David Cathcart, Family Life Director
By Morgan Carver
As a Family Life Director, David Cathcart uses writing every
day. Western Carolina University has prepared David for this
career by teaching him to read more critically and recognize
his audience when writing a specific piece.
Cathcart graduated from Western Carolina University in 2005.
After graduation, his church expanded and he was able to acquire
a full time position. A typical day consists of sending out
emails to parents about upcoming events, writing thank-you
notes, preparing for Sunday school, and meeting with other
pastors. Also, Cathcart communicates with other mission organizations
and writes out recommendation letters for youth members when
needed. For all these activities, he thanks his communication
Mission work in Mexico
A good story that illustrates Cathcart’s job satisfaction
is one about his trip to the Yucatan Peninsula while on a
mission trip. Cathcart assisted in building concrete walls
for a church, and helped with the Vacation Bible School. While
there, he ran into an American doctor who was an adult youth
leader. This doctor was a neurosurgeon in the Army. Cathcart
said he was “friendly and open, but there was never
any doubt about his profession. He carried himself like someone
would in the military and he spoke like someone who could
operate on your brain and you would feel safe about the procedure.”
The doctor was in the Yucatan with his wife and children,
and the last night David was there, he joined the couple in
a foot-washing service. What made the service worthwhile was
watching the Army neurosurgeon with his family and how they
bowed down for each other to cleanse one another’s feet.
They all hugged like a family, and they were loving and caring.
It reminded Cathcart that love is more than what we see in
a Hershey’s commercial or a Hallmark card.
Poetic metaphor and spiritual work
Some things that Cathcart liked learning while in the Yucatan
were the terms "inscape" and "instress,"
terms which come from the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The terms illustrated the idea of a divine core in being,
inscape, and one aspect of the divine connecting with another,
instress. Studying English literature allows him to synthesize
these ideas and to use them in his spiritual work.
For English major graduates, his best advice would be “to
be open." For current WCU students, David recommends
to be forgiving, because individuals can hurt each other without
even realizing it. The most inspiring thing for Cathcart has
been the life of Christ in the gospels and in people’s
lives. He is not just proud to be a part of his job as a Family
Life Director; he's also thankful.