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A former president of Gonzaga University who counts celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking as a friend, Fr. Spitzer gave a one-hour lecture and then entertained questions from the crowd of about 800 that filled the University’s Memorial Chapel.

For me, Fr. Spitzer was using science to explain not only that there is something, but that it is something that aims at life.  He often used humor to relieve the heaviness of his talk.  Fr. Spitzer emphasized that scientists who propose that an infinite multiverse could produce the universe are arguing such a statistical improbability that it is far easier to believe in God than in their theories.  Toward the end of his talk, in response to questions, he reminded us why we need faith--that science can only point toward a God but cannot tell us the important things about God: whether God loves us unconditionally; whether God is just and merciful; whether God is compassionate when we suffer..  For this we rely on the revelation of Jesus.  

And about existence of aliens—a question asked—because scientists estimate that there are perhaps 100 billion earth-like planets, and the universe is engineered to produce life, Fr. Spitzer fully expects that there are other living beings.  And all of them, he said, would be loved unconditionally by the Father of Jesus.  

Sister Mary Garascia, C.P.P.S., is Director of Special Projects at The Holy Name of Jesus parish in Redlands.