No Better Gift: Friendship from The Iliad to Facebook
June 9-14, 2019

Led by Wyoming Catholic College faculty, the 2019 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought used literature, philosophy, theology, poetry, and film to explored friendship.

Reading great literature, philosophy, and poetry together always makes a huge difference. And along the way to greater understanding, we discovered that friendships form, love grows, and we reach beyond communication to communion.

The Wyoming School of Catholic Thought faculty included college president Dr. Glenn Arbery, Dr. Virginia Arbery, Dr. Jeremy Holmes, Dr. Tiffany Schubert, Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos, and Dr. James Tonkowich. Fr. James Schumacher, our pastor at Holy Rosary, served as the school chaplain.

What Participants Said

  • “How profitable and enjoyable it can be to read literature together.”
  • “I am so impressed with the faculty and staff. The presentations were excellent, and they were very happy to engage in conversation with participants.”
  • “I learned more and more how the importance of reading a work and discussing it with others enhances the experience exponentially.”
  • “I found the entire experience and people to be outstanding.”
  • “The experience of reading and discussing poetry was truly profound. For the first time, I engaged in communal sharing of great poetry which was fascinating and profoundly enjoyable.”
  • “The readings were amazing and wonderfully ordered.”
  • “I found the experience extraordinary.”


  • Friendship in the Bible
    • 1 Samuel 16-20, 31; 2 Samuel 1
  • Friendship between Men
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book 16
    • Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 10
  • Friendship between Women
    • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Volume I, Chapters 4, 11; Volume II, Chapters 1, 16, 17, 19
  • Friendship: A Philosophical Perspective
    • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VII: 1-7; Book IX: 4, 8-9
  • Friendship and Old Age
    • William Faukner, Go Down, Moses, “The Old People”
  • Friendship in Marriage
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XXIII
  • Friendship and Politics
    • Aristotle, Politics, Book I: 1-13
  • Friendship in the Church Fathers
    • John Henry Newman, “Basil and Gregory”
  • Unexpected Friendship
    • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (Pevear and Volokhonsky translation), pages 51-52, 201-206, 259-267, 314-331
  • Thomas Aquinas
    • Summa Theologiae, II-II Question 23, Article 1; Question 25, Article 1
    • Desputed Questions on Virtue, Questions 2, Article 2
  • The Poetry of Friendship
    • Ben Jonson, “To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author Mr. William Shakespeare”
    • John Milton, “Lycidas”
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Break, Break, Break”
    • Emily Dickinson, “I’m Nobody! Who are you” and “The Soul selects her own Society”
    • Theodore Roethke, “Elegy for Jane My Student, Thrown by a Horse”
  • Friendship in the Modern Era
    • Allen Tate, “A Man of Letters in the Modern World”
  • Films
    • Cinema Paradiso
    • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Listen to the School

If you’re interested in hearing some of the presentations about friendship, they were made available through the college’s “After Dinner Scholar” podcast and can be found below. (You can listen to the podcast itself online at the college website or by using Podbean or iTunes.)