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

October 14, 2014 — Before joining the Jesuits, Joseph Carver saw that Seattle shelters couldn't accommodate all the homeless, so he worked with churches to open up more space.

October 13, 2014 — Jesuits Adam DeLeon and Eric Immel recall formation experiences that changed the way they looked at themselves and looked at the world.

October 9, 2014 — Jesuit Father Timothy P. Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference, gave a speech on the Ignatian concept of "magis" at a Loyola Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., today.

October 8, 2014 — Jesuit Father Jack Bentz's new ministry is taking him into uncharted territory: a large public university.

October 6, 2014 — Fr. Terrence Curry, SJ, knew working in China would require him to develop a dependence on God and a deep sense of devotion by choosing to be vulnerable.

October 6, 2014 — Jesuit Father Paul McCarthy recently retired at age 90 after 14 years at a parish in Utah, but he plans to remain active in retirement.

October 2, 2014 — The Jesuit Conference and 23 other national faith-based organizations are calling on President Obama to address rights violations of the current immigration system.

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 - 9/15/14

America - 9/1/14

America - 8/18/14



Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, located north of Detroit in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., offers retreatants a respite from the city on its 37–acre campus with almost 50,000 trees.