Rev. Rick Curry
Rick (1943 - 2015) was born without a right forearm, and as he told SJU Magazine in 2009, "I had to learn to adapt. It wasn't always easy, but this disability is a gift from God."
Despite his handicap, Rick was determined to make the most of his life.
He became a Jesuit brother at 19, earned a bachelor's degree in English from what is now St. Joseph's University, a master's in theater from Villanova University and a doctorate in education from New York University.
But even those credentials didn't stop others from rejecting him.
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As a struggling actor, Rick arrived at a mouthwash commercial audition, only to be rejected by the receptionist.
"I was stunned, I was hurt," Rick told students at St. Joseph's Prep in 2010. "There was no way I could convince her that having one arm wouldn't stop me from gargling mouthwash."
The next day in a New York City loft, he created his first theater training institute catering to the disabled, teaching pride and self-worth as well as theater skills.
Rick would later expand his theater training programs to assist disabled soldiers as well, helping a total of 15,000 disabled people to live better lives.
"With the disabled, you need a guide dog, you need a wheelchair, and people get that," Rick said in an Ecumenical journal interview in 2011.
"But you also need your spirit lifted. You need to make art. You need to tell your story. You need to create."
In addition to his theater programs, Rick published two cookbooks, opened a bakery and taught his disabled students how to bake. They also learned essential business skills from him.
"At 6," Rick remembered, "Because of my arm, I was told I could not be a soldier. 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."