CIL Events

CIL builds understanding and community through an exchange of learning among diverse groups and individuals. See upcoming events below as well as past events for an idea of their breadth and quality.

2024 Program Offerings

"The Spirituality of Thomas Merton: From Separation to Solidarity with the World"

With Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Thursday,  March 14, 2024
7-9 PM EST - Zoom Event 
$12 CIL members
$15 Non members 


When Trappist monk Thomas Merton, author of "The Seven Story Mountain, died in 1968, he had evolved from his original vocation to "leave the world behind", to discovering gradually his fuller call to engage with the world of the 20th Century. This, he discovered, was the true locus for encountering the Divine.

In this brief program, we will encounter the man, the monk, the mystic and the social activist. Who was this friend of artists and leaders of world religions? Why his involvement in social issues such as nuclear war and racism? His is a voice people still return to, now some 56 years later, to help in their own discernment on their personal journey to their truest self.

Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP is a Dominican Sister of Hope, recently retired as Art and Spirituality Coordinator at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield, CT. Her ministries have included teaching in elementary and secondary schools in New York and New Jersey, Associate Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Hartford, being a script writer for the Office of Radio and Television of the Archdiocese of Hartford and reporter and photographer for The Catholic Transcript newspaper in that archdiocese.

Jo-Ann is a poet and photographer. Her poetry has appeared in national and international magazines. Jo-Ann lectures frequently on the 14th Century English mystic, Julian of Norwich, as well as the inter-relationship between art and spirituality. She is the author of Remember, Return, Rejoice: Journeying from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

Past Events and Speakers

David Whyte

Noted Poet & Author. “The Frontier of our Lives: Courageous Steps & Radical Simplifications” (2002)

View his website here.

Ysaye Barnwell

Ysaye Maria Barnwell  is an American singer and composer. Barnwell was a member of the African American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock from 1979 to 2013.

Dr. James Finley

Student of Thomas Merton and clinical psychologist, Dr. James Finley teaches how connecting to our Divine indwelling can transcend fear and shame and awaken to our True Self. A faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation, he is the author of "Merton’s Palace of Nowhere" and "The Contemplative Heart", and the host of CAC’s podcast Turning to the Mystics.

Dr. Alan Fox

Alan Fox is an awarded Professor of Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion in the Philosophy Department at the University of Delaware.

Thomas Moore

Best-selling author, Therapist, Speaker
"Care of the Soul" and "A Religion of One's Own" (2014)

View his website here.

Christian Wiman

Noted Poet, translator, editor, and essayist. “Hammer Is Prayer” (2016)

View his website here.

James Hollis

Jungian psychoanalyst and the author of eighteen books.

View his website here.

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault

Principal Teacher and Advisor to the Contemplative Society. "The Wisdom Way of Knowing" (2006)

View her website here.

John Phillip Newel

John Philip Newell, PhD, is a Celtic teacher and author of spirituality who calls the modern world to reawaken to the sacredness of Earth and every human being.

View his website here.

Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor, sometimes called the “Johnny Appleseed of Dreamwork,” He was an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and had worked with dreams for over sixty years.

View his website here.

Carrie Newcomer

Carrie Newcomer is an American singer, songwriter and author. She has produced 19 solo CDs and has received numerous awards for her music and related charitable activities.

View her website here.

Dr. Marcus Borg

Leading historical Jesus scholar
"New Insights into the Nature of God" (2003
"God, Faith, Transformation: A New Way of Looking at our Religious Traditions" (2005),
"Being Christian in the 21st Century" (October 2012)

View his website here.

Kathleen Dowling Singh

"The Grace in Dying" (2015)

View her Facebook page here.

Sam Keen

Author and co-producer of an award winning PBS documentary, "Faces of the Enemy". His work was the subject of a PBS special "Your Mythic Journey with Sam Keen. A Spirited Life in a Secular Age" (2011)

View his website here.

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He has written 37 books including "Original Blessing".  Fox is the founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California.

View his website here.

Roger Housden

"Love Language: Writing Your Heart Out Author, Speaker, Writing Guide"

View his website  here.

Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis is the Director of Center on Faith and Justice and inaugural chair in Faith and Justice at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

View his website here.

Monica Wikman

Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness was published by Nicolas-Hayes in 2005

View his website here.

Brian McClaren

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for "a new kind of Christianity"

View his website here.

Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is the author of numerous essays and books, including "Sacred Economics", "Climate—A New Story", and "The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible".

View his website here.