Rev. William H Shannon Papers, Sisters of St. Joseph Archive, Rochester, NY

Our Hidden Catholic Collection this week returns to the Sisters of St. Joseph Archive in Rochester, NY to highlight the papers of Rev William H Shannon (1917-2012), founding president of the International Thomas Merton Society and professor at Nazareth College, Rochester. The Shannon Collection contains an extensive collection of personal correspondence, notebooks, journals, papers, talks, articles, homilies, research files, and nine boxes of material on Thomas Merton.

Shannon developed a deep interest in Thomas Merton in the 1970s. He played a key role in organizing the International Thomas Merton Society and wrote extensively on the Cistercian monk’s life and works. Shannon gave the founding Presidential Address on “The Joy of the Cosmic Dance” at the inaugural meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society, held in May 1989 at Bellarmine College.

Included in the collection is also Shannon’s scholarship beyond Merton, such as his work in the “Catholic Update,” published by the St. Anthony Messenger Press. The 4-page newsletter has wide distribution, available today in over half of American parishes. Shannon wrote extensively on a range of topics including spirituality, non-violence, moral issues, liturgy, Scripture, and prayer. After his retirement, Shannon continued lecturing and attending conferences worldwide. 

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Kathleen Urbanic, Congregational Archivist
Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester
150 French Road
Rochester, NY  14618

[email protected]
(585) 641-8214

Facebook: @SistersofSaintJosephofRochester
Twitter: @SSJRochester


Rev. William H. Shannon with poet Bob Lax.
Rev. William H. Shannon with Br. Patrick Hart, OCSO, Thomas Merton’s secretary.
Rev. William H. Shannon (1917-2012)