Mortality and Eternity:
The Question of Death
June 12-17, 2022

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
“Remember, man, dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
• Distrbution of Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Memento Mori. There’s no getting around it. Regardless of exercise, healthy diets, state of the art medical care, life-extension therapies, vitamins, herbal remedies, and advanced technologies yet to be discovered, death will come to each of us.

While modern Western culture does its best to forget or ignore this disconcerting fact of life, the great authors, poets, theologians, and philosophers held it front and center.

  • In The Iliad, Achilles’ wrath is in part his anger over being mortal.
  • Odysseus, on the other hand, when offered immortality in The Odyssey, turns it down.
  • Odysseus, Aeneas, and Dante descend into the underworld to visit the dead.
  • The biblical wisdom counsels, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; / for this is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
  • “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,” says Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, / And then is heard no more.”
  • “Because I could not stop for death,” wrote Emily Dickenson, “He kindly stopped for me.”
  • And existential philosopher, Albert Camus observed, “There is only one really serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.”

Led by Wyoming Catholic College faculty, the 2022 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought will join that tradition of authors, poets, theologians, and philosophers as we consider the question of mortality.

Participants will receive reading packets ahead of time to prepare for the week and each day’s activities will include lectures, seminars, and panel discussions based on those readings. Afternoon breaks are set aside to enjoy the beauty of the nearby Wind River Mountains. Choose from hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, or exploring the sights in Lander. Daily meals provide the opportunity for conversations to continue and deepen. After dinner, participants will enjoy relevant films or leisurely reflections on the day’s readings.

A chaplain will be available during the week offering daily Mass, spiritual direction, and confession.

Meals, classes, and discussions will be held on the Wyoming Catholic College campus on Main Street in Lander with accommodations in local hotels or college dormitories.

The program fee is $750 per person with some scholarships available. This includes the program, materials, all meals, and activities.

Accommodations at local hotels or Wyoming Catholic College dormitories are in addition to the program fee.

For registration information, please fill out the form below
or contact Dr. James Tonkowich | (307) 335-4428 | james.tonkowich@wyomingcatholic.edu
$750 per person | Scholarships available | Meals and reading materials provided (accommodations extra)