Members of the scientific community from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia gathered for a Gold Mass in Caldwell Chapel last week. The Mass was concelebrated by Rev. Louis Maximilian Smith, O.F.M.Conv., associate chaplain for University faculty and staff, and Rev. Andrew Buechele, Sch. P., a scientist at Vitreous State Laboratory at Catholic University.
Gold Masses are votive Masses to St. Albert the Great, and are sponsored by local organizations of the Society of Catholic Scientists (SCS). One of the earliest mentioned on the society’s website is a Mass held at MIT in 2016. The color gold is drawn from the color of the hoods worn by Ph.D. graduates in the sciences.
“Many scientists are led deeper in faith by encounters with the beautiful and subtle order of the natural world revealed through scientific exploration,” says Christopher Raub, associate professor of biomedical engineering. “Catholic scientists may also participate in the beauty and order manifest in the Sacraments and traditions of the Church, including those contained within the votive Mass for St. Albert the Great, who is the patron saint of scientists. The Gold Mass is a great opportunity for worship and mutual fellowship for Catholics in the scientific community."
Catholic University began sponsoring an annual Gold Mass in 2018. In 2020, a Gold Mass was not sponsored because of the COVID pandemic. The 2021 Mass was postponed from the fall to early February 2022.
According to its website, through Gold Masses, SCS hopes to “create spiritual fellowship among Catholic scientists, science educators, and science students at the local level.” Scientists, retired or former scientists, science teachers at all levels, and students are welcomed. After the Gold Mass, a reception was hosted in Caldwell Hall.