Sister Therese Lentfoehr

Sister Therese Lentfoehr

Sister Therese Lentfoehr was a poet in her own right and taught at Marquette and Georgetown Universities. She and Thomas Merton “met” through their verse in 1939 when they had a brief correspondence. Then, after he entered the Trappist order, Merton began sharing with Sister Therese all his personal diaries, journals, and drafts of his poetry. They met several times, meetings she described as “rich occasions of spiritual and poetic exchange.” She died at the age of seventy-nine.

Words And Silence

Words and Silence: On the Poetry of Thomas Merton brings to the study of the late Trappist monk’s verse the special perceptions born of a friendship of nearly three decades’ duration. It started with a brief correspondence between two poets in 1939, two years before Merton entered the monastery of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and lasted until his tragic accidental death in 1968. Throughout these years, Sister Therese Lentfoehr held a number of university positions in her native Wisconsin and elsewhere, all the while amassing an extensive Merton archival collection, including various drafts of individual poems and prose pieces, translations, books and pamphlets, and even portions of hand-written private journals.…
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