This looks interesting. The Vatican Observatory Foundation is offering a five-day conference in Tucson next January: What can modern astronomy tell us about creation – and its Creator?
Guy Consolmagno, SJ, on it:
Our hope is that this can become an annual event, but that this depends on the response to this first offering.
… we hope that the people who come here will then take what they’ve experienced and learned, and spread it around their own parishes. That’s why we are specifically inviting people involved in education programs in the parishes.
(T)oo many Catholics don’t appreciate that science is part of our patrimony.
Science was invented at the universities, which were founded by the Church. And science is only possible because we believe in a God who is transcendent – not a nature god – and who deliberately created this universe out of love.
If the physical world is an expression of God’s love, studying it with science is a way of coming closer and more intimate with its Creator.
Many years ago I thought about putting together an evening of reflection for a parish or at a retreat center. Dinner, prayer, presentation, and star party combination. Looking up at the night sky (in a rural location especially) inspires wonder. Wonder brings us to God. That the Vatican Observatory and the Jesuits are surfacing this idea makes perfect sense to me. Do I wish I could go? Not sure. I’d love to be on the presenting team for something like this. Maybe I’ll have to explore the idea a bit further–bring it here to Iowa.