BISMARCK, North Dakota — A Gold Mass celebrating the “unity between science and religion” will bring scientists and science students together in prayer and fellowship Nov. 3 at the University of Mary.
Bismarck Bishop David D. Kagan will preside at the 10 a.m. liturgy at Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel on campus.
“We are excited to host this Gold Mass. It is a wonderful way of connecting those who practice or teach science, at the university or in the community, and witnessing to the harmony of faith and reason,” Jack Boyle, assistant professor of biology, said in a news release from the school.
The Mass has been celebrated at the school since 2018. It is one of several around the country arranged in collaboration with the Society of Catholic Scientists. Founded in 2016, the society is an international organization of scientists and undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students who are pursuing research in natural science.
Gold was chosen for such liturgies because it is the color worn on the hood of those receiving a doctoral degree in science. In addition, St. Albert the Great, the patron saint of scientists, was an alchemist who worked to turn base metals into gold.
Traditionally, Gold Masses are celebrated in November because the feast day of the saint is Nov. 15.
Other Masses are planned: Nov. 3 in Louisville, Kentucky; Nov. 11 in Birmingham, Alabama; Nov. 15 at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois; and in Newark, Delaware; Detroit; and St. Paul, Minnesota; Nov. 16 at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas; and Nov. 20 in Philadelphia.
Some Masses occurred earlier in the current academic year, while others are planned for the first months of 2022.
In addition, the Society of Catholic Scientists is hosting a daylong program called “The St. Albert Initiative on Science and the Catholic Faith” Nov. 13 at The Catholic University of America in Washington. Designed for Catholic high schools students, their parents and teachers, it will allow participants to meet scientists and hear about their work and its intersection with the Catholic faith.
The Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute of Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and the Lumen Christi Institute are co-sponsoring the event, which is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
The society has more than 1,600 members in 50 countries. The organization was founded to foster fellowship among Catholic scientists and to serve as a resource and discussion forum for those who have questions about science and faith.