News Detail
"From the very first year of his papacy, John Paul II showed a very keen interest in advancing the scientific work of the Vatican Observatory and especially in promoting the dialogue between science and religious faith.” — Jesuit Father George Coyne
Jesuit Professor Devotes His Career to Both Faith and Science

May 26, 2014 — As a man of faith, Jesuit Father George Coyne joined the Jesuits in 1951, studied theology and became a priest. As a man of science, he earned a doctorate in astronomy and became an expert on close binary star systems and Seyfert galaxies. Then for almost three decades, he found the perfect meeting of faith and science at the Vatican Observatory.

Fr. Coyne, a Baltimore native who now serves as the McDevitt Chair of Religious Philosophy at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., was appointed to the Vatican Observatory by Pope John Paul I in 1978. He spent the next three decades splitting his time between the Vatican Observatory administrative headquarters in Vatican City and the offices of the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson, Ariz.

Serving as the observatory's director, Fr. Coyne launched new educational and research initiatives and helped Pope John Paul II work through several endeavors that shaped the church's stand on key scientific questions.

“We [Fr. Coyne and Pope John Paull II] spent 28 years together. From the very first year of his papacy, John Paul II showed a very keen interest in advancing the scientific work of the Vatican Observatory and especially in promoting the dialogue between science and religious faith,” Fr. Coyne said.

Fr. Coyne’s contributions include founding the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson, establishing the Vatican Observatory Summer Schools for young scholars and constructing the Vatican Observatory Advanced Technology Telescope in collaboration with the University of Arizona. He also increased the observatory staff from five to 15 full-time employees, all members of the Society of Jesus.

After retiring from the observatory at the beginning of 2012, Fr. Coyne now teaches general astronomy and religion and science at Le Moyne College. He continues his advocacy for the idea that a religious faith and the scientific method can not only coexist, but complement each other. “I have initiated public lectures on ‘Science and Religion in Modern America,’” said Fr. Coyne. “I am organizing a course for seniors to help in their transition from college as they face issues in society related to the meeting of religious faith with science.” [Source: The Post-Standard]


Recent News

August 24, 2016 — Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a Jesuit parish in Baton Rouge, was spared from damage in the recent historic flooding, but its parishioners are suffering.

August 23, 2016 — Fr. Roy Joseph, SJ, is the first American Jesuit to be ordained a bi-ritual priest in both the Syro-Malabar and Latin rites.

August 22, 2016 — "Ignacio de Loyola," a film produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation in the Philippines, will be released in North American theatres on Friday, Aug. 26.

August 18, 2016 — Today is the feast day of Saint Alberto Hurtado, a Chilean Jesuit priest known for his engagement with Chilean culture and his work with young adults and the poor.

August 17, 2016 — Scorsese is the director of the upcoming film "Silence," about Jesuits in Japan during the 17th century.

August 15, 2016 — The concert tour's performances will benefit Jesuit Refugee Service's Global Education Initiative.

August 12, 2016 — As the Jesuit Volunteer Corps celebrates its 60th anniversary, its overriding goal has remained consistent: to “ruin you for life.” JVC’s motto, “Dare to change,” encourages volunteers to step outside of their comfort zones and live and serve in solidarity with those in the margins of society.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 8/29/16

America 8/15/16

America 8/1/16



Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.