McQuaid Jesuit

Nazareth College

“Reclaiming Our Common Humanity”

Calling for mercy and tenderness, Pope Francis continually reminds us of our common humanity.  In a recent TED Talk, he envisioned a future that is well within our grasp.

“How wonderful it would be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion.  How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.  How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word  . . .  became instead the default attitude in political, economic, and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples, and countries."

Equality, inclusion, care for each other, solidarity – these principles grow out of the recognition of and respect for the dignity of all persons which is the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

Our distinguished speakers will demonstrate how Catholic theology is enriched by knowledge gleaned from the own individuals fields of expertise – art, astronomy, ethics, and political science.  They join Pope Francis in imagining a world in which we might recognize and realize our sense of our common humanity in just and compassionate act.

Br. Guy Consolmagno, S. J.

  • Why Do We Look to the Heavens?

March 1, 2018, 7:00PM, Forum

  • What Does “Catholic” Science Look Like?

March 2, 2018, 1:30PM, Linehan Chapel

“I find that my religion’s understanding of the universe is consistent with everything that I observe about life: not only in science, but in my experience of beauty, love, and all the other transcendentals that science does not treat  . . .  including those experiences that I interpret as prayer, my direct experience of God.” ~ Br. Guy Consolmagno

Astronomer, writer and lecturer, Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J. is Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.  After earning undergraduate and master’s degrees at MIT and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona, Consolmagno did post-doctoral research at Harvard University and MIT, served with the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya, and taught physics at Lafayette College.   He has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1993 exploring the connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies.  His work has taken him to every continent.  In 1996, he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with a NASA team on the blue ice regions of East Antarctica.

Consolmagno is the author of more than 200 publications in his field as well as books, such as Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (co-authored with fellow Jesuit, Paul Mueller), which engage readers at the intersections of science and religion.  He has hosted science programs for BBC, Radio 4, appeared in the The Colbert Report, and written monthly science columns for the British Catholic magazine, the Tablet.  In 2014, Brother Consolmagno received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

Dr. Maureen O’Connell

  • From the Upper Room to Pentecost: Toward an Ethic of Racial Mercy

April 12, 2018, 7:00PM, Forum

  • Painting across the Color-line: Community Muralism and Social Justice

April 13, 2018, 1:30PM, Linehan Chapel

“We find our neighbor not only amid our increasingly diverse communities, but also among people we may never meet from whom we are separated by vast distances of culture, economics, and geography.”~ Maureen O'Connell

Moral theologian Maureen O’Connell is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Chair of the Department of Religion at La Salle University.  After earning a Ph.D. in theological ethics at Boston College, she taught at Fordham University before returning to her native city of Philadelphia.  Working at the intersections of social ethics and theological aesthetics, she probes the roles of art, imagination, and story–telling in the pursuit of justice.   Her current research focuses on racial identity formation, racism and racial justice.  

Her widely acclaimed and award-winning book, If These Walls Could Talk: Muralism and the Beauty of Justice, examines mural-making and murals in Philadelphia.  “Philadelphia’s walls are talking,” O’Connell writes.  And the “images have the potential to transform the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ into the ‘City of Just Love.’”  In Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization, O’Connell unpacks the meaning of the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan for our times.

O’Connell co-edited, with Laurie Cassidy, She Who Imagines: Contemporary Feminist Aesthetics and Religion, Economics and Culture in Conflict and Conversation.