About the Director
Kathleen is a theologian and sacred song writer who has been engaged in the ministry of liturgical musicianship for over thiry-five years.
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Luncheon to honor and explore the legacy of this "Teutonic Prophetess" who speaks with great timeliness in her courageous ability to discern the signs of the times, her love for creation, her feminine reading of sacred mysteries, her medicine and healing arts, her poetry, her visionary prophecy, her innovative and original reading of sacred scripture and teaching, her defense of the dignity of outliers and unbelievers, her reformation spirit, her leadership in founding a new community of creative women, and her coining a new, secret language - "lingua incognita" - to speak of the Unspeakable Mystery in a uniquely feminine way
In the nineteen-sixties, Thomas Merton was immersing himself in the lives and writings of Celtic Saints and Monks in whom he found his ideal of the monastic life. In their expression of Celtic Christianity he discovered a spirit similar to Zen masters and desert fathers, early Cistercians, creation-centered Franciscans, and the simply gifted Shakers.
Produced and narrated by Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd, this short film is one of the best concise overviews of the problem (and solutions) to climate change / global-warming. In 2012 the speed and magnitude of human-caused climate disturbance became undeniable, making this the fundamental moral issue of our time. This 49-minute program includes video excerpts from talks by the world's most respected climate scientist, NASA's Dr. James Hansen, and by two powerful advocates for systemic change: Bill McKibben and David Roberts.
Advent afternoon of reflection as we launch The Thomas Merton Contemplative Initiative and bless The Merton Wisdom Collection which will be housed with other special collections in The Spiritual Masters Athenaeum at Ryan Library. Our animator for the sabbatical day is Merton scholar and author Jonathan Montaldo, an internationally recognized writer, editor, retreat and conference presenter whose work promotes the legacy of Thomas Merton and his teaching on the monastic contemplative tradition, a still vibrant and accessible path for those seeking to transform the quality of their daily lives.
Join us to celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron of the environment and Creation's care-takers, as we gather to intone our prayer for all beings great and small, thriving and endangered, and to plant some native grass as a way of honoring Our Living Earth with dance and song, prayer and holy smoke. Wear something green. Come to bless and be blest, along with your animal companions.
Liturgist: Francesco Gargani, CSsR
Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona, and IC-Green
Dialogue partners will examine what factors account for the lamentable absence of environmental issues in the political discourse of the 2012 presidential campaign. Participants include Dr. Fredrica Rudell (Professor of Marketing and Chair of Iona Environmental Concerns Committee), Dr. Kevin Cawley, CFC, Director of The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona, and Dr. Daniel Martin, Convener of the Berry Forum and Director of The Art of Working With Life. Moderator: Dr. Yourha Kang, Biology.
Sponsored by The Iona Spirituality Institute with a grant from the Baron Lambert Fund and The Iona Council on the Arts
Amir Vahab has been described by The New York Times as an "ambassador for a silenced music." One of the most celebrated composer/vocalists of Persian sacred and folk music, he has recorded six albums, and sings in the evocative, traditional Persian style which embodies millennia of mystical tradition. Back to Iona by popular demand after their stunning performance last year, on this evening, Amir Vahab and ensemble will perform songs selected from the poetry of the great Sufi masters Rumi and Hafiz and other legendary mystical poets - to transport us to 13th century Persia with all its beauty and exoticism. The ensemble will also perform lively traditional music from Persian, Turkish, Kurdish and other sources featuring the mystical reedflute, ancient lutes, and the daf drum. The concert concludes with a dynamic drumming performance that echoes the universal heartbeat of existence.
Sponsored by the Faithful Citizenship Project
The Iona Spirituality Institute and The Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College, in partnership with
Greenfaith, are proud to co-sponsor this very important and timely event for all our interfaith colleagues. The day
Professor Maathai discovered her life's work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. They told her they were walking long distances for firewood, clean water was scarce, the soil was disappearing from their fields, and their children were suffering from malnutrition.
Through TV footage and chilling first person accounts, TAKING ROOT documents the dramatic confrontations of the 1980s and '90s and captures Maathai's infectious determination and unwavering courage. Cinema verité footage of the tree nurseries and the women and children who tend them brings to life the confidence and joy of people working to improve their own lives and ensure the future and vitality of their land.
This day-long workshop with Carol Lee Flinders will begin with a survey of some of the most important findings of what we might call "the new biology:" extraordinary discoveries about maternality itself; about the special connections between mother, daughter, and granddaughter; about the critical role of "allo-mothers," and more. We'll touch on some of the ways in which this powerful motif emerges in literature and film, and we'll reflect on some of the moments when we've experienced it in our own lives.
Carol Lee Flinders, author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and Enduring Lives, received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Carol is a Fellow of the Spirituality and Health Institute, Santa Clara University, and serves on the Board of Advisors for the REVEAL conference. She is currently adjunct faculty at the Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality, Holy Names University, Oakland, CA, where she teaches courses on mysticism and contemplative spirituality.
"The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it," wrote Thomas Merton in 1964, at the height of his interest in the Shakers and their spiritual arts.
The Iona Spirituality Institute is delighted to welcome Dr. Paul Pearson who will explore Merton's attraction to the Shakers using his essays and letters on the Shakers, and will highlight the lesson their legacy can teach us for our own times. The talk will be illustrated by Merton's own photographs of Pleasant Hill, the Shaker Village closest to his monastery in rural Kentucky.
Many people now recognize that caring for the Earth is of vital importance for our survival. This evening Father Joe Mitchell will explore how we can make a transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period of human celebration of the sacredness of all creation.
We will examine the ecological and cultural crisis facing our human family, explore the shift that is taking place in our understanding of the Earth, and consider the values and vision we need for the healing of our world. The goal is to engage in the Great Work of our time: to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on the planet.
The Iona Spirituality Institute and Iona's Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling Center - an Inservice Day for Spiritual Directors, Social Workers, Therapists and Counselors:
"Traumatic events call into question basic human relationships. They breach the attachments of family, friendship, love and community. They shatter the construction of the self that is framed and sustained in relationship to others. They undermine the belief systems that give meaning to human experience. They violate the victim's faith in the natural or divine order, and cast the victim into a state of existential crisis." – Judith Herman
We are often good at being in tune with the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical impacts of trauma, but we can neglect or discount how trauma impacts our spirituality and undermines our belief systems. We welcome Congregation of Notre Dame Sister Immacolata Paola Cassetta, MEd, MAPC, LCPC, a therapist in private practice at Womencare Counseling Center in Evanston, IL and adjunct professor in the Pastoral Counseling Program at Loyola University in Chicago, who will lead us in exploring how the wounds of those we journey with can become catalysts of conversion and transformation, while offering concrete ways to re-image and re-awaken new spiritual narratives and practices
The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona presents the Westchester Premier of "The Journey of the Universe." Big science, big history, big story – this one of a kind Journey of the Universe film/book/educational series has been created by a renowned team of scientists, scholars, and award-winning filmmakers.
Beautifully filmed in HD on the Greek island of Samos, birthplace of Pythagoras, Journey is hosted by acclaimed evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme -whose stories awaken us to the interconnectedness of our planet.
Our special guest and dialogue partner this evening will be the internationally renowned historian of religions, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale University, the co-producer of this remarkable and visionary film which stories a stunning narrative of cosmic, Earth, and human transformation by weaving together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe – and of humankind.
The mystery and presence of Wisdom - the divine feminine - fascinated both the modern and medieval spiritual masters, Merton and Hildegard. Join Kathleen Deignan, CND and the young Merton scholars of Iona for a screening of the BBC production, Hildegard of Bingen, starring Patricia Routledge, in light of Merton's writings on holy Wisdom: Hagia Sophia.
Join us to explore the rich legacy of Celtic Spirituality in word, music and song at St. Mary's Parish, in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm. During this day of reflection we will weave an illuminating spiral with the themes and threads of Celtic Christianity, wonder about the Festival of Imbolg and the Cult of Saint Bridget, and close our day by moving in the patterns Celtic spirituality in the prayers, poems, and songs of the Celtic Soul.
Our estrangement from the rest nature clearly wreaks devastation on Earth's natural community, and also generates immense psychological, social, and spiritual distress for humankind. The ecological crisis we are facing - or not - has emerged from a deeply rooted crisis of consciousness and culture.
When we learn ways to interrupt the momentum of our habitual existence by way of embodied-contemplative- relational exploration, we may transform ego-centered alienation into eco-centered intimacy, and thereby participate with greater awareness and love in nature's wild and holy fellowship of being. This was an illuminating weekend with Berry Forum facilitator Dr. Danny Martin, and noted psychotherapist and ecological psychologist Will W. Adams. Dr. Adams will initiate our conversation on Friday evening and help us carry our explorations further in an experiential workshop and walk-about at Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, New York, on Saturday. This Forum aspires to foster ways of living more contemplatively in, with, and as the shared Earth community -- for the well-being of all our relations, both human and otherwise.
Thomas Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemani on December 10, 1941; so in the Twelfth General Meeting, the ITMS will mark the seventieth anniversary of this pivotal moment in his life. The Abbey of Gethsemani became the first real home that Merton had ever known. In The Sign of Jonas Merton wrote "This is the land where you have given me roots in eternity, O God of heaven and earth. This is the burning promised land, the house of God, the gate of heaven, the place of peace, the place of silence, the place of wrestling with the angel." The monastic life provided Merton with the spirituality and the structure to produce some of the great spiritual texts of our time. Merton's exploration of spirituality and monasticism and its relevance for the modern world transformed monasticism and influenced innumerable people around the world, as he became a prophetic critic of contemporary urban crises and an agent of social transformation.
Keynote speakers include Douglas Burton-Christie, Martin Marty, Robert Morneau and Esther de Wall, Robert Ellsberg, Tom Cornell and Rosalie Riegle, and a host of other Merton scholars.
The Berry Forum of the Iona Spirituality Institute and the Dean of the School of Arts and Science will host a year-long conversation facilitated by Dr. Brian Brown and Dr. Kathleen Deignan, CND, on the summary text of geologian and religious historian, Father Thomas Berry: The Great Work. Faculty, staff, administrators and members of the Iona Board of Trustees are invited to engage the challenges to education posed by the global ecological crisis.
An evening of music, poetry and prayer that will open us to the richness of the Celtic soul in its restless seeking for Spirit. Weaving their wisdom and grace will be the young Celtic bard from Belfast, Robbi McMillen, poet and playwright Ann Deignan, and a schola of other noted musicians: Uilleann piper and Irish lutist Jerry O'Sullivan, guitarist Beth Bradley, percussionists Marion Najamy and Gina Sader-Rubenstein, pianist Rob Silvan, sacred choreographer and dancer Sandra Rivera, and psalmist and recording artist Kathleen Deignan, CND.
The Iona Spirituality Institute and Schola Ministries is honored to join with GreenFaith and Faith House in presenting "SUSTAIN," an evening of environmental inquiry and celebration. Keynoting the event is noted environmental activist Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Earth, and founder of the project 350.org, who will speak about the relationship between spirituality, climate change, social justice and sustainability. With this collaboration, the ISI underscores its commitment to The Great Work of our time: the healing of Earth by the transformation of human values and life practice.
The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence.
This was an observations of the United Nations International Day of Peace by viewing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" -
a powerfully moving film about the non-violent peace movement in the Middle East. Award-winning filmmakers follow
three men with radically different backgrounds (a Palestinian, an Israeli fighter pilot, and a kid growing up in a
refugee camp) to share their stories as they wrestle with choosing peace in a land of so much violence.
Co-sponsored with Iona's Peace and Justice Studies Program directed by Dr. Teresa Delgado, we invite you after the screening to a candle-light vigil for the peace process facilitated by the United States currently underway between Israel and Palestine.
In anticipation of the 2008 presidential election and in keeping with the Mission of the College – an election year series was held to promote discussion and reflection on issues related to faith, citizenship, political activity, voting, and elections. The series included an opening session, a closing session, and four intermediate sessions, each of which focuses on important issues, including: race and immigration, the conduct of war, the environment, health care, human dignity and the criminal justice system.
Public lecture and poetry performance by Drew Dellinger We need a global movement that connects ecology and social justice. Thankfully, it's happening all around us. In fact, there are some two million groups around the planet working for justice, sustainability, peace and democracy.
Equipped with our new-found knowledge of the genetic Book of Life - the human genome - the world's leading scientists are laying the foundation for a genomics revolution that will change the face of medicine in the 21st century.
How will people of faith meet this challenging and promising new frontier?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, spent most of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, most specifically Christian theology with theories of evolution. In this endeavor he developed a profound sense of the divine in the evolution of spirit and matter throughout the universe, and became deeply enthralled with the possibilities for humankind, which he saw as heading toward an "Omega point" where the coalescence of consciousness would lead us to a new state of peace and planetary unity - and he saw this unity as being based intrinsically upon the spirit of the Earth. This created for him a zest for life in the midst of human suffering and a desire to contribute to the future of the Earth community. His evolutionary vision has created the basis for a new cosmology – and challenges us to imagine a new politics for our times: "The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth."
Additional guest speaker: Nobel Laureate, Mairead Maguire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, who spent most of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, and Christian theology with theories of evolution. He developed a profound sense of the divine in the evolution of spirit and matter throughout the universe, and became deeply enthralled with the possibilities for humankind, heading toward an "Omega point" - a new modality of consciousness leading to peace and planetary unity, based intrinsically upon the spirit of the Earth. His zest for life in the midst of human suffering opened an evolutionary vision that is the basis for a new cosmology for our times: "The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth."
Sandra Rivera and The Omega Liturgical Dance Company, of the Cathedral of St. John the Devine performed an original choreography by Carla de Sola.
An exceptional opportunity to probe the fundamental interplay between mental health and spirit life, with a master of both domains. Dr. Timothy Ts'o holds degrees in medicine from the University of Hong Kong, and neuropharmacology from Stanford University, and combines a lifetime's experience in medicine, psychiatry, and spirituality. Dr. Ts'o unique style of teaching reflects the wisdom of the East with a deeply felt and lived Christian faith, grounded in the most cutting edge discoveries in the field of neuroscience. Join a skillful master whose creative and witty style of presentation promises to expand the horizons of deep-self understanding.
The prophets of ancient Israel spoke with great urgency to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and likewise to the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, whose correspondence and friendship during the turbulent 1960s made them allies in challenging the political and social order of their day. From the mystical depths of their Jewish and Christian traditions they found the moral passion and wisdom which led each to confront the social conscience of America, as well as open new dimensions of dialogue between Jews and Catholics.
in service to the liturgical and contemplative arts
The mission of Schola Ministries, Inc. is to support and promote the liturgical and contemplative arts, particularly the musical repertoire of its founding composer Kathleen Deignan. See More »
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