Gold Mass and Lecture

2021 Gold Mass and Lecture | Monday, November 15

Phillip Sloan

5:15 p.m. | Gold Mass for Scientists and Engineers (but all are welcome) | Basilica of the Sacred Heart |  Rev. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., Ph.D.
6:15 p.m. | Reception (light refreshments) | Jordan Hall of Science Galleria
7:15 p.m. | Edison Lecture | 105 Jordan Hall of Science |  Rev. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., Ph.D. | Phillip Sloan, Professor Emeritus in the Program of Liberal Studies and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science

Technoscience and Human Transcendence: Interfacing Biotechnology and Catholic Faith

Stemming from the heritage of Francis Bacon from the 17th century, the modern blend of material culture, scientific rationality, economics, and technology – commonly designated as technoscience – has posed some of the deepest challenges to Catholic Christian anthropology today. Prof. Phillip Sloan will suggest avenues for reasserting human theological uniqueness in the context of a technoscience that reduces life to states of matter that can be manipulated by biotechnology.

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Gold Mass Twitter2021

2020 Gold Mass and Lecture Schedule | Tuesday, January 28

5:15 pm | Gold Mass for Scientists and Engineers (but all are welcome) | Basilica of the Sacred Heart | Rev. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., 

6:15 pm | Reception | Jordan Hall of Science Galleria

7:15 pm | Edison Lecture | Jordan Hall of Science Auditorium | Christopher Baglow, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

1200x800 Baglow

Edison Lecture: The Catholic Faith and Modern Science - Understanding and Correcting Models of Conflict

Christopher Baglow is the director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute of Church Life at Notre Dame.

Recent studies show that many young Catholics assume that science and religion are inherently incompatible, but in the words of chemist and eminent historian of science, Lawrence Principe, “The idea that scientific and religious camps have historically been separate and antagonistic is rejected by all modern historians of science.” Baglow, the director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, will address the origins of the conflict/warfare model of science and religion. He’ll also share the actual approach of the church to science, and outline the path toward future thought.

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Stephenmeredith Uchicago

Edison Lecture: Disease and the Problem of Evil

Stephen Meredith, M.D., PhD., is a professor in the University of Chicago's departments of pathology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and neurology. A founding member of the board of the Society of Catholic Scientists, he is also an associate faculty member in the University of Chicago divinity school.

Ivan Karamazov asked whether we can accept a world in which God allows children to suffer. His question is a powerful version of the ancient question: if God exists and is both perfect and all powerful, whence comes evil? Sick children—and adults, for that matter—put this question into sharp focus but also add another, seemingly paradoxical, dimension to it. If we are made in the image of God, and if being fully human means to be true to our natures, then how can we account for the occurrence of deadly diseases and the suffering that results from them? In this talk, Dr. Meredith turns to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas to help address these questions.

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History of the Gold Mass

In a 1988 letter to the Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, His Holiness John Paul II wrote, “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.” This planted the seed for the founding of the Society of Catholic Scientists and the first ever Gold Mass.

The Gold Mass, which follows in the tradition of special Masses for members of different professions, was selected because gold is the color of the hoods worn by individuals graduating with a Ph.D. in science. It is also the color associated with the patron saint of scientists St. Albert the Great.

The oldest Mass for professions, the Red Mass for laywers and lawmakers was begun in the 13th century. The first White Mass for health care professionals and Blue Mass for law enforcement were introduced in the 1930s. The first Gold Mass for scientists and engineers was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Nov. 15, 2016.

Notre Dame is continuing the tradition of celebrating the Gold Mass on St. Albert's feast day.


Thank you to the 2018 sponsors of the 2nd Annual Gold Mass and Lecture for Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

College of Science

College of Engineering

Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing

Center for Ethics and Culture

McGrath Institute for Church Life

Environmental Change Institute