100 Stories

Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., B.A., M.A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Ph.D. (Arizona)

Director, Vatican Observatory

Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., was born in Detroit, Michigan. He earned undergraduate and masters’ degrees from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona, was a researcher at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, before entering the Jesuits in 1989.
 
Br. Guy has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1993, and was appointed its director by Pope Francis in 2015. Along with his duties at the observatory, Br. Consolmagno conducts scientific research on the connection between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and books, including Brother Astronomer and God’s Mechanics.
 
In February 2012, Br. Guy delivered the 33rd annual Nash Memorial Lecture entitled The New Physics and the Old Metaphysics to a capacity crowd at Campion College. His talk—a response to The Grand Design by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow—explains the relationship between science and religion, and how the two disciplines can support each other in our eternal quest for God.
 
Br. Guy enjoys his work as a scientist, researching and investigating his own hypotheses, playing, as he calls it, in God’s universe. However, he contends that science can only answer the question of how things work, explaining the natural causes of events, not why these forces exist. In his lecture, Br. Guy said: “God is not a force to be invoked to swell a progress, start a scene or two, and fill the momentary gaps in our knowledge. God is the reason why existence itself exists. God is the reason why space, time and the laws of nature can be present to operate the forces that Stephen Hawking is talking about.”
 
The Nash Memorial Lecture is available for viewing in both video and text format on the Campion College website: www.campioncollege.ca/events/nash-memorial-lecture-series.