Monday, June 16, 2008

Good idea!

Hi Fr. Boniface et al.,
Good idea to start a blog on this topic, to encourage each other to do our job with Christian spirit of dedication, charity, and integrity. May God bless us, our families, and our jobs. May He help us work hard and successfully and give Him glory with our research works.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Vocations for the laity

The homily preached at my Church this weekend referred to another homily by Joseph Cardinal Arinze, actually a commencement address, on vocations for the laity (an unfortunately rare homily topic, in my recollection!). The homily suggests we should live the Gospel in our family, our profession, and by generally sharing our faith. I think that we as computer science professors, practitioners, researchers, etc. can look to Cardinal Arinze's words as a starting point to understand how our own lives can be a witness of God's love.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What Does It Mean To Be a Catholic Computer Scientist?

In his address to the Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI called Catholics to cultivate "a Catholic identity which is based not so much on externals as on a way of thinking and acting grounded in the Gospel and enriched by the Church's living tradition."  In his address to Catholic educators, he said, "The dynamic between personal encounter, knowledge and Christian witness is integral to the diakonia of truth which the Church exercises in the midst of humanity."

Comments such as these left me with the burning question of how I, as a computer science professor, can live this out.  How do I think and act, with regard to teaching and researching in the field of computer science, in a way that is "grounded in the Gospel and enriched by the Church's living tradition?"  I have an obvious advantage over many Catholic computer science professors that I wear religious habit and teach in a Catholic college.  I can begin my classes with prayer, for example.  I keep having the unsettling feeling, however, that I'm only adding Catholicism on as an after-thought, rather than letting it be pervasive in how I teach and research.

I am hoping that this blog will help Catholic computer scientists to help each other integrate the dynamic between personal encounter, knowledge and Christian witness as these apply to the field of computer science.  How do we behave at conferences?  How does Catholicism affect our research practices?  Does Catholic program code look different in some way (more comments maybe :)?  Is "open source" a more Catholic way of developing code?  I think there are many compelling questions for which I am struggling to find clearer answers.