The Creationism vs. The Science of Evolution debate took on a new dimension last week when Pope Francis declared that “…evolution and the Big Bang Theory are right” and that “God isn’t a magician with a magic wand.”

Thomas Berry, a cultural historian and eco-theologian, always maintained that all the stories and theories that attempt to explain the origin of the universe are contained in the Cosmos Story and that none of them is at odds with it.

Berry (1914-2009) was a scholar, monk, shaman, prolific author and more.  He was awarded eight honorary doctorate degrees in his lifetime and recognized all over the world for bringing into consciousness a new vision of the human-earth relationship.  He authored eight books and inspired the creation of over 100 organizations in the United States and beyond.

Through the Thomas Berry lens, we learn to see the sacred in every living thing as we behold the miracles of everyday life.  From practices of noticing movements of seasons and cycles to small moments of drifting clouds, changing colors, smells of spring rain, intricacies of spider webs, etc., we see, as Berry put it, “the natural world… infused with the presence of the Divine.”

Many Oak Parkers will be celebrating Berry’s 100th birthday on Saturday, Nov. 8,  from 8:30 a.m. to noon at The Well Spirituality Center at 1515 W. Ogden Ave.  LaGrange Park. Carolyn Toben, a Berry aficionado and author of “Recovering A Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry,” will be telling his story.  Other close friends and mentorees will be sharing personal stories of this great man.

To register, call 708-482-5048.  Hope to see you there!

Mary Erkins

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