The Arc From Canon Law To Astrophysics

Rocco whispered on the new rector at Mundelein Seminary. Chicago press release here.

Until recently, it seemed one had to have a canon law degree to move upward in the Church. Father Kartje seems like a capable priest and spiritual figure to lead a seminary. But I was struck by his secular education:

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1987 from the University of Chicago. In 1995, the University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics conferred a Ph.D. degree on Father Kartje. The title of his doctoral dissertation is “Models of the Optical/Ultraviolet Continuum Polarization in Active Galactic Nuclei: Implications for Unification Schemes.”

active galactic nucleus with jetThe image, left, is a jet emerging from M87’s active nucleus. As impressive as his astronomy background is his background as a scholar of the Psalms:

Father Kartje was ordained in the Archdiocese of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 2002. He earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America’s Department of Biblical Studies in 2010. The title of his dissertation is “Wisdom Epistemology in the Psalter: A Study of Psalms 1, 73, 90, and 107.”

Psalm geeks will recognize those numbers as the first psalms in four of the five books of the Psalter. (Only the 42nd is absent from his thesis.)

And to top it off, the guy was a campus minister from 2009 till 2013. What a pedigree.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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