Monday, October 17, 2011

Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Jim Forest

Jim Forest speaking at the Nazareth Retreat Center in Pittsburgh, October 15, 2011. (The guy next to me had a "Smartpen" - see!  I had never seen one in action before.)
Over the weekend I went to a "day retreat" on Dorothy Day, led by Jim Forest, in North Pittsburgh.  I have corresponded for awhile with Jim about Thomas Merton, and was honored to be able to meet him in person.

His person carries a profound presence and sincerity that I could only glimpse from his internet persona.  I was quite blown away.  I can see why both Merton and Dorothy Day were drawn to him as a young man, and trusted and believed in him.  He is, as far as I can tell, one of the most reliable writers alive to carry on their legacies.  Jim speaks simply and in that simplicity is much truth and power.

I met several people at the event that know people that I know from my Florida peace and justice connections.  It was held at a Nazareth Retreat Center that felt very familiar to my own Kentucky roots.

Here is a link to a US Catholic interview with Jim about the friendship between Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. (Thanks, Bryan!)

This is the Nazareth Center, which looks very much like the Nazareth in KY.
Dorothy Day attended silent retreats here which were led by a Pittsburgh priest, Fr. John Hugo. Fr. Hugo was a spiritual guide to Dorothy.  

This is the chapel where Dorothy prayed.