Michael W. Higgins: Thomas Merton and John Moriarty: Epic Visionaries of Human Unity

Date(s) - March 10, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Canadian Memorial United Church

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Public Talk – Fri. March 10, 2017 @ 7 pm

The prolific monk of Kentucky and the sociable recluse of Kerry have much in common: an enlightened if not prescient eco-spirituality, a well mined Celtic heritage, a shared critique of the consequences of a mindless technologism, and a poet’s love of words.

Retreat – Sat. March 11, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

We will explore the rich connections that exist between Merton and Moriarty, read some of their select passages, listen to their recorded voices, and investigate some of the shared themes of their work, especially the need for silence and contemplation, communion with nature, and an alternate vision to the dominant scientific-technological worldview.

Michael W. Higgins, a native Torontonian, is an author, scholar, Vatican Affairs Specialist for The Globe and Mail, Papal Commentator for the CTV Network, educator, CBC Radio documentarian, columnist, and former senior academic administrator.

He has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of two Canadian Catholic universities, St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, and as Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred  Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

He is currently Distinguished Professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University.
He has edited, co-authored and authored scores of books including The Jesuit Mystique, Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads, Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton, The Muted Voice: Religion and the Media, Stalking the Holy: The Pursuit of Saint-Making, Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry Into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal, Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Unquiet Monk: Thomas Merton’s Questing Faith, Jean Vanier: Logician of the Heart.  Several of these books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, many have won awards and been national bestsellers.

A columnist over the years for The Toronto Star, Telegraph-Journal, The Record, and The Catholic Register on media matters, literary issues and Catholicism, he currently has a monthly column on the American Church for the Dublin-based Irish Catholic. He is also a regular contributor to Commonweal (New York), The Literary Review of Canada, and The Tablet (London).

He is the recipient of many awards, including two honorary doctorates, the 2013 Gold Medal for International Radio Documentaries awarded by the New York Festivals, is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto, an International Fellow of the Chester Ronning Centre for Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta, and an Affiliate Graduate Professor of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

He is married to Krystyna, a liturgical musician and writer, and they have four adult children.


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