A Newman member and Open House contributor reports on a lecture given by Dr Scott Spurlock, of the University of Glasgow.
Thomas Merton was born in France during WWI in the Languedoc region near the Spanish border on 31 January 1915. Both his parents were artists, his father from New Zealand, his mother from New York. He was schooled partly in France and partly in America. Both parents died before he was 10. A friend of his father paid for him to go to boarding school in England and thence to Cambridge University where he adopted a bohemian lifestyle at the expense of his studies. After a year he was advised to go to his grandparents in New York where he attended Columbia University. Here he met writers who were interested in the spiritual and became familiar with the work of Catherine de Hueck Docherty in Harlem. He was baptised and, having been turned down by the Franciscans, at the age of 27 he joined the Trappists in that part of Kentucky known for its whisky, horse racing and Catholics, taking the monastic name Louis. Exactly 27 years later he died at a monastic conference in Bangkok, electrocuted by a faulty fan. Continue reading
– ‘a whirlwind, an earthquake, a fire, and a still small voice, all in one.’
For years I have had a special interest in Mary Slessor, because my wife Mary grew up with a family belief that her grandfather, born in Dundee in 1848, had been at school with Mary Slessor. He went out to India’s jute trade with a Dundee weaving firm. Continue reading
A recent visit to Eigg by a librarian with an interest in Scottish saints sparked an investigation into the role played by St Donnan in bringing Christianity to Scotland. Continue reading