Gold Masses

By promoting Gold Masses for Scientists around the world, SCS hopes to create spiritual fellowship among Catholic scientists and science educators at the local level.

What is a Gold Mass?

The Society of Catholic Scientists sponsors Gold Masses for Scientists.  This follows in the tradition of special Masses for members of particular professions. The oldest, the Red Mass for lawyers and lawmakers, was introduced in the 13th century. The first White Mass for health care professionals and Blue Mass for law enforcement personnel were begun in the 1930s.  By promoting Gold Masses for Scientists around the world, SCS hopes to create spiritual fellowship among Catholic scientists and science educators at the local level.  A Gold Mass was held in Boston on November 15, 2016. See http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=177861   In November of 2017, seven Gold Masses were celebrated around North America.  During the 2018-9 academic year, seventeen Gold Masses were celebrated. Gold Masses may be celebrated on any date (that does not conflict with a major feast day).  One particularly suitable time is on or near November 15th, the feast of St. Albert the Great, the patron saint of natural scientists.  Dates near the beginning of the fall or spring semester are also convenient. 

Gold Masses are meant to be regional events, bringing together Catholics from that region who are or have been involved with science, including scientists, retired or former scientists, science teachers at any level, science graduate students, undergraduate science majors, and high school students interested in science.  (By "science", we mean more generally STEM areas, i.e. in mathematics, computer science, biomedical research, etc.) Often, the homilist at the mass is a priest or deacon who is a scientist or has some science background, though that is not necessary.  In some cases the bishop may agree to preside. After a Gold Mass there is normally a simple reception where those who attended the Mass can meet and socialize with each other.  The hope is that these Gold Masses will help foster the development of local communities and networks of Catholics involved with science. Such communities and networks, in turn, may lead to collaborations on various projects, such as study groups and public lectures. 

A Gold Mass is easy to arrange. One needs: (a) a church or chapel, (b) a celebrant and homilist, (c) a nearby hall to hold the reception, and (d) permission of the local bishop.  Such masses should be advertised several weeks in advance through local Catholic media, on local college campuses (especially in STEM departments), and in the science and math departments of local Catholic high schools.  Information about upcoming Gold Masses will be posted on the SCS website.   Though the above elements are the only things required for a Gold Mass, it is also possible to make the Gold Mass a more eleborate event, with a public lecture afterwards. An example of this was the Gold Mass held at the University of Notre Dame in 2017

Those interested in planning a Gold Mass in their own city should contact SCS Board member Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P.  (naustria@providence.edu) and cc  smpbarr@gmail.com. 

READINGS AND PROPERS FOR GOLD MASS   

The Gold Mass should not be held on a major feast which has prescribed readings and propers.   One can use the readings and propers for the feast of St. Albert the Great (especially if the Mass is held on the Nov 15, which is St. Albert's feast day).