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For Immediate Release: November 18, 2013

Vatican Official to Deliver Annual St. Albert the Great Lecture at Providence College

Providence, R.I. – Providence College’s Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies (CCDS) will present its annual St. Albert the Great Lecture on Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in the Aquinas Hall lounge on campus. The lecture will be presented by Father Christopher J. Corbally, S.J., President, National Committee for Astronomy, Vatican City State, International Astronomical Union, who will speak on “Twenty Years of an Innovative Telescope for the Vatican.”

Fr. Corbally was born near London in 1946 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1963. He completed the licentiate in philosophy at Heythrop College, Oxfordshire in 1968; his bachelor’s degree in physics at Bristol University in 1971; and his master’s degree in astronomy at the University of Sussex (Brighton) in 1972. He was ordained in 1976, the year that he earned a bachelor of divinity in theology from Heythrop College, London. He also received a Pastoral Diploma in 1977.

After ordination, he obtained a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1983. Since then Fr. Corbally has been a research astronomer of the Vatican Observatory and was its Vice Director for the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson until 2012.

He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the President of the National Committee for Astronomy in the Vatican City State for the International Astronomical Union. He was the president of the IAU's Division IV (Stars), 2009-2012. He is a member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science , for which he was president from 1999-2002.

His research interests include multiple star systems, stellar spectral classification, peculiar and metal-weak stars, activity in solar-type stars, galactic structure, and telescope technology.

This lecture is part of series throughout the academic year for the CCDS, through the generosity of Mr. Edward J. Quinn, Jr. '63 and his wife Kathleen Reilly Quinn.

It is presented in honor of the feast day of St. Albert the Great, which is November 15. This Dominican Friar, better known as Albertus Magnus, was born in Lauingen, Swabia, in 1206 and died in Cologne, Prussia, in 1280. He introduced Greek and Arabic science and philosophy to medieval Europe, was considered on a par with Aristotle as an authority on the natural sciences, and was the most influential teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas. Albert served as the Bishop of Regensburg, Bavaria, was canonized in 1931, is hailed as the “Universal Doctor of the Church,” and is the patron of the natural sciences, philosophers, and scientists.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies. For more information, please call (401) 865-2870.


Chrissy Centazzo
Public Affairs, Community and Government Relations
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