005. ‹›.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Related Information and Links

See also Cold War Letters #51 published in Witness to Freedom, pp. 43-44.

Series List

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

Container List

SeriesDateTypeTo/FromFirst LinesPubFull TextNotes
 1948/10/21 TLS[x]from MertonFor a long time I have been wanting to write you a line for several reasons. First of all I wanted  Ruth Hallisy [or Ruth Halissey] - What Is Contemplation? booklet / Lucile Hasley
 1948/10/25 TL[x]to MertonYour letter of October twenty-first has opened to me the only door through which I can enter your  Ruth Hallisy [or Ruth Halissey] - What Is Contemplation? booklet / Lucile Hasley / <i>Thirty Poems, The Seven Storey Mountain, Figures for an Apocalypse</i>
 1948/11/08 TLS[x]from MertonMany thanks for your kind letter which I have not been able to answer until this moment, having been  praise for Saint Mary's College and its curriculum / Evelyn Waugh / <i>The Seven Storey Mountain, Figures for an Apocalypse, What Is Contemplation?</i>
 1948/12/01 TL[x]to MertonThe essay on contemplation is in print and should be delivered to us within the week.  <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> booklet / talk in Chicago on Merton's poetry / Evelyn Waugh
 1948/12/14 TALS[x]from MertonThe booklets just arrived, and I assure you they are splendid. The red is just the thing.  sending <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> booklet to <u>The Catholic Worker</u> / Evelyn Waugh's visit to Gethsemani Abbey and return to England / work in the woods / asks for Sr. Madeleva's books
 1949/01/03 TL[x]to MertonThe holidays are devastating to correspondence. I have wanted to write you about the little booklet  <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> booklet printing and sales costs
 1949/02/15 TLS[x]from MertonReverend Father gives me the pleasant charge of answering your letter of the fourth, and of telling  asking for 1,000 additional copies of <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> booklet printing - positive feedback from Jacque Maritain regarding Merton's sections on "The Test" and "Quietism" / Sr. Madeleva's positive review of Merton's poems in <u>The Thomist</u> (January 1949) with noted cricism of Merton from by Fr. John Daniel Fearon, O.P. which criticized Merton's article "Active and Contemplative Orders" from the December 5, 1947 edition of <u>Commonweal</u> - F.-D. Joret, O.P. - see also Fr. Nicholas Halligan. O.P. file
 1949/05/02 TL[x]to MertonThe special edition of "Seeds of Contemplation" has just come. The book is gloriously Cistercian  agnostic friend and professor at Berkeley who read and enjoyed <i>Figures for an Apocalypse, The Seven Storey Mountain, Seeds of Contemplation</i> / sanctity of nature / Fr. Thomas Plassman / Robert Speaight / Roland Ramirez - St. Louis Grignon De Montfort
 1949/06/17 TLS[x]from MertonFor some time I have been corresponding with a Belgian lady, a lawyer, with a university degree,  help with the immigration visa for a Belgian friend / Merton's ordination / sending <i>Gethsemani Magnificat</i>
 1949/08/24 TL[x]to MertonAt last I can greet you by your proper name, the name that God foreordained for you from all  Merton's ordination / Sr. Madeleva's visit to Salt Lake City and to the Trappist monastary of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah
 1949/09/03 TLS[x]from MertonFirst, I remember I have not yet thanked you for the consignment of new copies of the pamphlet  <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> - translation into French by Mme Latinis / the priesthood and ordination / <i>Gethsemani Magnificat, The Waters of Siloe</i> / the Trappist monastary of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah / using Gethsemani's rare book vault / anthology of Catholic verse - New Directions
 1949/10/14 TL[x]to MertonAt last I can greet you by your proper name, the name that God foreordained for you from all  <i>Gethsemani Magnificat, The Waters of Siloe</i> - question about the pronunication of "Siloe" / Madeleva contributing two poems for anthology of Catholic verse - New Directions / Madeleva speaking in Fort Wayne January 22 for the Catholic Evidence Lectures on "Thomas Merton, the Poet"
 1949/10/no? TLS[x]from MertonMany thanks for your charming letter. Really it does bother me to think that you have to waste  regarding the pronunication of "Siloe" (<i>The Waters of Siloe</i>)
 1950/02/04 TLS[x]from MertonThis is to acknowledge the Mass stipend and to thank you warmly for it. I cannot tell you exactly  Dan Walsh "who has had to suffer what almost amount to the pains of public execution in making speeches about me"
 1950/06/03 TLS[x]from MertonThis is a belated note to thank you for your kindness in sending us eight hundred of the last copies  receipt of the last 800 copies of <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> - reprints in Ireland and Italy / full length book on contemplation in the works / Fr. Jean Danielou coming to Notre Dame
 1951/10/24 TL[x]to MertonSome days ago a copy of "The Ascent to Truth" came to my desk with the compliments of the author.   
 1953/07/03 TALS[x]from MertonIt has been a long time since I have written to you and I am glad to have an excuse to do so now.  <i>What Is Contemplation?</i> reprint by Templegate Press / Charles Journet - <i>Wisdom of Faith</i> / Sr. Madeleva on St. Hilda in <i>Saints for Now</i> - Wyndham Lewis's essay on Pius V / sending Ed Rice's new magazine, <u>Jubilee</u>
 1953/07/08 TLSto MertonAlthough our letter are infrequent there are not many days in my week when your name or your work   
 1962/02/27 TLSto MertonOn my desk I have a remarkable manuscript, <u>Ascetical and Mystical Theology.</u> It carries   
 1962/03/09 (#01)transcriptfrom MertonThe chief reason why Julian of Norwich and the other English Mystics are not in the notes I sent,Yes [Cold War Letters #51 - transcript from bound set]
 1962/03/09 (#02)TLS[x]from MertonYes, the notes are mine ("ours" monastically, not editorially. I mean the plural in this case isYes [Cold War Letters #51] Julian of Norwich and the English mystics - St. John of the Cross
 1962/11/07 TL[x]to MertonOn my return to my office after intermittent absences north, east and west, I found such a welcome  appreciation for sending <i>A Thomas Merton Reader</i>
 1962/11/28 TL[x]to MertonYour text, <u>Peace in the Post-Christian Era</u>, has just come. I am writing at once to tell you  appreciation for sending <i>Peace in the Post-Christian Era</i>
 1963/05/31 TL[x]to MertonYour manuscripts came in the morning's mail. Thank you for enriching my life and sharing your own   
 1963/06/28 TLS[x]from MertonI am sorry to be such a wretched correspondent. But it has been good to hear from you, and now I  death of Pope John XXIII and election of Pope Paul VI
 1963/10/09 TLSto MertonYou are constantly enriching my life and exalting me spiritually. Now you come to examine   

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