Father Rick Curry, Disabled Teacher, Author & Activist, Dead at 72
Helped and inspired thousands by example
At six, because of my arm, I was told I could not be a solider. I could not be a priest. I could not be a doctor. Well, I have a doctorate, I’m a priest and I’m working with the military. I think that’s proof that it’s not smart to circumscribe God.
Curry was ordained as a priest in 2009, recieved a PhD from NYU in Theater, and started several organizations that aid veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Writers' Program, a subset of the National Theater Workshop of the Handicapped, which he founded in 1977.
He died December 19, 2015, in a hospital near his Philadelphia home. He was 72. The cause was heart failure.
(Source: Father James Martin / Facebook)
When asked by Ecumenical Journal, "What's the best thing about being Father Rick Curry?" After a long pause, Curry responded, "I think I'm blessed with hope."
Curry dedicated much of his life spreading such hope to thousands of people across the country. Possessing a deep commitment to God and the Jesuit community, coupled with an unrelenting dedication to public service, Curry bucked the condescending glances and discriminatory gestures to emerge as a leader for disabled and veteran communities.
In a Facebook post by Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, writer, editor, and long-time friend of Curry, he describes Curry's drive and passion:
Nothing seemed to slow Rick down. He was a kind of perpetual motion machine, always with many irons in the fire: plans for new projects and new books, ideas for helping the handicapped and injured veterans, and a calendar packed with lunches and dinners and baptisms and weddings and funerals. And of course endless fundraising events first for NTWH and then Dog Tag Bakery. Even when his health declined, he soldiered on.
Watch the 60 Minutes interview with Curry below, and visit the Timeline to continue learning about Father Rick Curry's extraordinary life.