Hundreds of churchgoers gathered at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Hopkinsville Sunday evening to hear from Brother Guy Consolmagno, whom the church invited to offer a presentation ahead of Monday's total solar eclipse.
Brother Consolmagno is the director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He was appointed directly by the Pope.
His speech described how religion and science are not at odds, in the mind of the Catholic faith. He repeatedly underlined that the Vatican and Pope Francis were committed to science and thought religion and science went hand-in-hand.
"It's important that the Vatican supports churches and church people who support science," Brother Consolmagno said. "It's really important that Catholics understand that the church endorses science, supports science."
Though Consolmagno is most commonly known as the Pope's astronomer, there is actually a team of astronomers employed by the Vatican. Brother Consolmagno said there was no particular history of Catholics observing eclipses. He simply wanted witness the historic event -- something he's tried to do before but been thwarted by cloudy skies.
Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks presented Consolmagno with a key to the city.