Silent Lamp

Thomas Merton on Contemplative Life

A Documentary

A Call for Support

This is a general announcement to friends, colleagues and family to let you know about an independent film documentary I am writing and directing entitled, Silent Lamp: Thomas Merton on Contemplation & Contemplative Life. For many, Thomas Merton has exemplified an ecumenical spirit of openness and compassionate wisdom. The clarity and presence of his being were transparent to countless individuals who held Merton in their hearts as a spiritual mentor and friend.

The title of the documentary, Silent Lamp, is more than a metaphor; rather, it describes the profoundly contemplative existence that Merton led, dwelling in silence, solitude and stillness, all in the name of love and peace.

Although there is a difference in scale, the carnage and chaos of contemporary life are not vastly different than those Merton knew of when he was alive.  There is an urgency to make known, through Merton’s voice, what we all experience in our hearts to be the preciousness of this human existence and what it means to be awake and engaged in all that life presents.

The fruits of contemplation are not the sole privilege afforded to those living a monastic life. We can come to know the freedom and joy that accompanies contemplative life as our birthright as human beings.

I am respectfully requesting all of you who have been inspired to live a more fully human existence through Thomas Merton’s example, or who simply wish to participate in the making of this documentary, to help me communicate to others the ever growing need to recognize and embody the mystery and spiritual values associated with contemplative life.

A great deal of work and time has already been invested in the production of Silent Lamp, but in order for the film to become a reality it must receive the support of like- minded and like-hearted people who recognize its potential value in contributing to--- what Merton described so eloquently as----the experience of being fully human.

As you can well imagine, there is little or no receptivity in the major film studios to communicate what ultimately heals the human heart and mind. There is no perceived “commercial” value by the “for-profit” film industries to produce a documentary such as Silent Lamp.

That is why I am asking for your support by being true to your spiritual values and help us produce Silent Lamp through the generosity of your donation. Please visit the Silent Lamp website at and get all of the details. The Institute of Contemplative Studies, the film’s sponsor, is a 501C3, non-profit organization, so your donation is tax deductible (just in case you were looking for a way to have your investment support your values).

Periodic updates on the progress being made in production will be posted on the Silent Lamp site.
In gratitude for the kindness of your support.

Arthur Giacalone
Director/ Silent Lamp

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The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. All rights reserved.