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 News Service]