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1INTERNATIONAL THOMAS MERTON SOCIETYNewsletterVol. 28, No. 2Seventeenth General Meeting a Virtual Success“Thou Inward Stranger” was the theme of the Seventeenth General Meeting of the International ThomasMerton Society, originally scheduled for St. Mary’sCollege, Notre Dame, Indiana but held virtually dueto the coronavirus pandemic June 23-26, 2021. Theconference included 339 participants from the UnitedStates and eight other countries.General session addresses included: MarieDennis: “Nonviolence: Essential to a LaudatoSi’ Future”; Andrew L. Prevot: “Contemplationin Times of Crisis”; Bonnie Thurston: “‘TheInward Stranger’: Challenge, Coordinates andConsequences”; and the Presidential Address byDavid Golemboski: “Absurdity and Imagination ina Time of Upheaval.” The conference opened witha welcome from Program Committee chair MarkMeade, followed by a Multi-faith Prayer Servicecoordinated by Sophfronia Scott. The programincluded 43 presentations over the course of itsfour days: 33 concurrent session papers and tenworkshops. A June 26 evening concert/reflectionentitled “Encountering the Stranger: Finding theHidden Wholeness in a Broken World” was a jointpresentation of Carrie Newcomer and Parker Palmerand was followed by a closing prayer by incomingITMS president Christopher Pramuk.A selection of presentations from the conferenceis now available on YouTube. The full playlist ofvideos, which include the presidential address byDavid Golemboski, and the keynote presentationsby Andrew Prevot and Bonnie Thurston, can beaccessed on the Thomas Merton YouTube Channelat: xJldy yO5qXkg/videos.The Program Committee was chaired by ITMSPast President Mark Meade and included ITMSFall, 2021President David G. Golemboski, ITMS SecretaryCassidy Hall, Daniel P. Horan, OFM, JonathanMontaldo, ITMS Treasurer David Orberson, ITMSVice President Christopher Pramuk, Judith Valenteand Julianne Wallace.It was announced on the final day of theconference that the ITMS Eighteenth GeneralMeeting is scheduled for June 22-25, 2023, onceagain for St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. Theprogram committee will be chaired by immediatepast president David Golemboski with DanielP. Horan, OFM as site coordinator, and includesJessica Coblenz, Emma McDonald, Mark Meade,ITMS Treasurer David Orberson, ITMS PresidentChristopher Pramuk, Kathleen Tarr, Judith Valenteand Monica Weis, SSJ.New Officers and BoardThe Officers and Board of Directors of theInternational Thomas Merton Society for 20212023 were announced by outgoing presidentDavid Golemboski during the ITMS SeventeenthGeneral Meeting on June 24, 2021. In accordancewith the ITMS by-laws, the officers were chosenby the Board and members of the Board by themembership at large, from a slate prepared by theITMS nominating committee, Christine Bochen,Deborah Kehoe, Emma McDonald, Paul Pynkoskiand Judith Valente (chair). A total of 261 ITMSmembers, 24% of the membership, participated inthe election, 240 through on-line voting and 21 bymail.Officers are Christopher Pramuk, president; JudithValente, vice president; Paul Pynkoski, secretary;and David Orberson, treasurer; David Golemboskiwill continue to serve on the board as past president.Newly elected members of the board are: RoseMarie Berger, Raymond Carr, Emma McDonald

2and Kathleen Witkowska Tarr; Alan Kolp and GrayMatthews were re-elected to the board.Christopher Pramuk is associate professor oftheology and University Chair of Ignatian Thoughtand Imagination at Regis University, Denver, CO,and author of the award-winning Sophia: TheHidden Christ of Thomas Merton (2009), HopeSings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across theColor Line (2013), At Play in Creation: Merton’sAwakening to the Feminine Divine (2015) and, mostrecently, The Artist Alive: Explorations in Music,Art, and Theology (2019).Judith Valente, a retired journalist and poet fromNew Jersey who currently lives in central Illinois,has served as a member of the ITMS Board. She isthe author of the spiritual memoir Atchison Blue aswell as two books of poetry; her most recent book isHow to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict TeachesUs about Happiness, Meaning, and Community(2018). How to Be: A Monk and a JournalistReflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer,Forgiveness & Friendship, coauthored with Br.Paul Quenon, will be published later this year. Shecovered stories for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly,The PBS News Hour and the Chicago NPR affiliate;her work in print journalism includes reporting forThe Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal andAmerica Magazine. She is married to retired IllinoisCircuit Court Judge Charles Reynard.Paul Pynkoski is an active member of the Churchof the Redeemer, Toronto, ON, where he coordinatesliterature discussions at the Common Table, adrop-in for those who are vulnerable or homeless.He is a founding member of Voices for Peace, anecumenical conference on peacemaking and hascontributed to The Merton Seasonal, The MertonAnnual, Orthodoxy in Dialogue and The Anglican.David Orberson, current ITMS treasurer,received his Ph.D. from the University of Louisvilleand a Master of Theological Studies from the St.Meinrad School of Theology. He is author of ThomasMerton – Evil and Why We Suffer: From PurifiedSoul Theodicy to Zen (2018). He has been teachingtheology part-time at Bellarmine University since2007.David Golemboski is Assistant Professor ofGovernment and International Affairs at AugustanaUniversity, Sioux Falls, SD. He was a PostdoctoralFellow in the Kinder Institute on ConstitutionalDemocracy at the University of Missouri aftercompleting his Ph.D. in the Department ofGovernment at Georgetown University. A formerDaggy Scholar, he has previously served as ITMSsecretary, vice president and president, and as cochair of the Nominations Committee.Rose Marie Berger is a poet and peace activistwho is poetry editor and senior editor for Sojournersmagazine, for which she writes a regular column. Shepresented the keynote address, “Direct Transmissionof Faith,” at the ITMS Sixteenth General Meetingin 2019. She is co-editor of Advancing Nonviolenceand Just Peace in the Church and World (2020) andauthor of the poetry collection Bending the Arch(2019).Raymond Carr, formerly Assistant Professorof Theology and Ethics at Pepperdine University,has also taught as visiting faculty in Germany,Switzerland and China. A member of the MertonSociety since 2013, he has published and presentedpapers at ITMS conferences, and has taught Mertonin his classes as well as in the ENGAGE program,a Lilly-funded initiative to interest high schoolstudents in religious topics.Alan Kolp holds the University Chair in Faith &Life at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH.A member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) anda Benedictine Oblate, he is co-author most recentlyof Exception to the Rule (2017), and has publishedarticles on Merton in The Merton Seasonal, inMerton and the Protestant Tradition and elsewhere.Gray Matthews teaches communications atthe University of Memphis and has served ascoordinator of the Memphis Chapter of the ITMSsince 2001. He was site coordinator of the 2007ITMS General Meeting in Memphis and has alsoserved as co-editor of The Merton Annual. He hasbeen a frequent presenter at ITMS conferences andhas published numerous essays on Merton.Emma McDonald is currently a Ph.D. studentat Boston College, where she studies bioethics,

3Catholic moral theology and women’s health. Sheholds a Master of Arts in Religion degree fromYale Divinity School. A Daggy Scholar in 2017,she presented a paper at the 2019 ITMS Generalmeeting on Merton, Robert Lax and Fanny Howe.While at Yale, she coordinated a monthly ThomasMerton Reading Group.Kathleen Witkowska Tarr is the founder ofthe Alaska Chapter of the ITMS and author of WeAre All Poets Here: Thomas Merton’s Journey toAlaska – A Shared Story about Spiritual Seeking(2018). Her essays have appeared in We Are AlreadyOne: Thomas Merton’s Message of Hope (2015)and Merton & Indigenous Wisdom (2019). She is aformer Mullin Scholar at the University of SouthernCalifornia Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies.ITMS President Christopher Pramuk alsoannounced that ITMS members from six countrieswill serve as International Advisors for 2021-2023.They are: Lars Adolfsson (Strängnäs, Sweden),James G. R. Cronin (Cork, Ireland), Linda Espie(South Oakleigh, Australia), Liana Gehl (Bucharest,Romania), Dominiek Lootens (Frankfort, Germany)and Marcela Raggio (Mendoza, Argentina).Paul Pearson will continue to serve as ITMSResident Secretary and as ITMS Accounts Manager.Patrick F. O’Connell will continue as editor of TheMerton Seasonal and David Golemboski will joinDeborah Kehoe as co-editor of The Merton Annual.Michael Brennan will continue to serve as ITMSChapters Coordinator.Louies AwardedThe 2019 Thomas Merton Awards, informallyknown as “Louies,” were presented by outgoingITMS president David Golemboski on June 24,2021 during the ITMS Seventeenth GeneralMeeting. The award is a bronze bust of ThomasMerton created by sculptor David Kocka. Therecipient of the “International” award, given to anindividual who has made a significant contributionon an international level to the promotion ofMerton’s writings (in English or in translation) andto the presentation of his ideas, is Willy Eurlings.The recipient of the “Thomas Merton” award, givento an individual whose work has made a significantcontribution to Merton studies, is Sophfronia Scott.The recipient of the “Society” award, given to amember of the ITMS whose distinguished servicehas contributed to the aims of the Society and thefurthering of its goals, is Michael Brennan.Willy Eurlings is chairperson of theMertonvrienden, the Dutch-speaking MertonSociety from Flanders and the Netherlands andregular contributor to and translator for the societyjournal, Contactblad Mertonvrienden. He is thecompiler of the comprehensive finding aid of BooksCited by Merton by Title as found in the sevenvolumes of Merton’s journals and five volumes ofhis correspondence, available on the Merton Centerwebsite at: Scott, novelist, essayist and leadingcontemplative thinker whose work has appeared innumerous publications, received the Louie for herlatest book, The Seeker and the Monk: EverydayConversations with Thomas Merton. Her otherbooks include Love’s Long Line, and This Child ofFaith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World,co-written with her son Tain. She holds degreesfrom Harvard and Vermont College of Fine Arts.She lives in Sandy Hook, CT and is the foundingdirector of Alma College’s MFA in Creative Writing,a graduate program based in Alma, MI.Michael Brennan is the coordinator of theChicago Chapter of the ITMS and longtime ITMSChapters Coordinator. He served as site coordinatorfor the ITMS Twelfth General Meeting at LoyolaUniversity Chicago in 2011 and has served on theITMS Board of Directors. He works for AmericanAirlines and has been editor of the newsletter forTransport Workers Union Local 512 in Chicago. Heis a member of the National Conference of CatholicAirport Chaplains.Shannon Fellowships AwardedAt its June 2021 meeting, the ITMS Board ofDirectors awarded 2021-2022 Shannon Fellowshipsto: Alda Balthrop-Lewis, research fellow atAustralian Catholic University, for a project entitled“Politics and Contemplation: Thomas Merton inConversation with the 1960s”; Matt Dill, studentin the master’s program in creative writing at

4Vermont College, for research on “Albert Camus’sInfluence on Thomas Merton”; and StephanieRedekop, doctoral student at the University ofToronto, for a project entitled: “Obliged to Speak:Thomas Merton’s Literary Essays and 1960s CrisisDiscourse.”The Shannon Fellowship program was establishedin 1997 in honor of the late Msgr. William H.Shannon, the founding president of the ITMS, topromote scholarship on Merton and his work. Upto five annual awards, of a maximum of 750 each,are granted to scholars for research on primarysource Merton materials at the Merton Center atBellarmine University or other archival collections.This year’s selection committee includes Paul M.Pearson (chair), Fiona Gardner and Joseph Raab.The deadline for applications for ShannonFellowships for 2022-2023 is March 15, 2022.Awards must be used between July 1, 2022 and July31, 2023. Awards will be based on the quality of theproposal submitted and on the need for consultingarchival materials at the site proposed. Applicantsmust be members of the ITMS; they may join theSociety at the time of application by includinga check for 25 (or 40 to include The MertonAnnual), made out to “ITMS”, along with theirproposals. Current officers and Board members ofthe ITMS, as well as grant committee members,are not eligible for fellowships during their term ofoffice. Fellowships may be granted a maximum oftwo times to any applicant.Application for Shannon Fellowships mustinclude the following: a detailed proposal of 500-750 words explainingthe subject and goals of the applicant’s researchand the rationale for consulting primary sourcesat the Merton collection selected by the applicant;applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstratein their application that they have consultedonline finding aids for the Merton Center ( or for other archivalcollections of Merton’s work (a list of subjects ofprevious awardees can be found under “PreviousResearch Topics” on the web site); a letter of recommendation from a scholar familiarwith the applicant’s qualifications and researchinterests; a proposed expense budget: grants will covercosts of travel to and from collections; expensesfor accommodations and food during time ofresearch at archives; costs of photocopying; disclosure of any other sources of funding awardedor applied for, with amounts received or requested.Applications are encouraged from establishedscholars, from researchers without academicaffiliation, and from students and youngerscholars, including those engaged in researchfor theses and dissertations.Completed applications for fellowships shouldbe sent to Dr. Paul M. Pearson, Director, ThomasMerton Center, Bellarmine University, 2001Newburg Road, Louisville, KY 40205; The committee’srecommendations will be presented at the June 2022meeting of the ITMS Board of Directors, who willmake the final decisions on awards, and results willbe communicated to applicants shortly thereafter.Full details are available on the ITMS web site at: Flood, OCSO (1935-2021)On August 24, 2021, Fr. Maurice Flood, OCSOdied after more than 64 years of Cistercian monasticlife. Born Hugh Edgar Flood on October 25, 1935 inLancaster, Ohio, the son of Ralph and Mary LucilleFlood, he originally joined the Order as a member ofthe Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky in 1957 as abrother, making his solemn monastic profession onDecember 8, 1965. In the 1980s he transferred hisstability to Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, VA. Afterstudies at the Pope John XXIII National Seminaryin Weston, Massachusetts, he was ordained a priestat Berryville on June 23, 1991. He served as retreatmaster at the monastery during the 1990s, and in1999 became the chaplain to the Cistercian nuns atOur Lady of the Redwoods Abbey in Whitethorn,CA, where he served for fourteen years beforereturning to Berryville in December 2014 due toincreasing age and declining health.He provided various assistance to Thomas Mertonafter Merton’s permanent move to the hermitage in

5August 1965, and regularly served Merton’s massduring those years before a chapel was added to thehermitage. He was present at Merton’s final mass inthe hermitage on September 9, 1968, before Mertonleft on his final journey to the West Coast and theFar East the next day, and was left in charge of thehermitage during Merton’s expected absence. Heappears in the 1985 documentary Merton: A FilmBiography directed by Paul Wilkes, and his interviewwith Wilkes is included in the volume Merton ByThose Who Knew Him Best (1984).He is survived by his sister, Sue Fox, and twonephews, as well as his monastic community.According to fellow monk Br. Efrain Sosa, “Of latehe would talk a lot about death, of being freed. ‘I’mnot afraid of death. I never have been,’ he said. ‘Iwelcome her.’ Like St. Francis of Assisi, he wouldcall her Sister Death. He was a simple Trappist.”A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at themonastery on September 4, followed by burial in theabbey cemetery. In his funeral homily, BerryvilleAbbot Joseph Wittstock said of Fr. Maurice: “Atour last community-sharing on Experientia, ourdear Fr. Maurice spoke of what he termed the riskof pledging obedience to one’s abbot, but thensuggested that it was worth the risk for, as he said, itall works out in the end. I’m not sure whether atthat time he was aware of just how close his ownend was! However, as we know, in recent years herepeatedly expressed his readiness (and, indeed, hiseagerness) to complete his earthly pilgrimage andmake that final transition to his eternal home. Thispeaceful non-anxious approach to death suggeststhat the risk he took so many years ago, when hemade that other transition from ‘the world’ into theenclosure of Gethsemani, was more than worth itand that, for him, it did all work out in the end. . . And so Fr. Maurice’s deep conviction that it allworks out in the end was his way of affirming SaintPaul’s insistence that in all things God works for thegood of those who love him. As such his interestinglife is a reminder that we need to trust God enoughto surrender control over our life and relinquishthose cherished expectations and desires that wemight have had upon entering the monastery. Hislife is a reminder that although a circuitous routehome to our heavenly kingdom is often a result ofour spiritual shortsightedness and lack of trust, Godnever gives up on us, but patiently accompaniesus (as he did the People of Israel) and lovinglyshepherds us through the wilderness of our sinfulhearts in preparation for that moment when ourend approaches and we stand on the banks of theJordan and prepare to cross over into that kingdomprepared for us before the foundation of the world.”Robert Bonazzi (1942-2020)Robert Bonazzi, poet, publisher, essayist,biographer of John Howard Griffin and correspondentof Thomas Merton, died on October 15, 2020 inRound Rock, Texas after a lengthy illness. BornDecember 9, 1942 in Jamaica, New York, son ofLorenzo and Francesca (Nasso) Bonazzi, he movedto Texas with his family at the age of four. A 1966graduate of the University of Houston, he was thefounding editor that year of Latitudes magazine andpublisher of Latitudes Press, also begun in 1966,which became the longest surviving independentliterary press in the Southwest, called “One of thefinest imprints in the country” by Library Journal in1988, publishing 112 titles between 1966 and 2000and receiving grants from the National Endowmentfor the Arts, Coordinating Council of LiteraryMagazines, Translation Center of New York andthe Texas Commission on the Arts. A member ofthe Authors Guild and the Texas Institute of Letters,he was author of numerous volumes of poetry andprose, including Maestro of Solitude: Poems &Poetics (a finalist for the Texas Institute of LettersPoetry Award), and The Scribbling Cure: Poems& Prose Poems. He taught literature at a numberof universities and community colleges, includingUniversity of Houston, Texas Christian Universityand Tarrant Community College, as well as in publicschools in New York and Texas.In the 1960s he became a close friend of authorand activist John Howard Griffin, and when Griffindied in 1980 was appointed literary executor of hisestate. In 1983 he married Griffin’s widow Elizabeth,who became his co-publisher at Latitudes Pressuntil her death in 2000, after which the press ceased

6publication. He edited and published numerousposthumous volumes of Griffin’s work, includingFollow the Ecstasy: Thomas Merton, The HermitageYears, 1965-1968 (Fort Worth, TX: Latitudes Press,1983), the final section of Griffin’s uncompletedbiography of Thomas Merton, for which Bonazziprovided the Foreword. He wrote two biographicalworks on Griffin, Man in the Mirror: John HowardGriffin and the Story of Black Like Me (Orbis, 1997)and Reluctant Activist – The Spiritual Life and Artof John Howard Griffin (Texas Christian UniversityPress, 2018), as well as Afterwords for the Penguineditions of Griffin’s classic Black Like Me (1996,2010). He was featured in Morgan Atkinson’s 2010film documentary on Griffin, Uncommon Vision.It was through their mutual friendship withGriffin that Bonazzi and Thomas Merton becameacquainted, exchanging nineteen letters (13 fromBonazzi, 6 from Merton), mainly concerned withLatitudes and Merton’s literary magazine MonksPond, between October 14, 1966 and February 29,1968 (all unpublished, in the archives of the ThomasMerton Center, Bellarmine University, Louisville,KY). Merton’s humorous poem “Western FellowStudents Salute with Calypso Anthems the MovieCareer of Robert Lax” first appeared in the February1967 issue of Latitudes, followed by excerpts fromCables to the Ace and the essay “The Monk Today”in April 1968. Bonazzi contributed three poemspublished in the fourth and last issue of Monks Pond(see Monks Pond: Thomas Merton’s Little Magazine,with an Introduction by Robert E. Daggy and anAfterword by Patrick Hart, OCSO [Lexington, KY:University Press of Kentucky, 1989] 229-30; threepoems by Ron Seitz in the third, fall issue wereerroneously attributed to Bonazzi – see 115). Alongwith Elizabeth Griffin-Bonazzi, Robert Bonazziwas a plenary speaker at the ITMS Fifth GeneralMeeting at Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL inJune 1997. His book Outside the Margins: LiteraryCommentaries (San Antonio: Wings Press, 2015)includes his essays “Parra-Phrasing: Nicanor Parra& Thomas Merton” and “The Call to Emptiness:Thomas Merton & John Howard Griffin.”He was preceded in death by his twin brotherLawrence, who died in 2014, and is survived by asister, Mary Frances Urie, along with her husbandPaul Urie, a niece and three nephews. The literaryarchives of Robert Bonazzi and Latitudes Pressare archived in The Humanities Research Center,University of Texas at Austin.O’Callaghan Gallery Dedication ScheduledOn November 13, the Thomas Merton Center atBellarmine University, Louisville, KY will holdan open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which willfeature a ceremony at 1 p.m. naming the exhibit areaof the Center the “Tommie and Frank O’CallaghanGallery.” Originally scheduled for November 2020but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, theevent marks the donation to the Center of the papersof Thomasine (“Tommie”) O’Callaghan (19312014), who with her husband Frank (1929-2011)was a close friend of Thomas Merton, and one ofthe original members of the Thomas Merton LegacyTrust, on which she served from 1967 to 2009. Thedate coincides with the inauguration in 1963 of theMerton Collection at Bellarmine, which developedinto the Merton Center, and also marks Tommie’sninetieth birthday. The following day is the fiftyfourth anniversary of the signing of the MertonLegacy Trust agreement in 1967.Tuesdays with Merton SeriesThe Tuesdays with Merton webinar series,cosponsored by the International Thomas MertonSociety and the Center for Spirituality at St.Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, takes place onthe second Tuesday of each month. On September14, Sophfronia Scott gave a presentation entitled“The Radio of Nature: Merton’s Tuning into GodOutdoors.” On October 12 at 8 p.m., the serieswill continue with “Prayer and Thomas Merton: AConversation with James Martin, SJ.” On November9, the speaker will be Kathleen Tarr. For furtherinformation and to register for this program, see: view past presentations in the series see: AuthorsAlda Balthrop-Lewis is the author of Thoreau’sReligion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the

7Politics of Asceticism (Cambridge University Press,2021), in which she offers the first sustained readingof Thoreau’s religiously motivated politics anddemonstrates that Henry David Thoreau’s asceticlife was a form of religious practice dedicatedto cultivating a just, multispecies community.Philosopher Cornel West writes: “This book isundoubtedly the best treatment of Thoreau in thisgeneration. Alda Balthrop-Lewis is a profoundphilosopher-poet who captures the subtle andsublime genius of the great philosopher-poet likeno other. And in these bleak times of ecologicalcatastrophe we need them both!” Environmentalactivist Bill McKibben adds: “This beautifullywritten volume offers a wonderful depiction ofThoreau as a person and a thinker for this time andplace; really, everyone who’s interested in his story,and in the American story, should read it and reflecton it.”*******Nina Butorac has recently published The WorldTransparent: A Catechesis at the Movies (Wipf &Stock, 2021), in which she uses forty highly regardedfilms to examine key spiritual themes of WesternChristian tradition from a sacramental standpoint,with particular focus on the theological virtues,conscience and the working of grace. LawrenceCarmignani of the University of Washington writes:“Nina Butorac selects themes from the works ofprofound Christian thinkers, from St. Paul to St.Augustine to Thomas Merton, and illuminates thesethemes by way of classic and top-drawer movies. . . What emerges for the reader is an understandingof the powerful relevance of Christian thought to theuniversal plight of humanity. For the restless heart,the essential message of hope through Christ’s twogreat commandments, love of God and love ofneighbor, resonates on every page of this beautifullycrafted work.” Daniel Syverstad, OP calls the book“A well-written work that utilizes the movies asmodern-day parables to illustrate the many principalthemes in our Christian faith.”*******Roger Butts has written Seeds of Devotion:Weekly Contemplations on Faith (GraceLight Press,2021), featuring voices from the Bible and Sufipoets, from civil rights leaders and contemplatives,from Toni Morrison to Thomas Merton and HenriNouwen as well as lesser known figures. Rev.Benjamin Broadbent writes: “Roger is there as acapable facilitator of the encounters that ensue, butit is never about him. It is about the joy of discovery,of friendship, of beauty, and about waking up, onceagain, to the astounding realization that the One inwhom we live and move and have our being is muchlarger than previously imagined.” Professor PhyllisCulham adds: “This volume re-imagines the genre ofthe devotional for Franklin’s ‘citizen of the world.’It does focus on the three Abrahamic religions,yet inspirations from others, e.g., Buddhism, areincluded. . . . The book is a call from awareness toawareness.”*******Geoff Colvin is the recent author of ContemplativePrayer at Work in Our Lives: Resting in God’sPresence and Action (Resource Publications, 2021),in which he draws on his own experiences, studiesof spiritual literature and participation in retreatsand meditation groups to unravel the challengingpractice of contemplative prayer, a unique form ofmeditation involving very few words in silence andstillness. Author Tom Stella writes: “Geoff Colvinis a spiritual cartographer. Drawing on his ownexperience and longings, Geoff maps the way to oursoul; it is not a way that is divorced from our workand relationships, but one that is intertwined withordinary life. This book is an important resourcefor anyone seeking a deeper connection with God.”Spiritual director Dorothy Jean Beyer, OSB callsthe volume “a treasure of a book on contemplativeprayer. . . . very readable, engaging, practical, anddown to earth for guiding Christians to practicecontemplative prayer. This is a great resource forpersonal application and action. It will be helpfulto beginners as well as to those very familiar withcontemplative prayer.”*******Jim Forest has written Eyes of Compassion:Living with Thich Nhat Hanh (Orbis, 2021), drawingon his decades of friendship with the Vietnamese

8Zen master, peacemaker and spiritual guide toprovide an intimate portrait, including photos andother illustrations, that communicate Nhat Hanh’sspiritual teachings on mindfulness and the innerpeace that is necessary for promoting world peace.Rev. John Dear writes: “A beautiful door into thelife and vision of Thich Nhat Hanh, one of thegreatest peacemakers and spiritual teachers inhistory. This intimate look into his early life inspiresus to deepen in mindfulness and nonviolence,see through the eyes of compassion and live, likeThay, in the present moment of peace.” Roshi JoanHalifax calls the volume an “exquisite book” that“brings us directly into the remarkable life of thegreat Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I readit with deep joy, as Forest’s words made me feel asthough I had walked alongside Thay since his earlyyears. It is full of dharma, tenderness, intimacy, andwisdom.”*******Daniel P. Horan, OFM is the author of A WhiteCatholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege (AveMaria, 2021), in which he shares what he haslearned about uncovering and combatting racialinequity in nation and Church, providing a propheticresponse to the protests and racial tensions of recentAmerican history as a doorway to awakening andspiritual conversion, rooted in the hope and suretyof the Gospel and the wisdom of Catholic tradition,and focused on practical ways to educate ourselvesand advocate for justice. Rev. James Martin, SJ callsthe book “Important, urgent, and necessary” andmedia host Gloria Purvis writes: “This book may bean uncomfortable read, as it will prick consciencesand perhaps even anger some, but you should read itwith an open mind and heart anyway.”*******Michael Plekon’s most recent book is Communityas Church, Churc

INTERNATIONAL THOMAS MERTON SOCIETY Newsletter Vol. 28, No. 2 Fall, 2021 Seventeenth General Meeting a Virtual Success “Thou Inward Stranger” was the theme of the Sev - enteenth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton

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