Jim Forest. Voices for Peace Conference. April 2018. Toronto.
(Photo: Cassidy Hall)
I stood in the middle of St. Nicholas of Myra Russian Orthodox Church in Amsterdam, anxiously looking around. I was late and was desperately trying to lay eyes on Jim Forest. We were to meet there. He had agreed to give me an hour of his time after church.
I knew of Jim from reading his correspondence with Thomas Merton, and I knew that Merton’s prophetic work, Faith and Violence, had been dedicated to Jim when it was published in 1968. I knew that Jim had, along with Protestant and Catholic activists, attended a retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1964, organized by Thomas Merton. Most of those who attended went on to gain the distinction of being imprisoned for their peace advocacy and civil disobedience. But I had no idea that Jim Forest was still alive until I came across a post he submitted to the International Thomas Merton Society Facebook page.
Here was a direct link to Merton and a living example of Gospel peacemaking! I immediately contacted him. I had no idea what to expect, but knowing my wife Tania and I were headed for Amsterdam in a couple months, I asked if he would be willing to meet me and talk about Merton and peacemaking. He agreed, offering an hour of his time. Read More