Director of Vatican Observatory will explore ‘big questions’ with Urbana parish

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director the Vatican Observatory, will speak on "Cosmic Faith" via Skype to a gathering at St. Patrick, Urbana, on Sunday, Nov. 20. (Provided photo)

URBANA — With the help of Skype, St. Patrick Church will host a presentation by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, on Sunday, Nov. 20. “Cosmic Faith: Exploring the Big Questions of Science and Religion” will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Father George Remm, former pastor of St. Patrick Parish, will be the moderator for the presentation and question-and-answer session that follows in the church hall, 708 W. Main St. Light refreshments will be available.

Born in Detroit, Brother Guy earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from MIT and has a doctorate in planetary science from the University of Arizona. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in Kenya with the Peace Corps, and taught physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989.

He has been at the Vatican Observatory, which is based outside of Rome at Castel Gandolfo, since 1993, and was named director in September 2015. He is also president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Brother Guy’s research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies, among other things.

His books include “Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist” and “Turn Left at Orion,” written with Dan Davis. His most recent is “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers’ In-Box at the Vatican Observatory,” written with Jesuit Father Paul Mueller.

In 2014, Brother Guy received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences.

Childcare will be available for “Cosmic Faith,” but reservations are due by Nov. 14. Contact Carol Conaghan at carol.conaghan@stpaturbana.org.

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