ITMS 18TH General Meeting


June 22 - 25, 2023

St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN

“Now the Wisdom of God, Sophia, comes forth, reaching
from ‘end to end mightily’.”
Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

In his poem Hagia Sophia and other writings, Thomas Merton wrote of divine wisdom, often personified as Sophia. Representing both the Holy Spirit and the mystical idea of divine wisdom, the figure of Sophia played an important role in Thomas Merton’s spirituality and writing. This mystical image represents the divine in active terms, reaching into our souls and challenging us to new ways of living, of loving our neighbors, of standing for justice. Moreover, in Sophia Merton recognized an experience of God rendered in a feminine face. The significance of the divine feminine in Merton’s life and work connects aptly to the location of our gathering in 2023. Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic women’s liberal arts college, has long been a pioneering institution in women’s higher education, and intersected with Merton’s life in important ways. Merton corresponded with members of the Saint Mary’s community, including then-President Sr. Madeleva Wolff, and it was Saint Mary’s that first published Merton’s 1948 book What is Contemplation? More generally, Merton was shaped in important ways by women in his life — from his mother to the Baronness Catherine de Hueck Doherty to his longtime literary agent Naomi Burton Stone — and through his writings and correspondence engaged in extensive dialogue with women writers.

Conference Highlights *New* Registration Information *New* Conference Timetable Student Scholarships

Plenary Speakers:

Maria Clara Bingemer Simone Campbell Sophia Park Shannen Dee Williams
Women Who Helped Us Know Merton
Christine M. Bochen Kathleen Deignan Lynn Szabo Bonnie Thurston Monica Weis
  Moderated by Emma McDonald
Presidential Address: Christopher Pramuk

Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session

Merton Scholarship Emerging Scholars
  David Golemboski / Patrick F. O'Connell / Paul M. Pearson Laurin Ernst / Oliver Mesmer / Ethan Strouse

  Details of Opening Sessions


Concurrent Sessions:

Humanity and the Human Condition
Mary Frances Coady / Jason Taylor

Merton at the Redwoods
Ellyn Crutcher / Dominiek Lootens

Merton’s Prophetic Monasticism
R. Zachary Karanovich / Paul M. Pearson




Literary Explorations
John Gillespie / Thomas Malewitz / Patrick F. O'Connell

Merton and Flannery O'Connor
Mark C. Meade/ Janie Harden Fritz

"Hagia Sophia" and the Spiritual Journey
Viktar Niachayeu / Huili (Kathy) Stout




Merton's Influence on His Readers
Alan Kolp / Patti Sayre

Merton, Drugs, and Counterculture
Jim Robinson / David Odorisio

Merton, Poetry, and Photography
Kevin Burke / Julia Prinz







Self-Discovery, Sanctity, and Mystical Mutuality
Vaughn Fayle / Callie Tabor

Healing Divisions
Susan Mancino & Natalia Tapsak / Anne R. Pearson

The Contemplative Lens
Aaron Godlaski / Megan Way

Details of Concurrent Sessions


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:

Paul Quenon & Judith Valente Paul Pynkoski Bernice Marie-Daly
Jeff Kiernan Doug Hertler Vincent Pizzuto
Brian Harnetty Robert Ellsberg Jennifer Trently
William McNichols, John Dadosky, & Christopher Pramuk Zvony Nagy Carol Lenox
Paul Dekar   Robert Hesse

Details of Concurrent Sessions


Morning Prayer:

Paul Dekar
Praying in the Way of the
Madonna House Apostolate
  Robert Hesse
Centering Prayer's Healing Effects: Interfaith Prayer Practicum, Medical Research, and Resulting Ministries


Registration Fees: (including conference registration and meals)

Silverball ITMS Member - $265.00 ($315 after April 15)

Silverball Non-Member - $315.00 - ($365 after April 15) (Join the ITMS)

Silverball Student/Returning Daggy Scholar - $135.00

Silverball ITMS Single Day Registration - $110.00

Click Here to Register

A mail-in registration form may be requested by contacting, or the Thomas Merton Center at 502-272-8177.

The Daggy Scholarship program provides generous scholarships for younger/student registrants applying for the first time. Additionally, a limited number of partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for general applicants with financial need. Contact the conference Program Chair at to inquire about availability.

Cancellation Policy


On-campus housing: (Booked through the Registration link)

On-campus housing for conference participants will be available in two Saint Mary’s residence halls.

Le Mans Hall offers dormitory-style rooms with community bathrooms. Registrants may request a single room or can request a roommate if desired. Opens Thursday, June 22 at 3pm and closes Sunday, June 25 at 3pm. Costs are as follows:

1 night: $78 | 2 nights: $128 | 3 nights: $178 (prices are per person)

Opus Hall offers apartment-style accommodations, each including 2-4 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms, along with kitchen space (including fridge and microwave, but not pots/pans, plates, utensils, etc.). Opens Wednesday, June 22 at 3pm and closes Sunday, June 25 at 3pm. Costs are as follows:

1 night: $96 | 2 nights: $146 | 3 nights: $196 | 4 nights: $246 (prices are per person)

Both residence halls are air-conditioned, and cost includes 1 set of linens (1 pillow, 1 pillow case, 2 sheets, 1 blanket, 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel, and 1 trash bag).

Hotel Accommodation: (Booked directly with hotel)

Additionally, there are two hotels located on the Saint Mary’s College campus. A discounted rate of $164/night plus tax is available through May 20, 2023 (or as long as rooms remain available), but must be booked through the hotels directly. Any individual room cancellations within 72 hours from the date of arrival will be billed for one (1) night's room and tax.

Contact the hotels directly to book a room:
The Inn at Saint Mary's (Group Code: SMC Strategic Office)
53993 Indiana St. Route 933
South Bend, IN 46637
574-323-2184 or 574-232-4000

The Hilton Garden Inn South Bend (Group Code: SMC Strategic Office)
53995 Indiana St. Route 933
South Bend, IN 46637


Saint Mary’s College is located in South Bend, Indiana. Located in northern Indiana, South Bend is served by the South Bend International Airport (airport code: SBN) as well as Amtrak passenger rail, and is accessible to a number of major metropolitan areas within a few hours by car.

For more detailed guidance on travel to the Saint Mary’s Campus, visit the following website:

ITMS Daggy Scholarships

Daggy Youth/Student Scholarships enable young seekers and emerging scholars to participate in an International Thomas Merton Society Conference by covering the costs of registration, meals and accommodation. For further information about Daggy Scholarships and an application form go to the Daggy Scholarship Web Page.

Program Committee:

David G. Golemboski, Sioux Falls, SD (Chair)

Daniel Horan, O.F.M., Notre Dame, IN (Site Coordinator)

Jessica Coblentz, Notre Dame, IN

Emma McDonald, Towson, MD

Mark Meade, Jeffersonville, IN

David Orberson, New Albany, IN

Christopher Pramuk, Denver, CO

Kathleen Tarr, Anchorage, AK

Judith Valente, Normal, IL

Monica Weis, S.S.J., Rochester, NY