Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


King day of reflection to focus on his mentor Howard Thurman

Published January 7, 2016

ATLANTA—Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center will have a day of reflection Monday, Jan. 18, offering an opportunity to ponder the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his spiritual mentor, Howard Thurman.

The day of reflection will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the retreat center, located at 6700 Riverside Drive, NW, in Atlanta.

The program, “Howard Thurman: Mystic and Prophet for Civil Rights,” will cover the ministry of King’s mentor.

A mystic, theologian and spiritual adviser to King, Thurman is described as having a remarkable ability to make a connection between silence and the scrutiny of one’s inner life with social justice work. He encouraged King and other organizers of the civil rights movement to examine their inward journeys and to use nonviolent responses to often very violent confrontations.

Thurman chose to engage in work that would serve all people and to use the contemplative experience as a path to peace, joy and power.

He wrote about this desire—especially for oppressed people—in “Jesus and the Disinherited,” a book that King carried with him when he marched.

Lerita Coleman Brown, Ph.D., writer and workshop leader, will present the program. Brown has studied Thurman’s life and is the author of “An Ordinary Mystic: Contemplation, Inner Authority and Spiritual Direction in the Life and Work of Howard Thurman.”

A graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Program at the Shalem Institute, Brown promotes contemplative spirituality in everyday life and uncovering the peace in one’s heart. She is a professor emerita of psychology at Agnes Scott College.

Throughout the day of reflection, participants will witness with readings and silence how the contemplative practices Thurman promoted can be employed.

A light breakfast will be offered at 9 a.m.; the program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.

To register for the day of reflection, visit or call 404-255-0503. The cost is $45.