Students at CTKHS explore science and faith
MOORESVILLE — Discussions about bioethics and morality may not characterize conversations at most high schools, but at the new Christ the King High School in Mooresville, contentious issues are part of the discussion during its inaugural "Bridge Week," designed to explore the connections between faith and reason.
Students at Christ the King are learning to "ask questions that will lead to truth," said Dean of Students Michael Smith. And the week-long break from classes between the fall and spring semesters was an ideal opportunity for students to learn more about how science and Church teaching intersect.
Students began "Bridge Week" with a field trip to Schiele Planetarium in Gastonia, and followed it up with a trip later in the week to Lake Norman Medical Center. Lecturers from several colleges and universities, as well as a host of physicians, made presentations to students about how faith enlightens their work as scientists, especially in the medical field.
Students delved into bioethics on Thursday with Father Mike Dolan, M.D., a retired priest and physician from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. (as well as the father of Christ the King High School's principal Dr. Dan Dolan), and Dr. Steve Stowe, a gastroenterologist and commentator on bioethical issues.
Pictured above: (From left) Ninth-graders John Walkowski and Mary Selzer listen during a discussion with Jack Peele, physics and math teacher, during Bridge Week at Christ the King High School. (Photo provided by Esther Vish)
"Understanding science is understanding how God works," Stowe noted. Students viewed and interpreted photos of the human body taken via an endoscopic "pill cam" with Stowe later that day.
Taking time to explore God's creation was a primary facet of the week. In his opening comments, Dr. Dan Dolan remarked that "we want to embrace this desire to know and question as a unique and fundamental aspect of the voyage that all humans take. We want our students to become real and daring explorers."
Invoking the memory of Blessed John Paul II, who said "faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth," Dolan said students are learning to become engaged in a world of scientific and moral complexity with the Church as a reliable guide. He observed that Bridge Week was ultimately intended to "invite new knowledge, understanding and inquiry."
Dolan said Bridge Week gave students "an opportunity to flesh out some of the questions that we encountered during the first semester and develop questions for exploration during the second."
During a student-led conversation toward the end of the week, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was frequently referred to as a starting point for their dialogue.
Said student Alexandria Cedrone, "We've learned a lot this week about how God works."
— Charlie Jackson, intern
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