Fifty years ago a handful of peace advocates gathered with the contemplative monk and writer Thomas Merton to discuss the “spiritual roots” that nurtured their calling and shaped their actions. In October of 2014 the CPF co-sponsored an event entitled PURSUING THE SPIRITUAL ROOTS OF PROTEST- 1964-2014 with the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky which explored this gathering, which contributed to the formation of the Catholic Peace Fellowship. One of the panels featured three of the retreatants: Bob Cunnane and CPF co-founders, Jim Forest and Tom Cornell:

Link to the Thomas Merton Center’s Conference Site:

Merton (Bob Cunnane, John Howard Yoder and Thomas Merton) -Spiritual Roots of ProtestMerton Spiritual Roots photo-Ferry, Muste, P. Berrigan, Cornell

Bob Cunnane, John Howard Yoder, Thomas Merton, W.H. ‘Ping”Ferry, A.J. Muste, Phil Berrigan and Tom Cornell

Photographs by Jim Forest (Some Rights Reserved)

Jim Forest:

Bob Cunnane:

Tom Cornell:


forest - Berrigan and Merton

Merton and circle at Roots Retreat



Daniel Berrigan & Thomas Merton

Photograph by Jim Forest (Some Rights Reserved)

Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan, & Phil Berrigan