The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 16TH General Meeting


Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

from June 27-30, 2019

“O peace, bless this mad place”


Thomas Merton hoped for a peace that the world cannot give—a peace nurtured in silence and prayer. He articulates this in a volume of poems first published in 1963, Emblems in a Season of Fury. In it, Merton passionately petitioned peace for a blessing, writing: "O peace, bless this mad place: Silence love this growth.” For Merton, the forces of division, alienation, and nihilism perpetually hinder our realization of the beloved community. He recognizes all too well our need to shatter our ordinary horizons, to cross internal and external boundaries, and embrace the work of discovering a common humanity. Merton's words resonate today and inspire us into a revolution of love. Like St. Ignatius, Merton calls us to find God in all things, believing that “God uses everything that happens as a means to lead me into solitude…a solitude of heart in which created joys are consumed and reborn in God” (journal of June 13, 1947). In his essay “Rain and the Rhinoceros,” Merton reminds us that solitude is not disengagement from the world, “it is the solitary person (whether in the city or in the desert) who does [hu]mankind the inestimable favor of reminding it of its true capacity for maturity, liberty and peace.”


Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University blends high-tech innovation with a social consciousness grounded in the Jesuit educational tradition. The campus spans 106 lush acres with world-renowned gardens and state-of-the-art facilities all surrounding an iconic Mission.

Santa Clara is located at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, adjacent to San Jose, the 10th largest city in the U.S., and just two miles from San Jose International Airport.

Plenary Speakers:


Presidential Address
Mark C. Meade


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session

Chapters Workshop

Merton Scholars

Emerging Scholars


Concurrent Sessions:


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:


Program Committee


Michael W. Higgins, Bridgeport, CT (Chair)

Natalie Terry, San Francisco, CA (Site Coordinator)

Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY

Kevin Burns, Ottawa, ON

Cassidy Hall, Venice, CA

Mark C. Meade, Louisville, KY

David Orberson, New Albany, IN

Joseph Q. Raab, Adrian, MI







 Santa Clara Site Committee

Natalie Terry (Site Coordinator)