UNCA Conference: Philosophy of Disability – April 20-21


Classes are coming up on their end, but to stretch your minds and hearts beyond exams and essays, you could stroll to Karpen Hall at week’s end, Friday & Saturday April 20-21 for a free and open-to-all conference on “Philosophy of Disability.”

Three of Saturday’s talks—”Disabilities in Heaven” (Dr Richard Cross, Notre Dame), “Personhood, Ableism, and the Philosophy of Religion” (Dr. Scott Williams, UNCA), and “The Moral Significance of Being Human” (Dr. Eva Feder Kittay, Stony Brook U.)—sound like they’d have significant bearing on what our Catholic Faith teaches on the topic: unceasing proclamation of the Dignity and Sacredness of all persons, regardless of circumstance, inherent from being created in the Image and Likeness of God (see Gen 1:27, John 9:3, Catechism 356ff & 1700ff) and call for protection and care, always, for the “least of these.”

Jean Vanier, Catholic philosopher and activist writes poignantly: “I’m not sure that we can really understand the message of Jesus, if we haven’t listened to the weak, to people who have been pushed aside, humiliated, seen of no value. At the same time through them we see that we too are broken, that we have our handicaps. And our handicaps are around about elitism, about power, around feeling that value is to have power.”


Wed. Program: The Examen


Becca A (senior and one of our student leaders) gave a talk after our Wednesday Night Dinner on the Ignatian Prayer, the Examen, a great prayer to make a part of one’s daily prayer routine. Below is the outline of her presentation.

    • The Examen prayer is a technique described by St. Ignatius Loyola who said it was a gift from God.
    • A spiritual exercise/ technique for prayerful reflection
    • Can be done daily or twice daily (at noon and night)
    • 5 Steps:
      • Become aware of God’s presence
      • Review the day with gratitude and thanksgiving
      • Pay attention to your emotions and feelings
      • Choose one feature or feeling from your day and pray on it
      • Look toward tomorrow
    • Fr. Dennis Hamm: “Rummaging for God” or going through your day like you would a drawer, looking for something you already know is there. In this case you are looking for God’s presence in your day
    • Is understood as a sort of examination of conscience by some — looking at how one’s daily life stacks up against the Ten Commandments
    • There are many versions, which look for different things. An Ecological Examen, for example, looks for instances of God’s presence in nature throughout your day. One for Lent would have different questions to guide your thoughts differently.



  • Benefits:
    • You will always have something to pray about — the last 24 hours
    • Face the Lord where, when and how we are
    • Teaches respect for honest feelings and to pray on them
    • Helps find something for confession
    • Prevents “Deism”, or the idea of a “clock-maker God” — one who created the world, or clock, started it and then became hands-off (see Catechism n.285) Sharing our daily life with God counteracts the idea that he is not present with and invested in each of us.

Some helpful links from above:


Different versions:

And here’s a helpful summary of the Examen from BustedHalo


Leadership & Off Campus Opportunities

Julie McElmurry came to the CCM house today and made herself available for student drop-ins to talk about

  1. Evangelical Catholic Training (May in Hickory),
  2. Catholics on Call (July in Chicago), and
  3. Doing a year of service after college with a Catholic Volunteer Network organization

The talks opened up some real possibilities for students who may not have considered such opportunities before. For those who didn’t make it, Julie gave us some links to videos about Evangelical Catholic and Catholics on Call to learn more:

Evangelical Catholic

Catholics on Call