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Faith and reason celebrated at first Gold Mass for scientists


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CAMBRIDGE -- The newly formed Society of Catholic Scientists held their first ever event, a Gold Mass for scientists, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's chapel, Nov. 15.

An international group that was incorporated into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over the summer, the Society of Catholic Scientists, "exists as a place where Catholic scientists can share their knowledge, perspectives, and intellectual and spiritual gifts with each other for their mutual enrichment, and with fellow Catholics and the wider community," according to its website.

The Gold Mass, which was co-sponsored by the society and MIT's Tech Catholic Community, drew in around 75 people, organizers said.

"We had a good turnout" said Father Dan Moloney, chaplain at MIT and University of Massachusetts Boston, noting that "a mix of students, professors, and area scientists," attended the Mass.

Like other Masses designed to honor those in a specific profession, such as the Blue Mass for emergency personnel, the White Mass for health care professionals, and the Red Mass for legal professionals, the Gold Mass is meant to honor those in the science field.

The color gold was chosen because it is the color of the hoods worn by those graduating with a Ph.D. in science and because the patron saint of scientists, St. Albert the Great, was an alchemist at a time when people believed it was possible to turn base metals into gold. The Mass was held on his feast day.

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