Do you believe in miracles?
That was the focus of a two-part series recently presented by Ryan Huschka, associate professor of chemistry at Newman University, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Through the series, Huschka led participants in an exploration of the interplay between science and faith by studying two miracles: the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the tilma of St. Juan Diego, and the Eucharistic Miracles in which the consecrated host and wine turns into visible human flesh and blood.
Both sessions of the series shared details about these captivating miracles and encouraged participants to review and critique the scientific evidence.
“From my experience, it appears that both Catholics and non-Catholics have not heard about the science of miracles,” Huschka said. “As the Gospels demonstrate, people started following Jesus because of the amazing miracles He was performing. Jesus also performed miracles to demonstrate both His power and His love for His followers. I hope that by sharing the science of miracles with others, they would start to think about Jesus’s amazing love for them.”
Approximately 100 people attended each talk, and it was the most highly attended series at the Spiritual Life Center since in-person events resumed post-COVID.
“I credit that success to the amazing Spiritual Life Center staff who translated the talks to Spanish, advertised and provided all the technology support,” Huschka said. “I talked with several attendees who said they learned a lot from The Science of Miracles series. Most importantly to me, I heard from attendees that they were intrigued and inspired to learn more on their own after attending the series.”
Huschka shared that the idea for the series came from his being a devout Catholic, as well as a scientist.
“Throughout my life, I have become more interested in learning about how the Catholic church uses science to investigate the miraculous,” he said. “I first had the idea about seven years ago to design a course at Newman titled Miracles & Science. Two years ago, I finally put in the time and energy to offer it for the first time.”
This course looks at Catholic miracles from both theological and scientific perspectives. One of the main goals of the course is to demonstrate how faith and scientific reasoning can be complementary. David Saunders, the director of the Spiritual Life Center, heard about the Miracles & Science course from other Newman University faculty members. He then asked Huschka if he would pick two topics to present as part of The Science of Miracles series. After some discussion, the two decided upon Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Eucharistic Miracles.
“It was a very humbling and incredible opportunity to speak about the amazing miracles that God has performed,” Huschka said. “I had always wanted to present this topic to a wider audience outside of Newman University. I owe the Spiritual Life Center staff a big thank you for the great opportunity!”
As more opportunities arise, Huschka plans to continue giving presentations on the topic.
“Honestly, I don’t know where it will go, but God has a plan to use it,” he said.