Montfort students meet with Vatican Astronomer Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ at UPenn

Fourteen Montfort students traveled to the University of Pennsylvania on Monday February 11th to hear a lecture given by Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, the Director of the Vatican Observatory and also known as “the Pope’s Astronomer.” The lecture, entitled, “Adventures of a Vatican Astronomer” was hosted by the Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at The University of Pennsylvania, directed by Dr. Dan Cheely, PhD, and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation.

Topics in Brother Consolmagno’s lecture included the history of Astronomy at the Holy See, an overview of the team of Vatican astronomers and their expertise in meteors, string theory, stellar evolution, quasars, the philosophy of science, and much more. Brother Consolmagno repeated what has become a cornerstone of Montfort educational philosophy—that by studying Creation, we grow closer to the Creator. Other themes includes the relationship between science and faith, the militarization of space, the role of the United Nations in keeping space peaceful and for the good of all of humankind. Brother Consolmagno has a wonderful sense of humor and wonderful sense of awe.

Montfort students had the chance to ask questions and interact with Brother Consolmagno as well as members of the Collegium Institute. Junior Eddie Crea, President of Montfort’s Astronomy Club, asked a question about the militarization of space and whether Brother Consolmagno was fearful that space would be misused. He responded that there was a real risk; but he said that there is value in repeating that space needs to be used for the good of humankind, even though we know the reality may be headed in a different direction. He thought the biggest deterent to the misuse of space was to make sure that rules are written correctly, followed, and enforced.

Below, Montfort students enjoying a light moment with Brother Guy Cosolmagno, SJ, Director of the Vatican astronomical observatory.

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Marla Greco