by Jennifer Vosters [reposted in part from the National Catholic Reporter]
This summer, the Henri Nouwen Society is hosting an international conference to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most significant spiritual leaders.
“Way of the Heart: Exploring the Inner Journey Through the Lens of Henri Nouwen” will take place June 9-11 at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. It will be a “feast” of fellowship and reflection for longtime Nouwen readers and newcomers alike, featuring speeches and seminars by prominent spiritual voices including Oblate Fr. Ron Rolheiser, Shane Claiborne, St. Joseph Sr. Sue Mosteller, David Haas, and others.
The conference marks the 20th anniversary of Nouwen’s death in 1996.
“We want it to be a transformative experience for people,” said Karen Pascal, Henri Nouwen Society executive director, “all in a beautiful, natural setting.” Attendees are expected from all over the world including Canada, the U.S., England, and the Netherlands.
As a priest, writer, and theologian, Henri Nouwen began to set himself apart in the 1960s when he came to the United States from the Netherlands to study psychology, hoping to understand the connections between theology, spirituality, and the human psyche. He taught at the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, and Yale University, where he and Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley became the first Catholic faculty members at the Divinity School. But he was unhappy in the competitive university environment, which often ran counter to his deep conviction of God’s gentle, unconditional love.
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