The United States will experience its first coast-to-coast total eclipse in 99 years Aug. 21. (CNS photo/Beawiharta, Reuters)
Looking at the Solar Eclipse with the Eyes of Faith
Aug. 14, 2017 — For the first time in 99 years, the summer
sky will turn to night at midday Aug. 21 during a solar eclipse along a 70-mile
wide path from coast to coast.
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer and director
of the Vatican Observatory, views the eclipse as an opportunity for millions of
people to step back from everyday concerns and appreciate the universe.
"Anything that reminds the people that the world is
bigger than the latest crisis in Washington or another game in San Francisco,
all of that calls us out of our everyday life," Br. Consolmagno said.
"We're people. We're more than well-fed cows. We're part of the universe.
And that longing is what pulls us toward God.
"But even more than that if you already believe that
this universe is God's creation, then looking at an event like this with the
eyes of faith, you can't help but be filled with awe and gratitude. Awe because
God made things so marvelously, and gratitude because he gave us the ability to
appreciate them," he said.
Maximum eclipse — at two minutes and 40 seconds —
takes place in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Parishioners at Saints Peter and Paul
Church in the southwestern Kentucky town of 32,000 have been preparing for
months. Br. Consolmagno will join parishioners for the eclipse. “My plan is to
just enjoy,” he said. [Source: Catholic
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Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).