International Thomas Merton Society

ITMS Student Daggy Scholarships

ITMS Daggy Scholarships Daggy Student Scholarships

Daggy Youth/Student Scholarships enable young people (ages 18-29) to participate in an International Thomas Merton Society Conference, thereby inspiring the next generation of Merton readers and scholars.


These scholarships honor the late Robert E. Daggy, founding member and second President of the ITMS. You will find links to the scholarship application below. If you are unable to access the online application or if you have additional questions about the Daggy Student Scholarship, please contact Jamie Fazio at jfazio1@naz.edu.


The 2019 ITMS conference will be held at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California,

from June 27-30, 2019. The closing date for Daggy Scholarship applications is March 20th, 2019.

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The 16th General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society

Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

“O peace, bless this mad place”

Thomas Merton hoped for a peace that the world cannot give—a peace nurtured in silence and prayer. He articulates this in a volume of poems first published in 1963, Emblems in a Season of Fury. In it, Merton passionately petitioned peace for a blessing, writing: "O peace, bless this mad place: Silence love this growth.” For Merton, the forces of division, alienation, and nihilism perpetually hinder our realization of the beloved community. He recognizes all too well our need to shatter our ordinary horizons, to cross internal and external boundaries, and embrace the work of discovering a common humanity. Merton's words resonate today and inspire us into a revolution of love.

Like St. Ignatius, Merton calls us to find God in all things, believing that “God uses everything that happens as a means to lead me into solitude…a solitude of heart in which created joys are consumed and reborn in God” (journal of June 13, 1947). In his essay “Rain and the Rhinoceros,” Merton reminds us that solitude is not disengagement from the world, “it is the solitary person (whether in the city or in the desert) who does [hu]mankind the inestimable favor of reminding it of its true capacity for maturity, liberty and peace.”

Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Columbia University, was a Ph.D. candidate in English Renaissance literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and attended the Warburg Institute in London on a Fulbright fellowship. A noted prose stylist, Rodriguez has worked as a teacher, international journalist, and educational consultant, and he has appeared regularly on the Public Broadcasting Service show, NewsHour.


Rodriguez's visual essays, ''Richard Rodriguez Essays, on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" earned Rodriguez a Peabody Award in 1997. Rodriguez’s books include Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), a collection of autobiographical essays; Mexico's Children (1990); Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002); and Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (2013). Rodriguez's works have also been published in Harper's Magazine, Mother Jones, and Time.

Plenary Speakers:

Rose Marie Berger

Senior Associate Editor, Sojourners magazine


For more than 25 years, Rose has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine and ministry. She is author of Drawn By God: A History of the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries from 1967 to 1991 (with Janet Gottschalk, 2012) and Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American Neighborhood. Rose has a veteran history in social justice activism, including: organizing inter-religious witness against the Keystone XL pipeline; educating and training groups in nonviolence; leading retreats in spirituality and justice; writing on topics as diverse as the “Spiritual Vision of Van Gogh, O'Keeffe, and Warhol,” the war in the Balkans, interviews with black activists Vincent Harding and Yvonne Delk, the Love Canal's Lois Gibbs, and Mexican archbishop Ruiz, cultural commentary on the Catholic church and the peace movement, reviews of movies, books, and music.

Ron Hansen

Ron Hansen is the author of ten novels—including The Kid, Mariette in Ecstasy, Desperadoes, and A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion—and two short story collections, among them She Loves Me Not. His novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha and went on to the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop where he studied with John Irving. He is now Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor in Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University in northern California.

Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg is the publisher of Orbis Books and the author of several award-winning books, including Blessed Among Us: Day by Day with Saintly Witnesses; All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time; and The Saints’ Guide to Happiness. His work as a writer and editor began in 1975 at the Catholic Worker House in New York City. Under Dorothy Day’s instruction, he worked as the managing editor of the Catholic Worker Paper. He has worked to encourage and support writers who engage readers in “exploring the global dimensions of faith, inviting dialogue with diverse cultures and traditions, and serving the cause of reconciliation and peace.”

ITMS Daggy Scholarships

Daggy Student Scholarships enable young people (ages 18-29) to participate in an International Thomas Merton Society Conference, thereby inspiring the next generation of Merton readers and scholars.