The 2013 International Thomas Merton Conference is in it’s third and penultimate day. It seems to have been a lifetime in coming but it has been over in a flash mob of papers, workshops and plenary sessions. Not too menton meditation, prayer and worship, music and dance.
The plenary sessions introduced us to key Merton ideas and iconic texts such as Chris Pramuk speaking on ‘Haggai Sophia’, Merton’s celebrated prose poem; Michael Higgins entertaining us with his paper on ‘Merton As the Public Academic’ and Elizabeth Dryer challenging our understanding of Merton. This mornings panel session with a range of speakers sharing insights into Merton and Henri Nouwen was both entertaining (Fr John Bamberger, the former Abbott of the Genesee Monastery kept the laughter coming) and insightful.
I enjoyed the workshops with Christine Bochen on ‘Teaching Thomas Merton’, a practical workshop on curriculum and teaching which will be useful for future classes! Watch out students, Thomas Merton comes your way!
At the heart of the Sacred Heart University sits the University chapel, which is a must visit site for anyone who ventures into this part of Connecticut. The mosaics on the sanctuary wall is to be hold (watch this site for future photographs).
Tonight we will listen to celebrated author and spiritual guide, Ronald Rollheiser. I am looking forward for this.
Tomorrow the conference closes and I catch the train back to Grand Central station before heading to my new ‘home’ in Brooklyn.