In this week's Beacon, the Paterson of Diocese Catholic newspaper, there was an article about Fr. John Catoir and Carl Sagan. Fr. Catoir, the syndicated writer and former head of the Christophers, was a priest at our church when we were kids. Carl Sagan, was the famous astronomer.
It seems that someone had sent Mr. Sagan one of Fr. Catoir's columns where he discussed Mr. Sagan's atheistic views. Mr. Sagan wrote Fr. Catoir regarding it. Fr. Catoir responded and thus started a correspondence between the two.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find the article online. I did however, find an article by Fr. Catoir which includes an interview when he was the Executive Director of Eva's Village, in Paterson. In the article and interview, Fr. Catoir discusses his interesting correspondence.
"I had a correspondence going with Carl Sagan. It lasted for a number of years. Poor Carl died at the end of 1996. He had that wonderful series on PBS called Cosmos. At some point he said, "There’s not a shred of evidence in the entire universe for the existence of the supernatural." Well, he was right. There is no empirical evidence; there’s no test tube that you can put invisible spirit of God into and say, "There He is!" You can’t prove the existence of God in that way. I wrote a column and said that there are more ways of knowing truth than just empirical evidence or science. I explained the old, traditional proof of God that something doesn’t come from nothing..."The Power of Faith
It is interesting that the former reporter and photographer from the Hawaii Catholic Herald, our diocese Catholic newspaper, was also from New Jersey. She invited Fr. Catoir to speak at our church a few years ago. When I had a chance to speak to him, I told Father that I was a member of his parish when I was a little girl. He was so surprised! He even mentioned it during his talk.