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September 26, 2017

Astronomer to the Pope to Speak about God, Science

Events at the Strasenburgh Planetarium and Barnes Symposium at Roberts Wesleyan College

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory and known as “the pope’s astronomer,” will be the guest speaker for the 2017 Catholic Courier Lecture October 5, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, 663 East Ave. in Rochester.  The lecture, titled From Galileo to Laudato Si: Why Science Needs Faith, is free and public.

In addition to the Courier lecture, Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary in North Chili will host Brother Consolmagno at the Barnes Science and Faith Symposium on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. All events are free and open to the public.

  • 11 a.m. Chapel Service, Joy and the Cross: Church and Science, in the Roberts Wesleyan College Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center.
  • 4:00 p.m. Opening Lecture, Why Do We Look to the Heavens? in the Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center.
  • 7:30 p.m. Keynote Presentation, Does Science Need God? in the Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center.

Brother Consolmagno was appointed by Pope Francis as director of the Vatican Observatory in 2015 after serving as a Vatican astronomer for 22 years. In his visit to the area, he will discuss the relationship between science and faith and the ways our understanding of that relationship have changed through the centuries.

A native of Detroit, Brother Consolmagno graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lectured at both MIT and Harvard College Observatory before joining the U.S. Peace Corps to teach physics and astronomy in Kenya. He became a Jesuit in 1989. He has served as president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation and as curator of the Vatican’s collection of meteorites, one of the largest collections in the world.

On August 22, 2017, Brother Consolmagno gave a lecture at a Kentucky church the day a total solar eclipse criss-crossed the nation. The site of his talk was in the path of totality of the event dubbed the “Great American Eclipse” and experienced two minutes and 40 seconds of darkness as the moon briefly blocked the sun. He spoke about the relationship between science and faith — the same topic he will discuss in Rochester — during a press conference before his pre-eclipse presentation.

“We’re here not just to remind my fellow scientists … but also to show religious people how important it is to be able to praise the Creator by studying creation, studying it honestly, finding out how God really created this place. There’s never going to be a shortage of marvels for us to discover or surprises for us to experience,” he said in the speech.
For more information about the Catholic Courier Lecture, contact the Catholic Courier at 585-529-9530.

For more information about Brother Consolmagno speaking at the Barnes Symposium at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary, visit the registration page or call Evangeline Kovach at 585-593-6134.


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