Sister Kathleen Deignan, professor of religious studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, called Father Merton a path maker.
"He bequeaths these paths to us so that we can actually find them. He did make the path by walking. There was nobody in front of him. No cultural conditions. No family. He did this great pilgrimage of search," said Sister Kathleen, a member of the Congregation of Notre Dame and director of the school's Iona Spirituality Institute.