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 day 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