Friday, January 14, 2022

Jim Forest

Jim Forest

Jim Forest died yesterday. 

It seems like I've known about Jim as long as I've known about Merton. He was always part of the story(s) that interested me. Saying no to war, resisting. Being Catholic. Prayer. 

It's no accident that Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thich Nhat Hanh all trusted Jim Forest to tell their stories. Jim saw through to the truth of the situations, and the truth of the person. His writing was simple. He said what was obvious. 

Much of this blog revolves around Jim's contributions.

I met Jim once when he was giving a retreat on Dorothy Day in North Pittsburgh. Jim's deep emotional vulnerability is what surprised me about him. He wore no mask. He openly cried before the audience. When he greeted me he hugged me and hugged me for a very long time. I will never forget that.

I will never forget Jim. 

Jim wrote about famous people. His own life was more humble and unknown. A beautiful man. 

Rest in Peace, dear friend.


  1. Sounds like a bittersweet loss of a spiritual friend, Beth. In my mind, you are one enjoined to the spiritual friends we share, and there is gratitude to be had in that. I am very happy to know you are out there somewhere sharing with us the things that are truly imperative for us to remain mindful of. Thanks for what you do. John.

  2. Jim Forest was unwavering insisting that Thomas Merton took a shower and killed himself with a fan. Read Jim in his own words here:

  3. He does not say Merton “killed himself.” He says Merton happened to grasp a large standing fan at a point where the covering on the electric cord had worn thin, exposing the copper wire within. Receiving the force of 220 volts of current, he cried out, collapsed, and died of heart failure.”

    This is, by all believable accounts, what happened. It was a tragic accident.

    RIP Jim Forest, a true hero of this world.

  4. Thank you Ms. Cioffoletti for your website— it is nutritious spiritual food indeed.


2nd Sunday of Advent 2023

Photo by John P. Walsh F rom Alfred Delp S.J.,   Prison Writings , Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 2004: “So this Sunday we must again fol...