Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D. is an Irish-American theologian, author and sacred song writer who has been engaged in the ministry of liturgical musicianship for over forty years. She is currently composer-in-residence of Schola Ministries and is the founder and director of Iona Spirituality Institute at Iona College, New York, and previously directed the Iona Institute for Peace and Justice Studies in Ireland. Sr. Kathleen is a GreenFaith Fellow who recently completed an intensive training in religious environmental leadership. Her work in this area focuses on the prophet legacy of Father Thomas Berry and The Great Work of our time. She has previously served as president of the International Thomas Merton Society, and currently sits on the board of the American Teilhard de Chardin Society.
We all come from a kind of silence of which we have no idea. We come out of a very mysterious milieu or dimension, and in some ways, if we take the poets seriously, and the mystics, we have been abiding in silence ever before we came into a sound environment. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D.
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
- Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: When the Trees Say Nothing — Writings on Nature
- Sr. Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours
- Thomas Berry, The Great Work
- Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Selected Writings
- Douglas E. Christie, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology
- Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems
- Paul Hawken, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
- Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing
- Charles Peguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Historicity of Nature: Essays on Science and Theology
Sister Kathleen notes that her music is freely available online. But if you are interested in purchasing her music on CD, here are a few titles that feature the music of Sr. Kathleen:
- Ave: Songs of the Congregation of Notre Dame
- A Garden Once Again: Songs in Celebration of Creation
- The Gift: Songs of the Grateful Heart
What silence opened up for me was music, or maybe I can even say it the other way: music opened up silence for me. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D.
Episode 66: Silence and Nature: A Conversation with Sr. Kathleen Deignan (Part One)
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall
Guest: Sr. Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D.
Date Recorded: April 22, 2019
The challenge for us now, I think, especially for people who are laboring to be awake, or ‘woke,’ — people who are yearning for the transformation — is that we know it is a profound spiritual work, it is a tremendous spiritual work; we’re not going to technologize our way out of this, we are not going to scheme our way out of this; because a new human being has to build up the new planetary civilization for us to go forward. And it will take centuries. — Sister Kathleen P. Deignan, C.N.D.