The article linked above tells the story of the Jesuit founder and artistic director of the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, a 32-year-old nonprofit theater arts training institution for persons with physical disabilities, currently based in New York City and Belfast, Maine.(This workshop no longer exists–we can only hope another group will offer access to this kind of work.)
Father Curry was born without a right forearm. He began working with disabled soldiers, especially amputees, and set up writing programs for them. This gave soldiers opportunity to tell their stories in dramatic monologues and in the process to begin to heal the psychological, emotional, and spiritual wounds of war. The wounded warrior realizes that he is “part of a larger universe of love,” says Curry, “and once you get the wounded warrior in touch with that, then you can see that the healing can begin.”
Curry didn’t receive permission to become ordained as a full-fledged priest until he had served 40 years as a Jesuit brother.
I was particularly struck by this quote, and oh, how I wish this attitude was more common.
“The student can stand on his or her own two feet and defend what he or she believes. This is what I wanted to do for the disabled, who have been ignored for so long. People never asked them what they thought or how they felt, so once you have empowered a disabled person artistically, you have in fact empowered a disabled person.”