2018 Gold Mass and Lecture Schedule | Thursday, November 15
5:15 pm | 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 pm | Reception | Jordan Hall of Science Galleria
7:15 pm | Edison Lecture | Jordan Hall of Science Auditorium | Stephen Meredith, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, University of Chicago
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.
Download the event poster (5MB PDF)
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.