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BRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 3, 2015 – On Monday, Nov. 16, the King University Institute for
Faith and Culture will welcome U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, newly appointed
director of the Vatican Observatory. Brother Consolmagno will begin the day by speaking
in King University’s Memorial Chapel at 9:15 a.m., in Bristol, Tenn. He will then
speak at 7 p.m. in St. Anne Catholic Church located in Bristol, Va. The event is co-sponsored
by the Bristol Herald Courier.
“We are excited to have Brother Guy Consolmagno as one of this year’s King Institute
speakers, as he has promoted the conversation between faith and culture in innovative
and intriguing ways not seeing science and Christianity opposed to one another, but
in concert together,” says Shannon Harris, interim director of the King University
Institute for Faith and Culture.
Brother Guy J. Consolmagno’s appointment as the new director of the Vatican Observatory
was announced by the Vatican on Sept. 18, 2015. He is a planetary scientist who has
studied meteorites and asteroids as an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since
1993. In an article in America Magazine, The National Catholic Review, Pope Francis
commented how “[Brother Consolmagno] . . . recognized the importance of communicating
with the rest of the world how the church and its priests ‘embrace, encourage, and
promote authentic science,’ adding that it was ‘very important’ his papal astronomers
keep sharing their scientific knowledge with others, ‘freely giving that which you
freely have received.’”
Dr. Ray Bloomer, professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus, describes Brother Consolmagno’s
work. “Guy Consolmagno has established a strong publication record in the study of
meteorites and planetary sciences and, at the same time, has written and spoken publically
to lay audiences making astronomy more accessible and more exciting than anyone in
my recent memory. As a Jesuit brother and a Ph.D. research scientist, his clear and
engaging writing easily connects the spiritual and the scientific so smoothly that
his writings are hard to put down.”
Brother Consolmagno received his Bachelor of Science in 1974 and Master of Science
in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), and his Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978.
From 1978-80, he was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Harvard College Observatory,
and from 1980-1983 continued as postdoc and lecturer at MIT. Brother Consolmagno also
served in the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching physics at the University of Nairobi; and
was a physics professor at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before entering the
Jesuits as a Brother in 1989.
Since 1993, Brother Consolmagno has served at the Vatican Observatory as an astronomer
and curator of meteorites, and in September 2014, he became president of the Vatican
Observatory Foundation. In addition to his continuing professional work in planetary
science, he has also studied theology and philosophy. As Dr. Bloomer points out, “the
American Astronomical Society recently awarded Guy the Sagan Medal (November 11, 2014).
They recognized his ‘outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to
the general public.’ His service as president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation
and now director of the Vatican Observatory is because of his excellent science and
his great faith. Few have made the connection so vividly.”
Brother Consolmagno has written numerous books including the popular “Would You Baptize
an Extraterrestrial?: . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the
Vatican Observatory” (Image, Oct. 2014), which he co-authored with Paul Mueller, SJ.
Other books Consolmagno authored include “Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky
Objects to See in a Home Telescope - and How to Find Them” (Cambridge University Press,
4th Edition, Nov. 2011), and “Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist”
(McGraw-Hill, 1st Edition, Feb. 2000).
Brother Guy Consolmagno will speak in King University’s Memorial Chapel at 9:15 a.m.
in Bristol, Tenn., and again that evening at 7 p.m. at Saint Anne Catholic Church
in Bristol, Va. The events are free and open to the public. For more information,
visit http://faithandculture.king.edu or contact Dr. Shannon Harris at email@example.com, 423-652-4836, or 423-747-3524.
King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in
1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional
degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health
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opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA
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about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of
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College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.