This Holy Manners 14 Study was inspired by the new series "Modern Spiritual Masters Series" by Orbis Books. The two voices of Thomas Merton and Oscar Romero were chosen because their lives seemed so very complimentary. For the contemplation of life leads one to acts of compassion. Holy Manners The background on the phrase and why we have adopted it. The guidelines for our studies..

Thomas Merton
Essential Writings

ed. Christine M. Bochen

Oscar Romero
Reflections on His Life and Writings

eds. Marie Dennis, Renny Golden, Scott Wright
"Writing to a student who had asked him how to study, Merton advised the young man to study "to find the truth and to awaken deeper levels of life in yourself." May we who read and study Merton do just that." from the preface "The church must save the people and be with them in their search for justice. Also, it must not let them follow ways of hatred, vengeance, or unjust violence. In this sense, we accompany the people, a people that suffers greatly. Of course those that trample the people must be in conflict with the church."
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As a Special Project, the book study group decided to create a sharing booklet of reflections, in the tradition at St. David's of the Lenten Meditation Series of booklets. People are invited to pick any selection from either book and share what it has meant, and these will be compiled into a pdf booklet suitable for printing. See project page for details.
Click to visit the St. David's Adult Ed Forum Internet Discussion Group at Yahoo - the St. David's Forum. The archive is public and readable. Participation is by invitation. Click HERE if you would like to join. You will then be able to post your own responses to the list and will be emailed the notices and contributions of the others. Click left to visit the archives of the site (read only). There are presently 90 persons.
The Internet Reference Collection Research Page for this study
   Relevant articles/sites to background, and supplement the study.
Article Count to date:  94                      Last change: 24 Feb 06
  Contemplation and Action - Links to the Session Pages    Last change: 24 Feb 06
1 9 Jan. Introductory Session. A night of introductions and sharing experiences. Quaker style contemplation.
Contemplation and Action - Wayne Song for Nobody - Merton Winter's Night - Merton
2 16 Jan. MERTON - A Call to Contemplation . Awake in the Dark. The Interior Journey. At Liberty to Be Real. Seeds of Contemplation, Fully Awake - Fully Aware, Le Point Vierge. A New Birth, A Life Free from Care, Silence and Solitude, A Simple Way of Prayer, Contemplation in a World of Action, Living Contemplatively.
Notes to introduce Merton - Jock.
3 23 Jan. MERTON - A Call to Compassion. A Transforming Vision, From Vision to Mission, A Season of Fury, The Roots of Hate and Violence, We are One. Faith and Violence, The Way of Nonviolence, A Letter to a Peacemaker, Merton's Prayer for Peace.
4 30 Jan. MERTON - A Call to Unity Merton's Own Vocation to Unity, Keeping Faith, One Body, At One in Spirit.Genuine Ecumenism,From Communication to Communion, Between East and West, Spiritual Ways to Unity, United in Prayer.
5 6 Feb. ROMERO - Introduction - Who was Romero. Background: El Salvador, Liberation Theology
Notes to introduce Romero - Wayne
6 13 Feb. ROMERO - The Centrality of the Poor, The Historical Demands of the Gospel, The Heart of the Poor
7 20 Feb. ROMERO - His Resurrected Word - Introduction to Paulo Friere and Ivan Illich - Listening to the Poor
Notes for 20 Feb. Jock and Larry.
8 27 Feb . Conference Call One - to Nova Scotia to Jacques and Pat Goulet, friends of Larry's from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax. Jacques is a scholar of Merton. Pat is has a special interest in L'Arche.
The small readable text file - HERE. The large 1.5 meg scanned document showing most formating - HERE.
Conference Call Two - to El Salvador to Brian Rude, a friend of Waynes, an ELCIC Missionary in El Salvador, inspired by the example of Romero. LINK to Brian's web page describing himself and his work.
9 6 March - ROMERO - The Movie - Viewing of the Movie: Romero (Video 1989) - Raul Julia plays the archbishop/martyr in a biography that chronicles the story of a mild-mannered cleric forced by conscience to fight representatives of the El Salvadoran government and military.
Group Facilitator. Wayne Holst

I spent most of my life thinking like a church professional, rather than as a regular congregational member. My training as a pastor always had me asking myself 'how can I apply this discovery, insight, new information to a regular church setting?'

Often, clergy have been hesitant to share the discoveries they have made through a 'critical' approach to the Bible with their parishoners because they wonder how laypeople might accept it. I have found that many thinking laity are professionals in their own fields of endeavour and understand a critical approach very readily. What they seek are ways of relating faith to daily living.

I am grateful for the journey I have been taking through ordained ministry to teaching at the university and serving as a fellow layperson at St.David's United Church. Here we find that questioning and honest expression of our faith and doubt is readily accepted and supported.

Group Facilitator. Jock McTavish

I am a student and a poet, a democrat and a techocrat, an eclectic eccentric. I grew up in a loving Baptist community, so in my heart I'm still a Bible loving evangelical. As I grew in learning I found a new home in the United Church whose tolerance embraces the broadest range of Christian understanding. I most enjoy the illumination of our ancient traditions by modern scholarship. For they show in clear novel ways that the perspectives of the Special Ones were seldom the understandings of those that followed. They show all knowledge to be in relationship .

There seems a lack of understanding in our secular world for religious practices. The reasons why I still gladly - even necessarily - attend church are difficult to voice to those unfamiliar with church, or those injured by church. Elliott got it right. We find our way back to the place we started from. But with new understanding.


Dec 2005