The annual Faith and Astronomy Workshop will be held next January 11 – 15, 2016, and applications are now open. What’s the FAW? Well… read on…
What can modern astronomy tell us about creation – and its Creator? This four-day workshop, sponsored by the Vatican Observatory Foundation, is designed to bring those working in Catholic parishes an up-to-date overview of the universe: from the Big Bang, to the search for life in the universe, to our exploration of the planets… as seen through the eyes of the Jesuit priests and brothers who work at the Vatican’s own astronomical observatory.
Our next workshop will be held the week of January 11-15, 2016, at the Redemptorist Renewal Center outside of Tucson, Arizona. Participants should plan to arrive on the afternoon of Monday, January 11; the work of the workshop begins that evening. Days and evenings are scheduled through Thursday. The workshop will end with Mass and breakfast on Friday morning, January 15.
The workshop is designed for people working in education in Catholic parishes. This includes priests and deacons; science teachers in parochial schools; and educators in CCD and RCIA programs. Our hope is that the participants will not only experience astronomy in a Catholic setting, but also come away with materials and ideas to share in their parishes when they return home. We have space available for 25 participants.
The program will include lectures, lab exercises, and field trips to a number of astronomical sites in the area around Tucson, Arizona, home of the Vatican Observatory Research Group and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope. Each morning will include talks, lab exercises, and an hour of prayer and reflection about the issues of astronomy and religion that the participants find are most of interest and concern to them and the people they work with. Each afternoon will have a “behind the scenes” field trip where participants can meet with scientists at the University of Arizona, the Planetary Science Institute, or the Kitt Peak National Observatory. The evenings, after Mass and dinner, will be given over to observing the skies with several small telescopes on site. (The Redemptorist Center is located in a beautiful dark desert setting well outside of city lights.)
The fee of $750 per person covers four nights in a modest but comfortable en-suite room at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, including board from Monday evening through Friday morning; transportation and admission fees for the field trips; and assorted books and other materials that the participants can take back with them to their home parishes. Some or all of this fee can be waived for participants who request assistance.
Applications open during September, 2015; the final selection of participants will be announced in early October. Further details, including contact information, can be found at our web site: vaticanobservatory.org
Click here to read what Fr. Jim wrote about last year’s workshop…