Thomas Merton Society of Canada

Thomas Merton Society of Canada events, please contact Judith Hardcastle, Program Director or Susan Cowan, Community Relations Director.

For more information:

604-988-8835 or email

Click here for 2024 Membership Brochure available here. JOIN TODAY!



TMSC Annual Public Talk & Retreat with Ron Dart

Talk: Thomas Merton, Hermann Hesse and the Israeli-Palestinian War
Friday, March 22, 2024
7:00pm PST
By donation.

Hermann Hesse was one of the most significant doves of his age in the context of WWI-II in Europe. Merton was reading a great deal of Hermann Hesse in his final few years. This reflection will focus on Hesse and Merton's peace vision, with particular regard to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Retreat: Thomas Merton and the Art of Spiritual Formation
Saturday, March 23, 2024
10:00 am - 3:00 pm PST
Registration: $40 (includes lunch)

To register for the retreat, please contact Susan Cowan at or 604-988-8835.

Thomas Merton was acutely aware of the complex nature of the human soul (and its often at-odds appetites and desires). Merton, as he matured in the monastery, became a spiritual director but his approach was that of an artist who is attentive to what must be seen and heard. The more one was free from false images of the self, the more one would be free for the true and authentic self. This retreat will use Merton and his artistic understanding of the art of spiritual formation. as a journey into the inner and outward pilgrimage.

Both events will be held at the Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace, 1825 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver.

Ron Dart has been on the Board of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada for almost 25 years. He has published in both The Merton Annual and The Merton Seasonal: A Quarterly Review. In 2018, Ron's article, Hermann Hesse and Thomas Merton: Countercultural Affinities, appeared in the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland's Easteride edition of the Merton Journal. In 2019, Ron's book, Hermann Hesse: Phoenix Rising, was independently published.

                            Talk & Retreat

                            Merton and Jazz: A Reflective Celebration


Celebrating Thomas Merton's birthday
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
7:00 - 9:00pm PST
at St. Andrew's United Church, North Vancouver

We invite you to join us to celebrate the birthday of monk, poet, author, religious thinker, social critic (and jazz lover) Thomas Merton (b. January 31, 1915). The party will feature music from the Quintessential Jazz band, poetry by Susan McCaslin from her new book Consider, a 20-minute talk by Ron Dart entitled Merton, Buber and the Israeli-Palestinian War, a photo exhibit from the CJPME Foundation (Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East), and (of course) refreshments & conversation. You can also pick up a free, second-hand book by Merton, or drop one off.

Everyone is welcome!

St. Andrew's United Church, where the TMSC is based, is located at 1044 St. Georges Ave in North Vancouver, V7L 3H6.

Hope to see you there!

Talk by Michael W. Higgins
Thomas Merton on peace in a time of great turmoil

Please visit Michael W. Higgins' blog for a copy of the talk given by him at the TMSC's 2023 AGM on Dec. 9. The title of the blog entry is "Where is TIM when you need him?".

2023 Annual General Meeting
Saturday, December 9, 2023

1:00 - 1:30 pm (PST) Annual General Meeting
1:30 - 2:30 pm (PST) Public Talk with discussion following
via Zoom

The Thomas Merton Society of Canada's AGM is an opportunity for the TMSC Board of Directors to share with members and friends of the Society the news, challenges, and successes of the past year. It is also a time for you to have input into the planning for future activities of the TMSC.

At 1:30pm, Michael W. Higgins will give a talk entitled Thomas Merton on peace in a time of great turmoil, with discussion following.
Michael W. Higgins is the current President of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada, and a past President of the International Thomas Merton Society. He is a scholar, documentarian, biographer and columnist, and is the Basilian Distinguished Fellow of Contemporary Catholic Thought at teh University of St. Michael's in Toronto.

The Zoom event will finish at 2:30 pm (PST).

To receive the Zoom link, please RSVP to

Hope to see you there!

Check out this book of essays by Canadian writers.

Merton Book

The Thomas Merton Society of Canada has published a book of essays about this internationally acclaimed writer. The book is distinctive and original in that it represents the work of Canadian scholars, many of whom have significant publishing records of their own. These scholars, who have been publishing books and artticles over the years in North America and in the U.K., here offer varied and provocative views of Merton as contemplative, social critic, and poet. Merton is recognized as one of the most important religious thinkers of the last hundred years. The book which is entitled Thornas Merton: Monk on the Edge and which runs approximately 200 pages, is modestly priced at $25.00 (CDN)

Available from: Thomas Merton Society of Canada
1044 St. George's Avenue
North Vancouver BC V7L 3H6