On this, the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, there is another reason to celebrate — the opening of the 2013 International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) conference, held this year at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Every two years the ITMS hosts an international meeting at a university somewhere in the United States, which gathers Merton scholars and enthusiasts from around the world. It is an event that I always look forward to attending. For the last three conferences, I’ve been fortunate to present papers on various aspects of my research on Merton and in relationship to the year’s conference theme. In addition to the sharing of scholarship and the celebration of the life and work of this great thinker, writer, and prophetic voice in the 20th Century Church, the ITMS conference is a wonderful time for friends to meet up from around the country and world.
This year there will likewise be a host of academic papers, workshops, and plenary sessions. Among the plenary speakers this year are Elizabeth Dreyer, Christopher Pramuk, and Ronald Rolheiser, OMI. A full conference schedule is available online here. I will try to post some “Dispatches from ITMS 2013” here at DatingGod.org as time accords, but will certainly keep everyone up-to-date by way of twitter (@DanHoranOFM) and you can follow tweets from the conference with the hashtag (#Merton2013).