Institute Day, Archdiocese of New York

Monday, February 5, 2018  ||  8:30AM - 3:00PM  

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"Science and Religion: The Myth of Conflict"


Many have claimed that modern science and Christian faith have been opposed historically, philosophically, and in what they say about the physical world. In his keynote, Prof. Barr will show the reverse to be true, that what has been opposed to Christian faith is not science itself but a reductive philosophy called scientific materialism and that modern science has revealed things that are deeply consonant with traditional Catholic theology. 

The Institute Day is designed with Catholic secondary educators in mind but is open to 7th and 8th- grade teachers as well.  During the workshop sessions, teachers will discuss and develop strategies for implementing the dialogue between science and religion into their curriculum and teaching.  Participating teachers will select which colloquia and workshops they would like to attend when they register.  Please register here.

The Institute Day is made possible through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, the Archdiocese of New York, and Cardinal Hayes High School.

Click here to register!


8:30 - 9:00 AM Registration Check-In

9:00 - 9:30 AM Mass

9:45 - 10:00 AM Welcome & Introduction

10:00 - 11:00 AM Keynote Presentation, Stephen Barr, Ph.D. 

11:15 - 12:00 PM Colloquia Sessions 1 & 2

12:00 - 12:45 PM Lunch

12:45 - 1:45 PM Workshops 1, 2 & 3

2:00 - 2:45 PM Roundtable Panel Discussion

2:45 - 2:50 PM Evaluation & Closing Prayer

3:00 PM End

 On registration, teachers sign up for colloquia and workshop sessions, based on their interest.

Registration is required

Colloquia Topics

Colloquium 1 - "Catholicism and Evolution" - Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D.

In this talk, Prof. Stephen Barr will explain how the Catholic Church has looked at the theory of Evolution over time, and why she has never seen it as contrary to the Faith or a danger to it.  It will also examine many common religious objections to Evolution and how they are mostly based on misunderstandings of Catholic doctrine or a failure to appreciate certain important insights of traditional Catholic thought.  Finally, the talk will discuss human origins and Original Sin and why traditional Catholic teaching on these does not contradict Evolution.

Colloquium 2 - "Science, Society and Spirituality: Supporting the Maturing Faith of Young People by Examining the Advancements of Science." - Heather Foucault-Camm, M.Sc., PGCE

Despite the beauty and divinity implicit in the scientific discoveries of these last centuries, the tendency of the 21st century has been to adopt a reductionist outlook on our life in the universe, which has had a profound effect on the lives and faith of students.  In this presentation, Heather Foucault-Camm will explore strategies and share insights to help educators bridge the gap that young people firmly believe exists between science and religion. Well-informed educators capable of engaging young people in meaningful ‘big picture’ discussions on an array of scientific issues have the best possible chance of guiding those they serve to the correct conclusion: science serves humanity only when envisioned through the lens of a sound moral framework.

Workshop Topics

Workshop 1 - "Ethics in Scientific Research" - Heather Foucault-Camm, M.Sc., PGCE

Mrs. Heather Foucault-Camm will explore with the workshop participants one exciting possibility for the integration of science and religion into the high school classroom – the design of a novel course whose objective is to empower students to see how their faith can help them become BETTER scientists. Participants in this workshop will leave with the resources to help them construct a course of their own (i.e., possible module titles, literary sources, etc…) and student/parent feedback on this model suggestive of its profound impact and applicability. I ask any participant the same question my students are asked: at what point is science no longer a service to humanity?

Workshop 2 - "Science and the Bible: The Catholic Approach to the Relationship" - Chris Baglow, Ph.D.

Much of the confusion about science and religion stem from the assumption that the Bible has already answered major scientific questions about the universe to which actual science offers rival answers. To address this misconception, Dr. Chris Baglow will explain the Catholic approach to biblical truth and its relation to scientific discovery. He will then investigate the question, "Does the Bible encourage or discourage the scientific investigation of the universe?" Finally, he will address the proper interpretation of the Genesis 1 account of creation in the light of modern science.

Workshop 3 - "Galileo and the Church: Understanding the Conflict" - Cory Hayes, Ph.D.

For many, the Galileo Affair has become the lens through which the Church's relationship to modern science is seen as one of conflict and oppression. Yet it is the sad exception to what is otherwise a glorious history of the Church's patronage and support of scientific inquiry. Beginning with Copernicus and ending with St. John Paul II, Dr. Corey Hayes will examine the trials of Galileo, the major players involved and the issues that were at play in his 1633 condemnation by the Inquisition for the sake of understanding the lessons it has for us today.



Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D.

University of Delaware

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Prof. Stephen Barr teaches physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware. In addition to his research, Dr. Stephen M. Barr has also written and lectured extensively on the relation between science and religion. He was elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010 and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007 for service to the Church.  He is the President of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

He is the author of Modern Physics, Ancient Faith (2003), A Students Guide to Natural Science (2006), and more recently The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion (2016).  He has also written for a variety of national publications and lectures widely on the relation of science and religion for broad academic and religious audiences.


Christopher Baglow, Ph.D.

Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, LA

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Prof. Chris Baglow is from New Orleans, LA, where he serves Notre Dame Seminary as a Professor of Dogmatic Theology. He received his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. Baglow’s creative work includes Faith, Science, Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge, a high school religion textbook on the relationship between the Catholic faith and modern science, and the seminary course Emergence of the Image: Human Evolution from Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives.  

Since 2007 he has directed programs of Catholic academic integration at St. Mary’s Dominican H.S. (New Orleans, LA) and McGill-Toolen Catholic H.S. (Mobile, AL). He is currently working on a 2nd edition of his textbook and is Director of Foundations New Orleans, a week-long summer seminar program for Catholic high school science and theology teachers sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. 

Heather Camm, M.Sc., PGCE

Sanford School, Hockessin, DE

Heather Camm

Heather Foucault-Camm is a high school chemistry teacher with graduate degrees in physical chemistry and education from the Universities of Ottawa (Canada) and Leeds (United Kingdom).  Married with two children (Penelope and Edward), Heather has pursued the question of how to communicate the positive influence that faith can have on the practice of science to Catholic youth.


The creation of a course called ‘The Ethics of Science’ is Heather’s attempt to resolve this issue by exploring the relationship between faith and reason through the lens of contemporary ethics. Heather Foucault-Camm is an invited speaker at the University of Notre Dame’s summer Foundations and Capstone series with the broad theme of ‘Nourishing the Catholic Imagination of Teachers at the Intersection of Science and Religion’.

Cory Hayes, Ph.D.

St. Joseph Seminary College, Saint Benedict, LA

Cory Hays

Prof. Cory Hayes is a professor of Philosophy and Theology at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA.  He holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.  He has also pursued studies at the Gregorian and Angelicum universities in Rome, Italy.  He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 16 years, and they have 7 children (Samantha, Abigail, Bennett, Aidan, Magdalene, Augustine, and Caeli) whom they homeschool. 

His research and teaching interests include Byzantine and Eastern Christian theology, philosophy of nature, and the relation between theology, philosophy, and empirical science.  With Chris Baglow, he is a facilitator for Foundations New Orleans, a week-long seminar program for Catholic science and theology teachers sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. 



Through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, the Archdiocese of New York, and Cardinal Hayes High School, registration is free of charge for teachers who register by January 26, 2018.

 For more information, please email



Cardinal Hayes High School    650 Grand Concourse     Bronx, New York 10451

Please consider using public transportation. Cardinal Hayes high school cannot provide parking for seminar participants but is conveniently located two blocks north of the 149th Concourse Subway Station, served by subway line 2 and 5. 

Click here for directions.