Jesuit brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, was recently awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for “outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist” by the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences. According to the Vatican Observatory website, he is the curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo. “His research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.”
Brother Guy received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. After leaving MIT, he joined the Peace Corps for two years. In 1993, he joined the Vatican Observatory.
“I once caused a stir in a church in Hawaii by announcing that I was ‘an observer from the Vatican,’” Said Brother Guy. “Indeed, I am. As it happens, I was in Hawaii to use the telescopes there, just as I also observe with the Vatican’s own telescope in Arizona. That is my job with the Vatican Observatory.”
Brother Guy, says the AAS, “occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief.”
Brother Guy himself says, “The God I believe in is not of the universe, but existed before the universe began; not a part of nature, but super-natural. If you believe in that kind of God, then there is room to ask how the rest of the world works, and room to wonder if it works by regular laws. We know from scripture that God is responsible for the universe, in a step-by- step manner. Genesis outlines a creation story that is fundamentally different from the Babylonian story in that rather than the physical universe being an accident, Genesis tells us that God deliberately willed it to exist.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.