SJC to Host Lectures on Social Activist Thomas Merton

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – MARCH 11, 2014 – The Institute for the Study of Religion in Community Life at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is pleased to announce that Jim Forest, author, peace advocate, international secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and recipient of the College’s Esse Non Videri Non-Violence Award, will host two lectures about Thomas Merton, Catholic monk and social activist.

“In celebration of the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth, we are pleased to welcome Jim Forest to SJC,” said Edward Vinski, Ph.D., associate professor of education on SJC’s Long Island Campus. “In addition to being a global peacemaker and this year’s Esse Non Videri Non-Violence Award recipient, Mr. Forest was a friend of Mr. Merton and can offer meaningful insight into his life’s work.”

In 1938, Thomas Merton entered the Catholic faith and became a Trappist monk in 1941. Before his sudden death in 1958, he wrote more than 60 books, including his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, which was among the best-selling non-fiction books of 1949, according to Time magazine. Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century.

The first of the two lectures, “Thomas Merton’s Advice to Peacemakers” will take place on Wednesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. The second lecture, “Who Was Thomas Merton and Why He Still Matters” will take place on Thursday, April 3 at 12:30 p.m. Both lectures will be held in the McGann Conference Center on SJC’s Long Island Campus, and will be followed by a book signing.

Founded in 2001, the Institute for the Study of Religion in Community Life investigates and articulates the roles religious institutions and individual people of faith can take to enhance community life. The Institute sponsors research projects and educational seminars, develops cooperative programs with religious organizations in the community and seeks out service opportunities in the community for SJC faculty and students.

These events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information, call 631.687.2681 or email

SJC is located at 155 W. Roe Blvd. in Patchogue, and is accessible via the South Service Road of Sunrise Highway, just east of Exit 52 (Waverly Ave.).

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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