“If you love you are not going to want to hate. It’s just not going to be compatible.” – Br. Paul Quenon

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton.

Merton (1915-1968) was a writer, contemplative, mystic, social activist, artist, photographer, and Trappist monk at The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani not far from Louisville, Kentucky.

Despite living in a cloistered monastery – eventually living by himself in a small building called The Hermitage about a mile form the monastery – his influence extended around the world…and continues to this day.

We were going to wait until the exact BrotherPaulday of Merton’s birth [January 31] to post this interview; however, what Brother Paul Quenon, a former student of Merton’s, had to say couldn’t wait any longer.

NOTE: This interview with Br. Paul [BPQ] was conducted by The Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy [BM] on October 28, 2014, at the Abbey. All photographs (except for the Merton book cover, the Casey book cover, and the photo of Father Louis) were taken by Bill.

BM: Please tell us your background. What would you like others to know about you?

BPQ: Oh, well, I am a monk, and I have been here [at the Abbey] most of my life. I love singing, and I do pretty well at that — get a lot of energy out of choir — and I like to read and read pretty broadly, and do a little bit of writing. I don’t write whole lot, but I have published six books of poetry, yeah, then produced a few anthologies, so I think some influence from Father Louis could be seen there. I refer to Thomas Merton as Father Louis because that was his name here in the monastery, so you will just have to bear with my habits.

BM: That’s great.

BPQ: And I cook and love being outdoors, and if I can’t be Continue reading

“Love can open doors, knock down walls, penetrate the enemy, feed the hungry, heal the sick” – Louis St. August

Louis M3

On December 13, 2013, the Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy (BM) called Louis St. August (LSA), vocalist for the legendary Boston-area melodic-rock band MASS.

The transcript of our conversation is printed below. Enjoy.

And thanks again, Louis!

LSA: Hello?

BM: Is this Louis?

LSA: Yes, it is.

BM: Louis, this is Bill Murphy calling.

LSA: Hey Bill, how are you?

BM: Doing great. How are you?

LSA: I’m good, thanks. How is it over there in, where are you living – Ohio?

BM: Michigan, Grand Rapids.

LSA: Michigan, Michigan.

BM: Yep.

LSA: So you must be experiencing the cold weather as we are here in Boston.

BM: [laughs] I don’t know what you’ve had in Boston, but I know what we’ve had throughout the Midwest here. It hasn’t been pretty. You guys having the same kind of crappy weather?

LSA: We are. It’s been little flurries, it’s been very cold, in the 20s, and we’re expecting a little snowstorm tomorrow, 8-10 inches, or 8-12 they’re predicting.

BM: Wow.

LSA: Yeah, everybody’s going to run out to the stores and buy that milk and bread because the end of the world is coming. [laughs]

Louis DoorwayBM: [laughs] Well, I appreciate your time tonight. I’ve been a fan for well over two decades, since the mid ‘80s.

LSA: Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, we’ve chatted quite a bit on Facebook, and if I recall maybe back in MySpace days.

BM: Yes. Yep.

LSA: I think, if I remember correctly. I try to remember everybody, but it’s kinda hard.

BM: [laughs] Well, I appreciate it. I approached you for an interview for The Only Love Project because of your posts on Facebook. Everything about you seems so positive. Same for your band. So, I thought you’d be a great candidate to share that with people.

LSA: Thank you.

BM: The first question is, Briefly tell us about your background. What would you like others to know about you?

LSA: Well, I guess this: Continue reading