Some friends and I will be leaving tonight to road trip up from Hawaiian Gardens (in southern California) to northern California. On Saturday in San Francisco we'll see the ordination of someone I knew in college! Br. Raphael Mary Salzillo is being ordained a priest for the Dominicans. And no, we didn't go to Franciscan University of Steubenville, but a perfectly secular college, Caltech in Pasadena, California. :)
Here is an mp3 (the audio's of indifferent quality) of a talk on faith and reason that he gave at Caltech a few months ago. It was excellent; I especially liked the point he made about fear. Religious people are sometimes afraid that science will seem to disprove their faith, but it runs the other way too-- scientific types are sometimes afraid to investigate religion too closely, whether because it might not be so easy to disprove, or because they don't want to be tainted by association, I don't know. But as soon as he made the point, I realized it's true. There are lots of little scientific puzzles connected to the Shroud of Turin, or the tilma in Mexico City with Our Lady of Guadalupe on it, or the spiral staircase in New Mexico with no central support (oi, the Snopes page on that one was so stupid-- a real letdown; Snopes is usually a great resource) and anyone with an ounce of scientific curiosity should be interested in getting to the bottom of things. Even if you think it's just a clever fake, don't you want to know how it was done? But most scientists avoid like the plague anything associated with religion. The main point of the talk was that neither side should fear, because faith and reason belong together. That used to be taken for granted; Br. Raphael took us back to medieval history to trace how they were separated.
At the end of the talk we had questions, and people made him tell his vocation story That was funny. :) He majored in physics, and in grad school began to feel called to the priesthood: "I'd find myself in the lab, taking measurements on an atomic force microscope, and at the same time looking on the internet at different orders..."
So that's who's getting ordained on Saturday. Then on Sunday I'll be in Sacramento with eight friends, back at our beloved St. Stephen the First Martyr Church, where there will be a Solemn High Mass for Pentecost, and sung Vespers at 3 pm (this church has a great schola) and then a barbecue to celebrate the 25th ordination anniversary of one of the priests-- the one St. Stephen's stole from St. Peter Chanel. We're putting those Sacramento parishioners on notice. ;)
I'm looking forward to it! I wish all these trips weren't crammed into the same part of the year, but it's worth it.