A Magi Project event
Gold Mass for Catholic Scientists, Feast of St. Albert the Great
15th November 2018 5.30pm
Reception to Follow
Saint Agatha Saint James Church 3728 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
On a snowy November 15, the Magi Project hosted the first Gold Mass in Philadelphia at St. Agatha-St. James Parish in West Philadelphia. Gold Masses are for Catholics who are or have been involved with science, including scientists, retired or former scientists, science teachers at any level, science graduate students and undergraduate science majors, as well as all of those with an interest in science, formal or informal. Rev. Dr. Thomas Davenport, a Dominican and a physicist who studied at the California Institute of Technology and earned his PhD at Stanford University, flew in from Boston and braved the snow to be the guest homilist at the Mass.
His homily was a beautiful take on how the human spirit has a need for both faith and reason in contemplating the mysteries of life. He said that we should strive to seek God and His works in all of nature, and that, following St. Albert the Great, we can let our pursuit of truth in areas such as the natural sciences lead us to feel the presence of God and the innate beauty of human life.
Following the mass, a reception was held at the Church with dinner for the over 70 people in attendance. In addition to Rev. Dr. Davenport, Professor Stephen Barr, the president of the Society of Catholic Scientists attended the service and offered a few words to the participants at the reception. Students from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University had the opportunity to discuss with Rev. Fr. Davenport their personal and professional journeys in faith and science. The Gold Mass was made possible thanks to sponsorship from the John Templeton Foundation and support from the Parish of St. Agatha-St. James, the Collegium Institute, the Society of Catholic Scientists, and the Newman Centers at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.