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Event Details

James Finley: "Thomas Merton, A trustworthy Guide on the Path to God"
Location: Conference Center
Category: Conference Retreats
Date: Thursday October 29, 2015 through Sunday November 1, 2015
Cost: See pricing below
Minimum Deposit: $0.00


This feature conference retreat
is scheduled to be held
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 7:00 PM to
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 12:00 PM
in the state of the art
Conference Center at
Villa Maria Community Center

"Thomas Merton: A trustworthy Guide on the Path to God"
with James Finley

Co-Sponsored by the
Sisters of the Humility of Mary


 A silent retreat in which James Finley will guide us in an in-depth, experiential exploration of the spiritual wisdom found in the life and writings of Thomas Merton.   An emphasis will be given to Merton’s consoling insights into the unexpected intimacy in which God comes to us in the silence and poverty of our minds and hearts. Attention will also be given to the ways in which Merton’s voice echoes with the ancient wisdom of Christian and non-Christian sources of mystical wisdom down the ages.  Time will be given for periods of meditation, personal reflection and discussion of the themes presented.  The conferences in this retreat will revisit and expand on the insights found in James Finley's audio set "Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere" published by Sounds True in 2004.

Themes explored in the retreat include:

  • The ancient wisdom of contemplative Christianity
  • Humility as a Path of self-transformation
  • The nature and practice of contemplative prayer
  • The journey from the false self to the true self
  • Experiential salvation in compassionate love for ourselves, others and the earth that sustains us all    
  • Social justice, and dialogue with the non-Christian
  • Contemplative traditions

        James Finley, Ph.D.
lived as a monk at the cloistered Trappist monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where the world-renowned monk and author, Thomas Merton, was his spiritual director.

    James Finley leads retreats and workshops throughout the United States and Canada, attracting men and women from all religious traditions who seek to live a contemplative way of life in the midst of today's busy world. He is also a clinical psychologist in private practice with his wife in Santa Monica, California.

James Finley is the author of: Merton's Palace of NowhereThe Contemplative Heart and Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God.


If you would like to register for this or any of our programs, there are several easy ways to do so.
You may:
• click the "Register" link located at the bottom of
  this page
• call 724-964-8886 to speak with a member
  of our friendly staff
• complete and mail a 
printable registration form along with your payment to:
     Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center
     2067 Evergreen Road
     P.O. Box 424
     Villa Maria, PA 16155 

Refund Policy 

Register due by October 15, 2015
Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

Click image to view program flier

Cost for overnight guests includes: Retreat, Lodging, and Meals from Pizza Supper on Thursday to Lunch on Sunday.

POTIER CENTER: No longer available

BEGEL HALL PRIVATE: No longer available

BEGEL HALL SINGLE $370: Offers single room accommodations with use of the common restroom.

BEGEL HALL DOUBLE $340 (per person): Offers double room accommodations with use of the common restroom.

COMMUTER $315: Includes Retreat, Lunch and Dinner meals.

For more information
Phone: 724-964-8886
E-Mail Address: dstiger@humilityofmary.org
September 2017