This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 16, 1938

Merton first came to Olean, N.Y. with Robert Lax who was an Olean native. The two met at Columbia University where Merton and Lax quickly became best friends.

Lax became an internationally renowned poet and writer, while Merton became one of the most highly regarded writers and theologians.

Lax and Merton stayed at a friend’s house in Olean until Merton was hired to teach at St. Bonaventure University. It was on this day that Merton was baptized, officially converting him into a Roman Catholic.

Merton stayed at Bonaventure for a few years until he had a vision that he believes came from God. This vision took him to a monastery in Kentucky in 1941.


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