Pope Francis praised Thomas Merton before Congress last month. Come join me as I lead a retreat celebrating the spiritual wisdom of this amazing monk.

I’m returning to one of my favorite venues — the Rock Hill Oratory, not far from Charlotte NC — on October 16 and 17, 2015 to celebrate the centennial year for Thomas Merton with a Friday evening/Saturday day retreat. Here’s a description of both programs (you can register for either one separately, or for both):

Friday Evening: Climbing the Seven Storey Mountain with Thomas Merton — 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton, arguably the most famous Catholic author of the twentieth century. Merton was a man of contradictions ~ a mystic and a prophet for social justice and reform, a devout Catholic deeply engaged in interfaith dialogue, a celebrity author living the life of an austere monk. This program will introduce (or re-introduce) you to Merton, his most important writings, and how the silent world of the Trappist monastery formed the mind and heart of this larger-than-life figure. We’ll also begin to reflect on how Merton’s spirituality can nourish our own — a question that will carry over into Saturday’s program.

Saturday Day of Reflection: The Three Epiphanies of Thomas Merton — This program will combine reflections, time for silence/journaling, and optional group discussion as we reflect on how the legacy of Thomas Merton can illuminate and inspire our spiritual journey’s today. Merton is famous for three different “epiphanies” or mystical experiences, none of which happened in the monastery and only one of which happened in church. As we reflect on Merton’s epiphanies, we can find invitations to deepen our own life of faith and response to the Love of God.

Hope to see you there! Click here to for information or to register: www.rockhilloratory.net/events/event/thomas-merton

Date: October 16, 2015—October 17, 2015
Event: Thomas Merton Retreat at the Oratory, Rock Hill SC
Topic: Thomas Merton
Sponsor: The Oratory Center for Spirituality
(803) 327-2097
Venue: The Rock Hill Oratory
(803) 327-2097
Location: 434 Charlotte Ave
Rock Hill, SC 29730
Registration: Click here to register.

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I’ll giving a public talk/discussion on the topic of “The Church in the 21st Century” at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Calhoun, GA on Sunday, October 18. Drawing on the work of Karl Rahner, Phyllis Tickle, and others, this will be a hope-filled but honest consideration of how Christianity as an institution is changing — and how individual Christians have an opportunity for both personal and social transformation in its midst. Whenever I give this talk I’m always moved by the depth of insight and faith that people bring to this discussion. Please join us and be part of the conversation!

Date: October 18, 2015
Time: 05:00-07:00 p.m.
Event: "The Once and Future Christian" — St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Calhoun, GA
Topic: Christianity in the 21st Century
Venue: St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
(706) 629-1056
Location: 224 Tramell Street
Calhoun, Georgia 30701
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I’ll be returning to Ignatius House in northwest Atlanta on October 26 for a day of reflection in honor of Saint Teresa of Ávila. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Saint Teresa’s birth, and so this day will be a time for us to ponder some of her profound spiritual teachings and reflect on how her wisdom can bring light to our lives, here in the twenty-first century.

Date: October 26, 2015
Time: 09:00 a.m.—03:00 p.m.
Event: Teresa of Ávila Day of Reflection
Venue: Ignatius House
404-255-0503
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Registration: Click here to register.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

In January I will be in West Park, NY, leading a contemplative prayer retreat at the Order of the Holy Cross monastery. It will be an opportunity to relax, enjoy the serenity and beauty of the monastery, to pray both alone and with the monks, and to reflect on the gifts of prayer and spirituality that are at the heart of the Christian life.

Date: January 15, 2016—January 17, 2016
Event: Contemplative Retreat in West Park, NY
Topic: Contemplative Prayer
Sponsor: Holy Cross Monastery
845.384.6660 x3002
Venue: Holy Cross Monastery
845.384.6660 x3002
Location: 1615 Route 9W
West Park, NY 12493
USA
Registration: Click here to register.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

One of my favorite faith communities is the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Atlanta, and I’m so pleased to be invited back to speak to their Adult Education Forum. This time I’ll be talking about my new book, Befriending Silence. I hope to see you there!

Date: December 13, 2015
Time: 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Event: Adult Education at the Shrine
Topic: Cistercian Spirituality
Sponsor: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Venue: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Location: 48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

I’ll be teaching “Introduction to World Mysticism” through Evening at Emory on a series of five Wednesday evenings beginning October 21, 2015. For more information or to register, click here.

Date: October 21, 2015—November 18, 2015
Time: 07:00-09:00 p.m.
Event: Introduction to World Mysticism
Topic: Introduction to World Mysticism
Sponsor: Emory Continuing Education
Venue: Emory Continuing Education
Location: 12 Executive Park Drive
Atlanta, GA
Registration: Click here to register.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I’ll be teaching a class this fall on Monday evenings, September 14 through October 19, on Tears of An Innocent God, a new book by the Trappist monk Elias Marechal. This class will be meeting in a private home in the Morningside Neighborhood of Atlanta. There are a limited number of openings for this class, which will cost $100. The class meets from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for six Monday evenings. For more information, visit the class’s page on Facebook. If you are interested, please contact me using my Contact Page. Thank you.

Date: September 14, 2015—October 19, 2015
Time: 07:00-08:30 p.m.
Event: Silence and the Tears of God
Topic: Taking Your Contemplative Practice Deeper
Venue: Private Residence, Morningside Neighborhood of Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Public: Private

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Join me on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 10:15 AM for an Adult Education class at St. Martin’s in the Fields Episcopal Church, near Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. I will be speaking on “The Church in the Modern World.” See you there.

Date: November 8, 2015
Time: 10:15 - 11:10 a.m.
Event: Adult Education at St. Martin's in the Fields
Topic: The Church in the Modern World
Venue: St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church
Location: 3110 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30319
USA
Public: Public
Christianity and Eastern Meditation: A Creative Synthesis
This five week course (September 9 through October 14, no class on September 23, Yom Kippur) explores how eastern meditation may be integrated into a Christian practice of prayer and contemplation. This is not about “blending” east and west, but about respecting the unique qualities of different traditions, as the best foundation for true interspirituality. While the class will be taught from a Christian perspective, people of all faith traditions (or none) are welcome to participate. Hope to see you there!

To download a flyer for this class, click here.

Date: September 9, 2015—October 14, 2015
Time: 07:15-08:30 PM
Event: Christianity and Eastern Meditation: A Creative Synthesis
Topic: Spirituality
Sponsor: Neshama Interfaith Center
404-483-5788
Venue: Ignatius House
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I’ll be one of several presenters at Columbia Theological Seminary’s wonderful “Spirituality Immersion Experience.” Over the course of four days you’ll join a group of fellow seekers to pray together, reflect on the great spiritual themes of the Bible and Christian history, and explore how those themes inform and illuminate your own sacred story. It’s a fabulous program, and I’m honored and thrilled to be associated with it. If you’d like to pursue CTS’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation, this is the first class to take.

Date: October 8, 2015—October 11, 2015
Event: Immersion Experience: Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life
Topic: Spiritual Formation
Sponsor: Columbia Theological Seminary Center for Lifelong Learning
404-687-4577
Venue: Columbia Theological Seminary
404-687-4577
Location: Decatur, GA
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

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I’ll be one of the host/presenters at the first Interfaith Symposium sponsored by Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, GA. The event explores questions about how to embody faith and mindful practice in today’s world, within an interfaith context.

My tentative topic (subject to change):

Zen and the Art of Contemplative Prayer. Numerous Christian spiritual leaders, including Thomas Merton, Bede Griffiths, Raimon Panikkar, and Tilden Edwards, have explored the deep resonance between western contemplative (silent) prayer and eastern spiritual practices like Zen or Insight Meditation. Our time together will include basic instruction in shamatha (“calm abiding”) meditation and a reflection on how this Buddhist form of meditation can be integrated into a discipline of Christian devotion to God.

Download this flyer for more information and/or to register.

Date: October 23, 2015—October 24, 2015
Event: Mindful Faith & Practice Interfaith Symposium
Topic: Mindfulness
Venue: Grace Episcopal Church
770-536-0126
Location: 422 Brenau Avenue
Gainesville, GA 30501
USA
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

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I’m excited to announce my first online course through Columbia Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Dr. Israel Galindo and I will be co-instructing “Life is a Sacred Story: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future with Sacred Journaling” beginning on September 14. This four-week course will offer insight and encouragement for anyone wishing to begin or deepen a journaling practice with a specifically spiritual focus. Like all the programs I offer through CTS, this is open to the general public, but it also provides credit for those who are pursuing a Certificate in Spiritual Formation.

Date: September 14, 2015—October 9, 2015
Event: Life is a Sacred Story (Online Course)
Topic: Spiritual Journaling
Sponsor: Center for Lifelong Learning, Columbia Theological Seminary
404-687-4577
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

Join me at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA this August for a retreat on the spirituality of Pope Francis. Here’s a description of the retreat from the Monastery’s website:

From the day of his election, Pope Francis has electrified the world with his charisma, humility, and obvious love for Christ and the Church. An inspiration for millions, the Holy Father exhibits a rich inner life grounded in mercy and compassion for all people. This retreat will explore the Franciscan and Jesuit roots of Pope Francis’s spirituality, and consider how his wisdom, as exemplified in his writings, can be an inspiration for all Christians.
Suggested donation for the weekend retreat is $250, which includes room, board and programming.

Date: August 28, 2015—August 30, 2015
Event: Spirituality of Pope Francis (Retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit)
Topic: Spirituality of Pope Francis
Venue: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Retreat House
(770) 760-0959
Location: 2625 Highway 212 SW
Conyers, GA 30094
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

Join me at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA this July for a retreat on the spirituality of the great Spanish mystic Teresa of Ávila (in honor of her 500th birthday this year). Here’s a description of the retreat from the Monastery’s website:

The Carmelite nun Teresa of Ávila — saint, mystic, and doctor of the church — is one of the greatest teachers of Christian prayer. Her guidance speaks to men and women, laypeople and monastics, beginners and proficients. In this retreat, we will explore Teresa’s rich and beautiful insights on how to grow closer to God through prayer, with practical instructions on how to apply her wisdom to our lives today.
Suggested donation for the weekend retreat is $250, which includes room, board and programming.

Date: July 17, 2015—July 19, 2015
Event: Teresa of Ávila Retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit
Topic: The Way of Prayer, according to Saint Teresa of Avila
Venue: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Retreat House
(770) 760-0959
Location: 2625 Highway 212 SW
Conyers, GA 30094
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

I’ll be teaching Introduction to Christian Mysticism through Emory University Continuing Education this summer. For more information, click here.

Date: July 28, 2015—August 25, 2015
Time: 07:00-09:00 p.m.
Event: Introduction to Christian Mysticism
Topic: Christian Mysticism
Sponsor: Emory Continuing Education
404.727.6000
Venue: Emory Continuing Education
404.727.6000
Location: 12 Executive Park Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.