Fall 2021 Events at the Center for Spirituality

September 20, 2021

"A Conversation about Racism and Privilege with Dr. Daniel Horan and Dr. Redgina Hill"
4:30 PM ET, Carroll Auditorium, Madeleva Hall
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies
Presentation and Discussion followed by book sale and signing of Dr. Horan's new book A White Catholic's Guide to Racism and Privilege
Co-sponsored by the Division for Inclusion and Equity

October 1, 2021

Greg Bourke, "Gay, Catholic, and American: My Struggle for Marriage Equality and Inclusion"
10 AM ET, Rice Commons, College Student Center
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies
Presentation followed by book sale and signing for Greg Bourke's book Gay, Catholic, and American
Co-sponsored by the Bookstore, The Cushwa-Leighton Library, Division of Inclusion and Equity, and the departments of Gender and Women's Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Psychology, and Justice Studies.

October 4, 2021

Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SL, Presentation on Catholic Ministry with LGBTQ+ Persons
4:00 PM ET, Vander Vennet Theatre, Student Center
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies

October 13, 2021

Valarie Kaur, "See No Stranger: An Evening with Valarie Kaur"
7:00 PM ET, Virtual Event, Register Here
Free and open to the public
Co-Sponsored by Justice Studies, The Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership, The Dialogue and Civil Discourse Project, and the Better Together Club.

November 9, 2021

Matthew C. Halteman, "Eating as an Act of Justice: From Religious Ethics to Climate Action"
4:00 PM ET, Stapleton Lounge, Le Mans Hall
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies)
Presentation followed by light vegan reception

November 11, 2021

Casey Stanton and Dr. Tricia Bruce, PhD, "Receive Her in the Lord: St. Phoebe and the Discerning Deacons Project"
4:00 PM ET, Carroll Auditorium, Madeleva Hall
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies)
Presentation and discussion.

November 16, 2021

Lauren Groff, A Discussion with Acclaimed Author Lauren Groff
4:00 PM ET, Stapleton Lounge, Le Mans Hall
Free and open to the public (subject to COVID-19 visitor policies)
Presentation and discussion.


"Tuesdays with Merton" Webinar Series

A webinar series presented by the International Thomas Merton Society and the Center for Spirituality at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame on the second Tuesday of each month. Free and open to the public. Registration is required to access the Zoom link. 

Recordings of the webinars will be available on the Tuesdays with Merton YouTube Channel within a few days of their broadcast: Tuesdays with Merton YouTube Channel. Audio-only versions also will be available later via podcast (subscribe wherever you download your favorite podcasts). To learn more about past and future speakers in the "Tuesdays with Merton" webinar series, visit:


September 14, 2021 (8:00 PM ET) — Sophronia Scott — "The Radio of Nature: Merton's Tuning Into God Outdoors"

On June 27, 1949, Merton was allowed, for the first time, to venture outside the Abbey of Gethsemani’s gated enclosure to walk in the woods alone. His writing and his spirituality changed forever as Sophronia Scotta result. In Thomas Merton's Gethsemani: Landscapes of Paradise, author Monica Weis notes, "Once beyond the monastery walls, Merton's heart soared." Why? Perhaps, after being doused in words for years, suddenly he could share an expansive, silent space with God and just listen. This session will explore what Merton found beneath the branches, on the hills, and in all of nature: a sense of transcendence.

Sophfronia Scott is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has appeared in numerous publications. Her latest book, The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton, received a Louie award in 2021. Sophfronia’s other books include Love's Long Line, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. She holds degrees from Harvard and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sophfronia lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and is the founding director of Alma College’s MFA in Creative Writing, a graduate program based in Alma, Michigan.


October 12, 2021 (8:00 PM ET) — James Martin, SJ — "Praying with Thomas Merton: What can Merton's life and legacy tell us about encountering God?"

Join us for this live webinar event featuring Fr. James Martin, SJ in conversation with Fr. Daniel P. Horan, OFM, director of the Center for Spirituality,James Martin, SJ as they discuss praying with Thomas Merton, the role of Thomas Merton in Fr. Martin's own vocation and spiritual journeys, and how Merton's insights about faith and life continue to inspire countless women and men today.

James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and author of many books, including several New York Times bestsellers, and Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints.


November 9, 2021 (8:00 PM ET) — Kathleen Tarr — "From the Inner Frontier to the Last Frontier: Thomas Merton's Alaska Journey"

Thomas Merton's journey to Alaska, a sojourn of seventeen days, has been rendered mostly as a 'blip' within his remarkable biography. Yet the mysterious frontier suddenly surfaced to captivate him. though short in duration, Merton's experience of the vast terrain, along with the talks he gave, were profound in spiritual insights. This presentation will explore that undertold story, along with visual images of the places Merton experienced and photographic images taken by Merton himself.

Kathleen Tarr, longtime Alaskan, lives and writes under the Chugach Mountains in Anchorage. She is the author of We Are All Poets Here, a memoir about her spiritual journal involving Alaska, Russia, and Thomas Merton. She is founder of the Alaska chapter of the ITMS and a contributor to many literary journals and Merton publications. She is a member of the ITMS board of directors, PEN America, and the Alaska Historical Society. She draws inspiration from contemplating the spiritual geography of mountains.


December 14, 2021 (8:00 PM ET) — Paul Pearson — "'I love beer, and, by that very fact, the world': The Humor (and Humanity) of Thomas Merton"

Over the years many of Thomas Merton’s visitors and friends commented on his sense of humor. With the seriousness of his writings this humor can all too easily be overlooked. This presentation will explore Merton’s sense of humor from his pre-monastic cartoons, through his correspondence, journal entries and recordings,to the stories told by his friends and brothers. Merton’s sense of humor was a way for him to critique the world, humorously warning readers of our propensity to “wear our mitres even to bed” and reminding them of his own need for beer!

Paul M. Pearson is Director of the Thomas Merton Centerat Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and Chief of Research for the Merton Legacy Trust. He is Resident Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society and served as President for the 10th administration. Paul is a founding member of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He edited Seeking Paradise: Thomas Merton and the Shakers, A Meeting of Angels: The Correspondence of Thomas Merton with Edward Deming and Faith Andrews, Thomas Merton on Christian Contemplation and, most recently, Beholding Paradise: The Photographs of Thomas Merton. 



Upcoming "Tuesdays with Merton" Speakers:

  • January 11, 2022 — Doug Hertler
  • February 8, 2022 — Steven Millies
  • More to be announced in the coming months

Upcoming Events