Human beings attain truth by way of reason because, enlightened by faith, they discover the deeper meaning of all things and most especially of their own existence.” Saint Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, No. 20

The Institute begins with the relationship between faith and scientific inquiry in particular and faith and reason in general.  This is a topic of importance for each day of the week, namely, the use of faith and reason to find truth in distinct forms of inquiry and truth to answer “Big Picture Questions.”

Faith and Science Speakers

Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J.

Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he earned undergraduate and masters’ degrees from MIT, and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona. He was a researcher at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics, before entering the Jesuits in 1989.

At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies, measuring meteorite physical properties in Castel Gandolfo and observing distant asteroids with the Vatican’s telescope in Arizona.

Dr. Consolmagno has served as chair of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and president of the IAU Commission on Planets and Satellites; the IAU has named asteroid 4597 Consolmagno in his honor.


Thomas Clemmons, PhD

Dr. Thomas Clemmons is Assistant Professor of Church History  at the Catholic University of America and the Faculty Mentor for Light the World! . He teaches in the areas of Latin Patristics, early medieval theology and Augustinian theology. He has a particular research interest in Augustine’s Confessions and his anti Manichaean works and the medieval reception of Augustine.

He received a Phd in the History of Christianity from Notre Dame and also holds an Masters in Early Christianity from Notre Dame and an MTS from Vanderbilt. He lives in Maryland with his wife and four children.




Brandon Vaidyanathan, PhD

Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Catholic University. He was born and raised in the Arabian Gulf. His educational background includes a BBA from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, an M.Sc. in Management from HEC Montreal, a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, a specialization in Design Thinking from the Darden Business School, and training in Nonprofit Performance Measurement from the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School.

His research examines the cultural dimensions of religious, commercial, medical, and scientific institutions. His current and ongoing research examines the aesthetic dimensions of science and mental health issues in religious communities.





Our son could not stop talking about the NASA trip. He has always been extremely intellectually curious, he is at a time of seeking to learn how build his career, and he appreciates faith stores that inform and motivate; these activities satisfied all three of these things very well!-  Jill, Parent of Participant