During the second annual Gold Mass, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre explained to his listeners that faith and science need one another.
The Mass, which honors scientists, science educators and students of science, was celebrated Nov. 7 at St. Stephen Martyr Church, 2931 Pindell Ave. More than 40 people gathered for the special liturgy, which was concelebrated by Father Patrick Dolan, a scientist, and Dominican Father John Baptist Hoang, chaplain for the University of Louisville’s Catholic Campus Ministry. Deacon Ned Berghausen assisted.
Archbishop Fabre said faith and science “keep each other authentic,” noting a letter by St. John Paul II, which says: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”
Referring to the day’s Gospel reading from Mark, the archbishop noted that the apostles who experienced Jesus’ transfiguration didn’t understand what they witnessed. In much the same way, oftentimes we don’t understand scientific discoveries right away, he said.
“Some discoveries take time for their effect to lead to full understanding which leads to inventions,” the archbishop told his listeners. In a similar way, “Revelations of God take time to fully understand.”
Following Mass, a four-person panel offered testimonies about how faith and science interact in their lives.
The panelists were: Dr. Timothy Dowling, a professor of dynamic meteorology at the University of Louisville; Pat Burton, a science instructor at Mercy Academy; Dr. Anna Christianson, assistant professor of chemistry at Bellarmine University; and Eva Gonzalez, director for the Office of Hispanic Ministry, who also holds a B.S. in pharmaceutical science.
The Gold Mass was borne out of a Faith and Science Discussion Group that has been meeting for the past five years.