Thomas Merton Lecture Next Week

HNP Communications Franciscan World

NEW YORK — Author Paul Wilkes will speak about the Trappist monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Church of St. Francis Xavier on West 16th Street. Wilkes, producer of the film biography titled “Merton,”  will talk about the “20th century religious philosopher who in his lifetime worked as an anti-war advocate and witness to peace, was hailed as a prophet and censured for his outspoken social criticism,”  according to an email announcement from the parish.

This is the first of three lectures sponsored by the Lay Spirituality Program of the Church of St. Francis Xavier. The subjects of the other two are Dorothy Day and Anthony De Mello, SJ. Information about the programs is available by phone (212-627-2100 ext. 216) and email at

03062009p01phddMerton, who died in 1968, taught English for a short time at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York in the late 1930s, according to the Thomas Merton Archives, at SBU. The Merton Archival collection in the SBU library was founded by Irenaeus Herscher, OFM.

Daniel Horan, OFM, a member of the International Thomas Merton Society, wrote about Merton on his blog Dating God earlier this week, in connection to the Martin Luther King holiday.