To further our understanding of ecumenism, Gabriola Ecumenical Society was very fortunate to have Donald Grayston Anglican priest, former director of the Institute for the Humanities at SFU, where he taught Religious Studies for 15 years, and past president both of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada ( and the International Thomas Merton Society ( as our guest presenter on Thursday January 27, 2011

Donald’s presentation  introduced those present to Thomas Merton, who was  on the pioneering forefront of the  world-wide ecumenical movement,  and to  his life and work. 38 people who had a desire to be more in touch with their spiritual side of self were  interested in  finding  out what other spiritual seekers of our times have been searching for and in considering on  how this work might guide or impinge on our spiritual journeys today.

Merton [1915-1968]  was one of the most influential spiritual mentors of our time, He was  a Trappist monk, mystic, poet, prophet and a spiritual master and a keen proponent of interfaith understanding and interreligious dialogue with  Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim: and Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist faith traditions.

Merton was the author of 60 titles before he died and 40 more have been published (with a little help from his friends!) since he died.  His work is of great interest and importance to many people today as evidenced by the many members and supporters of the Thomas Merton Society.

Gabriola Ecumenical Society, sponsors of this event, are very interested in learning more about the many and varied paths chosen by various spiritual seekers. We believe it is important to reach out to others in love and compassion, to be bearers of peace and reconciliation and honour the connectedness of all, regardless of creed, colour or culture. Masters like Merton guide us along the way.

My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. 
. [Asian journal, p 308]

Presented by Donald Grayston:  Past president both of the Thomas Merton Society  of Canada and the International Thomas Merton Society