Nineteen Sixty-four is a research blog for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University edited by Mark M. Gray. CARA is a non-profit research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: to increase the Catholic Church's self understanding; to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers; and to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism. Follow CARA on Twitter at: caracatholic.


Missing Father Curry

On Saturday the world lost an exceptional baker, performer, professor, and priest in Fr. Richard Curry, S.J. I had come to know him as a fellow faculty member in Catholic Studies at Georgetown. His class on “Theater and the Catholic Imagination” was incredibly popular with students (...who were not typically drama or theater students but instead were a cross-section of undergraduates). This video shows some of them performing in 2010:

My family came to know him through what he baked. Fr. Curry created the Dog Tag Bakery in 2014. As a parent of kids with severe nut allergies it was such a blessing for us to find a bakery that is nut free. It is also a place where veterans and their spouses are employed and trained in business. The bakery provides fellowships that result in a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown. When I teach my course on the history and politics of food I require students to bake his recipe for “Brother’s Bread” from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking to experience making something from scratch. It is always a highlight when they all bring in their version of the bread and share it in class.

Fr. Curry was the founder and artistic director of the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped. You may have seen him act on television when he played Dr. Jonah Sorenson on Monk. He also developed the Writers’ Program for Wounded Warriors, which provides workshops where veterans tell their stories through monologues. It provides an opportunity for the development of writing skills, artistic expression, and therapy.

Just last week at a Catholic Studies Christmas dinner we called Fr. Curry and each of the faculty wished him well as he received treatment and we all looked forward to his return. I let him know my kids had become huge fans of his chocolate cake. He told me I had to keep going to the bakery whenever they wanted it! And I will.

It is such an understatement to say Fr. Curry will be missed. If you are ever in Georgetown do yourself a favor and stop by the bakery. He will be there, not only in spirit but in the recipes. On a larger scale, the impact he had on the students who were lucky enough to get a spot in his classes will also continue to live on...

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