The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Forthcoming Events

Thomas Merton with Road Scholar Program

Road Scholar Program "Week with Thomas Merton"

The Fall 2017 Merton Road Scholar [elderhostel] week will take place from Sunday 22nd October until Friday 27th October, 2017. For further details contact Linda Bailey on (502) 272 8161 or by e-mail: or visit the Road Scholar website.

The Spring 2018 "Week with Merton" will be from March 11th - 16th, 2018, and Fall 2018 will be from October 21st - 26th, 2018.

Read about "A Week with Thomas Merton" in the Bellarmine Magazine.

Thomas Merton 103rd Birthday Celebration
and the Jewish New Year of Trees

Sunday 28th January, 2018 at 3 pm.

Hilary's, Centro.

January 31st marks both Thomas Merton's 103rd birthday and TuB’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of Trees. This celebration will include:

  • Opening remarks from Tim Darst (executive director of Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light)

  • Presentation by a local Rabbi about the Jewish New Year of Trees holiday

  • Musical presentation from Cantor David Lipp from Adath Jeshurun

  • Presentation by Greg Hillis on Merton and the environment

  • Musical performance by Bellarmine Schola Choir on trees

  • Presentation by Rob Kingsolver about the benefit of trees in our ecosystem

Light refreshments will be available.

12th Annual Thomas Merton Black History Month Lecture

 Bishop Edward K. Braxton

February 21st, 2018 at 7 pm.

Hilary's, Centro.

Edward K. Braxton ministered for several years in the Diocese of Cleveland in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was the Special Assistant for Theological Affairs to the late James Cardinal Hickey, when he was Bishop of Cleveland, serving as the Bishop’s personal theologian and research assistant. During that time, he was also a member of the faculty of theology at St. Mary Seminary and he was a regular celebrant and homilist for weekend Masses at St. Angela Merici Parish in Fairview Park, Ohio.

While the Bishop’s formal education and writings in systematic theology have led to teaching positions at Harvard Divinity School and the University of Notre Dame, in recent years he has turned his scholarship to the question of the racial divide. In 2015, he issued his Pastoral Letter, “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.” In 2016, he published the companion Pastoral Letter, “The Catholic Church and the Black Lives Matter Movement: The Racial Divide Revisited.” These were followed by, “Moral Leadership in Action: All Lives Really Do Matter” and “There are No Minority Voters.” Since their publication, Bishop Braxton has lectured nationally, becoming a leading voice in the Catholic Church on improving race relations. The Bishop’s writings and addresses are intended to invite individuals and groups to enter into conversations about important and sensitive subjects without judging others in the hope of attaining greater understanding, mutual respect, and realistic efforts to bridge the racial divide.  

Co-sponsored by:

Department of Theology

 "Reading Merton in the Rain"

by Scott Russell Sanders

March 13th, 2018 at 7 pm.

Hilary's, Centro.

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Hunting for Hope and A Conservationist Manifesto. His most recent books are Earth Works: Selected Essays (2012) and Divine Animal: A Novel (2014). A collection of his eco-science fiction stories entitled Dancing in Dreamtime will be published this fall, and a new edition of his documentary narrative, Stone Country, co-authored with photographer Jeffrey Wolin, will appear in 2017. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their hometown of Bloomington, in the hardwood hill country of Indiana’s White River Valley.


Co-sponsored by:

Bellarmine University Honors Program

Department of English

Department of Theology

Office of Campus Ministry

60th Anniversary of Thomas Merton's
Louisville Epiphany

March 18th, 1958 - March 18th, 2018

Event Details to be Announced


Visit Thomas Merton Square

Austen Ivereigh

September 27th, 2018 at 7 pm

Frazier Hall

Austen Ivereigh is a British writer, journalist, and commentator on religious and political affairs who holds a PhD from Oxford University. A former deputy editor of The Tablet and later Director for Public Affairs of the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, his work appears regularly in the Jesuit magazine America and in many other periodicals. He is well known on British media, especially on the BBC, Sky, ITV and Al-Jazeera, as a Catholic commentator. He is also the author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope (Henry Holt and Co., 2014).

Elizabeth Johnson

2018 Vernon Robertson Lecture

October 23rd, 2018 at 7 pm

Frazier Hall


Elizabeth Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and joined the religious order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph whose motherhouse is in Brentwood, Long Island, NY. As a young sister the Second Vatican Council energized her interest in matters theological.

After receiving a PhD in theology from Catholic University of America, she taught at that university for ten years before moving to Fordham University where she teaches in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Professor, mentor, writer, editor, and public lecturer at home and abroad, she is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and a former president of the American Theological Society. She was awarded Fordham University’s Teaching Award in 1998 and Professor of the Year Award in 2011.

Dr. Johnson has received fifteen honorary doctorates, the John Courtney Murray Award for distinguished achievement in theology, and numerous other accolades. Her book She Who Is garnered several honors, most notably the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Her work has been translated into thirteen languages.  

Tibetan Sacred Sand Mandala
by Monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery

December 3rd - 7th, 2018
Daily 10 am - 5 pm

Thomas Merton Center

Opening Ceremony: December 3rd at 11.00 am
Closing Ceremony: December 10th at 11.00 am

Bishop Robert Barron

December 9th, 2018 - 3 pm

Frazier Hall


Bishop Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is also the host of Catholicism, a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary about the Catholic Faith, which aired on PBS.

Bishop Barron is a #1 Amazon bestselling author and has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He is a religion correspondent for NBC and has also appeared on FOX News, CNN, and EWTN.

'the sacrament of advent': Thomas Merton's Lessons and carols

Listen to Bonnie Thurston's talk:
'The Sacrament of Advent': Thomas Merton's Lessons and Carols

Clarinet solo by Anderson Reeves.

Recorded at Our Lady of the Woods Chapel on Friday 9th December, 2016

Bonnie B. Thurston is a founding member, past president and former board member of the ITMS. She is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and formerly professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the editor of Merton and Buddhism (2007), Thomas Merton: On Eastern Meditation, Hidden in the Same Mystery: Thomas Merton and Loretto, and the author of numerous books on scripture and on spirituality, most recently Hidden in God: Discovering the Desert Vision of Charles de Foucauld, Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses, A Place to Pay Attention O Taste and See: A Biblical Reflection of Experiencing God, and is now living in solitude in West Virginia.

The Paradox of Place: Thomas Merton's Photography

The exhibit of Merton's photographs celebrating the 40th Anniversary (1963-2003) of the Thomas Merton Collection at Bellarmine University is now a permanent exhibit displayed in the W. L. Lyons Brown Library on the Bellarmine University campus. This exhibit focuses on the places Merton visited in his final travels of 1968 including California, Alaska and Asia and the contrast with his photographs of Gethsemani and his hermitage.

Click here for a campus map and directions.

Financial assistance is needed to assist with funding these special events at the Thomas Merton Center. If you would be interested in assisting with funding, or becoming a major sponsor for one of these events please contact:
Dr Paul Pearson on (502) 272 8177 or by e-mail: