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Merton's Correspondence with:

Thomas Merton's monastic file from Gethsemani Abbey

Monastic file from Gethsemani Abbey  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1939-1948, 1952, 1966
Volume: 40 item(s); 44 pg(s)

Scope and Content


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Series List

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

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1939/09/27 TLS from Murphy, John F. X. This is to certify that I have this day examined the oral cavity of Thomas Merton. [certification by Merton's dentist in New York concerning state of his teeth] «detailed view»
2. 1939/09/28 TLS from Treleaven, Clifford L. This is to certify that Mr. Thomas Merton, 35 Perry St., New York, N. Y., reported to me today [C. L. Treleaven, an optometrist at Columbia University, provided a report of the condition of Merton's vision] «detailed view»
3. 1939/10/02 other  Columbia University OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR Record of Merton, Thomas Admitted Feb. 1935 A.B. Degree Conferred [contains reproductions of Merton's transcripts from Columbia University for his A.B. degree, conferred February 23, 1938; and for his A.M. degree, conferred February 22, 1939] «detailed view»
4. 1939/10/02 HLS from Mulligan, Edward A. This is to certify that I have examined Thomas J. Merton today and found him in good physical [physician's certification for Merton to attend graduate school] «detailed view»
5. 1939/10/09 TLS from Hawkes, H. E. This certifies that Mr. Thomas Merton was a fine student in Columbia College for three years, [academic letter of recommendation from H. E. Hawkes, Dean of Columbia College at Columbia University] «detailed view»
6. 1939/10/13 other   Certificate of Baptism + Church of Corpus Christi - NEW YORK - This is to certify that Thomas [Merton's baptismal certificate / baptism celebrated November 16, 1938 (copy made of document made on the date listed for this item in 1939), Fr. Joseph C. Moore, presider; Edward Rice, sponsor] «detailed view»
7. 1939/11/02 other  Ahrendt, Leslie W. A. CERTIFIED COPY of an ENTRY OF MARRIAGE. Pursuant to the Marriage Acts, 1811 to 1932. [official copy of the marriage certificate granted to Merton's parents, Owen Merton and Ruth Calvert Jenkins, in London, April 7, 1914 - both were age 27, Owen listed as artist by profession, the marriage was Church of England / Owen's father, Alfred Merton, was listed as a musician; and Ruth's father, Samuel Jenkins, is listed as a publisher] «detailed view»
8. 1939/11/03? HLS from Knisaly, W. J., Fr. This is to certify that Thomas Merton, son of Owen Merton and Ruth Jenkins was confirmed at Corpus [statement that Merton was confirmed May 25, 1939, by the Most Reverend Stephen Donahue at Corpus Christi Church / statement written by (writing is unclear) Fr. W. J. Knisaly (sp?)] «detailed view»
9. 1940/10/16 other  Bedell, Charles P. REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE This is to certify that in accordance with the Selective Service [Merton's Selective Service card under "Thomas James Merton" with physical description and address in Douglaston, Long Island, New York] «detailed view»
10. 1941/12/09 other  First National Bank, Olean, New York NAME Thomas J. Merton St. Bonaventure's College, St. Bonaventure, N. Y. IN ACCOUNT WITH FIRST [bank statement - Merton closed this account before leaving for Gethsemani - includes five cancelled checks used to withdraw cash and to pay his uncle, Harold B. Jenkins, a bookshop, and R. J. Collins] «detailed view»
11. 1941/12/09 TLS  from Plassmann, Thomas / to Frederic Dunne The bearer, Thomas J. Merton, has been with us for the space of about two years and he has been [from Thomas Plassmann, O.F.M., President of St. Bonaventure College in New York; to Dom Frederic M. Dunne, O.C.S.O., Abbot of Gethsemani - letter of recommendation attesting to Merton's high moral character, scholarship, and devotion as a Christian] «detailed view»
12. 1941/12/12 (#01) TLS  from Ford, George / to Merton It is a pleasure for me to send you a certificate of baptism and Confirmation. I visited Gethsemane [from Fr. George Barry Ford - encloses certificates of baptism and confirmation - see items 2 and 3 of the same date] «detailed view»
13. 1941/12/12 (#02) other  from Ford, George / to Merton CHURCH OF CORPUS CHRISTI 535 WEST 121st STREET NEW YORK Name Thomas Merton Date of birth [certifies Merton's baptism on November 16, 1938] «detailed view»
14. 1941/12/12 (#03) other  from Ford, George / to Merton Church of Corpus Christi 535 WEST 121st STREET NEW YORK Notification of Confirmation [certifies Merton's confirmation on May 25, 1939] «detailed view»
15. 1942/01/12 TLS  from Walsh, Donatus / to Merton I am enclosing the papers requested some time ago. I am sorry that you had to wait so long [Fr. Donatus Walsh, O.F.M., sends Merton papers they had on file about him at the Franciscan Fathers in the Province of the Most Holy Name in New York - he sends "all the papers except those addressed to the Order"] «detailed view»
16. 1942/01/17 other by Diocese of Buffalo, New York The Chancery Diocese of Buffalo TESTIMONIAL LETTERS FORM FOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS [sent by Dom Frederic Dunne, Abbot of Gethsemani, giving details about Merton's background] «detailed view»
17. 1942/01/24 (#01) TLS  from Kearney, Raymond A. / Frederic Dunne In accordance with your request of January 13th we are pleased to forward herewith testimonial [Fr. Raymond A. Kearney, Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, provides a reference for Merton as an aspirant to the novitiate of Gethsemani Abbey] «detailed view»
18. 1942/01/24 (#02) other  Molloy, Thomas THOMAS EDMUNDUS DEI ET APOSTOLICAE SEDIS GRATIA EPISCOPUS BROOKLYNIENSIS [statement of recommendation from Thomas Edmund Malloy, Bishop of Brooklyn] «detailed view»
19. 1942/01/27 other  Merton Franciscus Joseph DEI ET APOSTOLICAE SEDIS GRATIA ARCHIEPISCOPUS NEO-EBORACENSIS [statement of recommendation for religious life from the Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York] «detailed view»
20. 1942/02/02 other from Plassmann, Thomas The Chancery Diocese of Buffalo Fifty Franklin Street Buffalo, New York TESTIMONIAL LETTERS [recommendation for from Fr. Thomas Plassmann, President of St. Bonaventure College in New York] «detailed view»
21. 1942/02/17 other from Duffy, John Aloysius Joannes Aloisius Dei et Apostolicae Sedis gratia Episcopus Buffalensis P. Friderico M. [statement of recommendation for religious life from John Aloysius Duffy, Bishop of Buffalo, New York] «detailed view»
22. 1942/03/03 (#01) TLS  from Barkman, A. L. / to Merton Your February 17, 1942. Since it appears that you have no immediate intention of filing a petition [A. L. Barkman, Inspector in Charge, U. S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service in Erie, Pennsylvania - sending to Merton a Declaration of Intention and Immigrant Identification Card] «detailed view»
23. 1942/03/03 (#02) TLS[x]  from Griffith, G. Talbot / Bishop McNulty J. T. Merton left this school some years before I become Headmaster and therefore anything I say [from G. Talbot Griffith, Headmaster of Oakham School, to John Francis McNulty, the Bishop of Nottingham] record of Merton's skill in the Classics and modern languages at Oakham School and rumors about his time at Cambridge / ends letter with "he was clearly something of a rebel." «detailed view»
24. 1942/03/12 (#01) other from McNulty, John OMNIBUS HAS LITTERAS VISURIS SALUTEM IN DOMINO Cum dilectus in Christo filius Thomas Jacobus [letter of recommendation for the religious life from John McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, England] «detailed view»
25. 1942/03/12 (#02) other  from McNulty, John / to Frederic Dunne Your kind letter referring to Mr. T.J. Merton reached me safely and I at once wrote to the [letter accompanying recommendation for the religious life from John McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, England / also enclosed with letter was the message from Merton's former Headmaster from Oakham School, G. Talbot Griffith] «detailed view»
26. 1942/08/04 other  Merton, John Paul I, JOHN PAUL MERTON of 114 Parker Place, Ithaca, New York, being of sound mind and memory do make [Last will and testament of Thomas Merton's brother, John Paul] «detailed view»
27. 1943/03/23 TLS  from Grosset and Dunlap Publishers to Merton We enclose check drawn to your order on an account carried under the title of A. Donald Grosset, [check sent to Gethsemani by the sale of some Grosset and Dunlap stock] «detailed view»
28. 1943/05/24 HNS  from ? / to Merton I have had a total of 24 points on around 3 years of Scholastic Philosophy - of which 9 were taken [note to the "Father Master" at Gethsemani concerning his prior studies in philosophy, theology, and what in the coursework at Gethsemani that he might need to take - written on verso of envelope from M. E. Tobin of Bronx, New York (the date given for this item is its postmark and not the date this note was written - accompanying letter does not exist)] «detailed view»
29. 1943/12/04 HLS  from Merton to Frederic Dunne A longo tempore firmiter firmiusque desideravi ac serio probavi ut aliquando ad religiosum statum [statement of intention Dom Frederic Dunne to make simple vows] «detailed view»
30. 1943/12/05 HLS  from Merton to Frederic Dunne As the end of my novitiate approaches, I wish to put on record my sincere desire and determination [statement of intention to Dom Frederic Dunne to make simple vows] «detailed view»
31. 1944/02/17 other[x]   I, Thomas James Merton, in religion frater M. Louis, formerly of St. Bonaventure, State of New York, [Merton's last will and testiment covering his three years of simple vows (temporary vows), see also "Dunne, Frederick" folder in Section A, and "Memo: Concerning My Will and Testament" in Sub-Section E.1] «detailed view»
32. 1944/03/19 HLS from Merton Ego, frater Maria Ludovicus, Thomas Jacobus Merton, laicus, promitto stabilitatem meam, conversionem [Merton's statement of simple vows] «detailed view»
33. 1946/12/19 HLS  from Merton to Frederic Dunne PETITION for Solemn Profession My Dear Rev. Father: As the end of my simple vows approaches [petition to take his solemn vows as a choir religious in the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (Trappists) - his Solemn Profession was made March 19, 1947] «detailed view»
34. 1947/03/19 (#01) HN from Merton Ego frater Maria Ludovicus Merton, acolythus, professus a votis temporariis, promitto stabilitatem [Merton's statement of Solemn Profession as a Cistercian on March 19, 1947] «detailed view»
35. 1947/03/19 (#02) HN[x] by Merton Nos, Frater Maria Fredericus Dunne, Abbas monasterii, quod vulgo dicitur Beatae Mariae de Gethsemani [copy from a book at Gethsemani with statement by Dom Frederic Dunne, accepting Merton's petition for solemn profession / signed by Dom Frederic, Merton, and other witnesses] «detailed view»
36. 1948/09/29 HLS  from Merton to James Fox A longo tempore firmiter firmiusque desideravi ac serio probavi ut aliquando ad religiosum statum [statement of intention to Dom James Fox for ordination to the priesthood] «detailed view»
37. 1952/10/08 TLS  from Merton to James Fox PRIVATE VOW. In honor of the simplicity and humility of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, [Merton's lifelong vow to never accept an election to abbot or titular prior of Gethsemani Abbey or of any other monastery of the Cistercian Order - signed by Dom James Fox and Merton] «detailed view»
38. 1966/09/08 TLS  from Merton to James Fox I Brother M. Louis Merton, solemnly professed monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, having [vow to spend the rest of his life in solitude as long as health permits - signed by Merton and Dom James Fox] «detailed view»
39. undated/no/no (#01) TN to Dunne, Frederic Frater Louis (Thomas Jas. Merton) My dear Reverend Father:- For the above frater we need [list of needed documentation for Merton's birth, baptism, confirmation, etc. - addressed to Dom Frederic Dunne] «detailed view»
40. undated/no/no (#02) other   [black and white photograph (head shot) of Thomas Merton, circa 1950] «detailed view»

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