Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two Celebrations of Thomas Merton's 100th Birthday

We commemorate what would have been Thomas Merton's 100th birthday with a local event on Jan. 31 and an announcement of the release of a new documentary entitled The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton  

On Saturday, January 31, Santa Maria de la Vid Norbertine Abbey, 5825 Coors Blvd SW (map), invites you to “An Encounter with Thomas Merton: Themes of His Journey, and Ours,” 9:30 a.m.-Noon.

The Rev. Brian C. Taylor Brian Taylor, former rector at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, recently spent time in Thomas Merton’s hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. He will speak from his personal experience and in-depth study of Merton’s writings.

The presentation will include exploring some of the passions of this remarkably authentic, complex, and holy monk that caused him to become, for many, a prophetic spokesman for a generation of seekers. Merton was a social activist on a deep inner journey, a hermit and a gregarious correspondent, a prolific writer and advocate of silence. He was also a sage with areas of emotional immaturity, and a faithful Christian who transcended religious categories. Using excerpts from his writing, we’ll reflect on how some of these themes of Merton’s life challenge us—both individually and as a faith community—to seek authenticity and holiness of life. The morning will also include small group discussion, prayer, and question and answer time.

No registration is required; your free-will offerings are greatly appreciated. Contact Meg Ashcraft ( or 505-873-4399)

New Documentary on Merton's Last Year
A new documentary The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton, will premiere in Louisville, Ky., also on Thomas Merton's birthday, January 31. (If you happen to be in Louisville on Jan. 31, the Center for Interfaith Relations is sponsoring a free screening at the Brown Theater, 315 West Broadway.  Seating is limited, so RSVPs are requested.

 In the film, producer Morgan Atkinson tells us the story of the last year of Merton's life.
"It’s a story of adventure and search that takes the viewer from his home at the Abbey of Gethsemani, across America in the turbulent year of 1968 and finally to Asia for meetings with the Dalai Lama and other spiritual seekers. The purpose of the journey? As always with Merton he seeks a fuller union with God. He believed serving as a bridge between west and east was one way in which his call could be lived out.The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton celebrates the triumph of all that was gained by his journey, reflects on the tragedy of what was lost with his death and considers why Merton’s life and work challenges us today."
Atkinson enriches the documentary by including interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Richard Rohr, OFM,; James Martin, SJ; Tori Murden McClure; Kathleen Deignan, CND; Dr. Paul Pearson; Br. Paul Quenon, OSCO; Dr. James Finley; Dr. Anthony Padovano; Paul Wilkes and Penny Sisto. Visit the film Web site. The movie is not yet available for sale online. Check the Morgan Atkinson & Duckworks Inc site for future sales possibilities.  Here is a five-minute trailer.

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