Join STM Dean Mark Massa, S.J., in celebrating the opening of this exhibition featuring images from Boston College's John J. Burns Library Merton Collection. Highlighting Father Merton’s correspondence with Jesuit Fathers Terrence Connolly, Francis W. Sweeney, and Brendan C. Connolly, all of Boston College, the exhibit provides a window through which Father Merton can be viewed as an author as well as a monk.
Thomas Merton, the famed Trappist monk, had begun corresponding with Father Francis Sweeney, S.J. before his best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, captivated the nation. Merton gave the typescript of the autobiography to Sweeney, beginning a fruitful collaboration between himself and Boston College. Librarians, Father Terence Connolly, S.J. and Father Brendan Connolly, S.J. quickly accumulated a Thomas Merton Collection for Boston College by agreeing to loan Merton research materials in exchange for signed copies of Merton’s publications. This was the beginning of the Merton Collection, which continues to grow and now includes drawings by Merton, photographic images, and correspondence. The exhibit explores both the 1949 exhibit that celebrated the acquisition of The Seven Storey Mountain typescript and Merton’s correspondence with these three Boston College Jesuits.