Grant to fund network of Catholic thought institutes, fostering faith-science dialogue

Kate Olivera   By Kate Olivera for CNA


A photo of the earth by the crew of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, which entered lunar orbit Dec. 24, 1968. Credit: NASA/Bill Anders. / null

Denver Newsroom, Feb 18, 2022 / 15:10 pm (CNA).

A Chicago-based Catholic nonprofit has been awarded more than $3.6 million to assist the launch of a national network of independent institutes of Catholic thought, to promote dialogue about the relationship of faith and science.

“The In Lumine Network sets a place at the table of the secular academy for the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Michael Le Chevallier, acting executive director of the Lumen Christi Institute, in a statement announcing the $3,648,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

“It will help established and nascent institutes for Catholic thought to scale up, deepen their engagement around faith and reason, share ideas, build on the successes of others, and amplify impact,” he said.

Several institutes for Catholic thought already operate on campuses across the United States, but this project by the Lumen Christi Institute is the first to gather them in a consortium.

The project is called “In Lumine: Supporting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide.” It will help institutes of Catholic thought collaborate and refine on-campus offerings, particularly addressing the relationship between faith and science.

The project will also include eight summer seminars for students across the nation.

The project will initially comprise six members: the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago; the Nova Forum at the University of Southern California; the Collegium Institute at the University of Pennsylvania; the Saint Anselm Institute at the University of Virginia; COLLIS at Cornell University; and the Harvard Catholic Forum at Harvard University.

Nova Forum Director David Albertson said the grant will open new dialogue at USC between faith and science, including medicine and engineering.

The program director for the Harvard Catholic Forum voiced similar hopes, saying the grant would allow the Forum to “enter with confidence into a new phase of growth, expanding our impact on present and future leaders in science, scholarship and the professions.”

The grant was announced Feb. 1.

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