Monday, October 8, 2018

photo of Merton's 1st Mass

H.B. Littell | AP Photo
I don't know why I'm adding this photo to Louie - perhaps for historical context.  It is a good photo and I've seen it circulating several places on the web with this information:
Father Louis (Thomas Merton) elevates the chalice during his first celebration of Solemn High Mass since his ordination to the priesthood in Trappist, Kentucky, May 28, 1949. In foreground, the censer-bearer swings censer. At this point of the Mass the Consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ are complete and will be followed by Communion. Other priests are unidentified. Merton was given the name “Louis” upon entering the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, better known as the Trappists, at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani.

Photograph by H.B. Littell via AP Archives

See also:


  1. I was just reading about this event in The Sign of Jonas

    1. This photo should give you a good sense of how things were in 1949. There is another photo of Merton at that first Mass that I find somewhat more personal. I'll see if I can find it.

    2. It is here, Robert:


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