Development Report

In 2016 the VOF started the year in Phoenix with our Annual Seminar and the traditional Circles of Giving Dinner honoring several of our most loyal donors. The over 200 who attended the morning Seminar learned much from four brilliant experts about “Water in the Universe.” This theme was a precursor to the discussions that would be held in June at the biennial Vatican Observatory Summer School in Castel Gandolfo. Later that day those at the dinner were fascinated by Dr. Jim Bell’s presentation about his work with NASA’s three Mars rovers. The VOF outreach programs continued to thrive last year. The second Faith and Astronomy Workshop was held again in January at the inspiring Redemptorist Renewal Center outside Tucson. Here parish educators spent 4 days learning about astronomy and how it can enhance their faith. Again, in 2016 several groups of high school students worked with Fr. Richard Boyle using VATT to create images of their favorite astronomical subjects. The students chose subjects with very specific criteria including size and the time frame and provided the precise coordinates. With the results from Fr. Boyle and VATT they composed some incredibly beautiful astrophotography. Conversations on The Catholic Astronomer blog continue to increase with more weekly contributors and more interested readers joining in. If you haven’t seen the site check it out at http://www.vofoundation.org/blog. There are fascinating articles about all kinds of things: falling into a black hole, art and astronomy, possible mud cracks on Mars, stars and the Bible, etc. Consider joining the conversation by subscribing to the monthly Sacred Space

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