It’s looking like most of the Phoenix Diocese will experience a 60-something percent viewing of Monday’s solar eclipse.

While it’s already been reported that some Catholic and public schools are keeping students indoors to protect them from inadvertent eye damage caused by looking directly at the sun, other Catholic parishes, schools and retreat centers across the country are taking a different approach.

The eclipse fits right in with an ongoing celebration of a “Century of Science” at Benedictine college in Kansas. The campus will have guest speakers, viewing parties, concerts and the like Aug. 21. There’s even a commemorative T-Shirt guests can buy.

Jim Creighton, part of a Kentucky parish’s Eclipse Committee, carves specially designed plaques in advance of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. (CNS photo/courtesy Jim Creighton)

Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in a southwestern Kentucky town, where the passage of the moon in front of the sun should be visible the longest, has an official Eclipse Committee. One member making commemorative plaques. Catholic News Service has the full story.

The St. Louis Review was featured in a roundup of how news media — Catholic and secular — plan to cover the event. This was the weekly paper’s front page teaser:

Here’s the full story.

In case you haven’t heard yet, this is why the eclipse is so special:

An Aleteia blogpost reports on “The surprising liturgical coincidence of the solar eclipse.” Among the facts presented is this passage is the reminder from Revelation where she is “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.” Christian symbolism, the blogpost said, uses the moon to symbolize the Blessed Mother since it reflects the light of the sun and she reflects the light of God’s Son.

In the Gospels, however, Mary is largely absent between Christ’s childhood and crucifixion. Pope Francis reflected on that earlier this year, the astute blogger wrote:

Pope Francis said, “the sacred writers suggest this slow eclipsing of her presence, her remaining silent before the mystery of a Son who obeys the Father. However, Mary reappears precisely at the crucial moment: when a large number of friends disperse out of fear. Mothers do not abandon.”

The Jesuits’ new Western Province also has a short article about the eclipse. It includes the viewpoint of a Vatican astronomer.


In Arizona, staff at the Diocesan Pastoral Center were reminded to view the eclipse on break time. The email came with an attachment from Catholic Mutual that shared safety tips for viewing the eclipse.

At Seton Catholic Preparatory in Chandler, math teacher Cecilia Sanders is guiding students, faculty and staff through the eclipse. She will have two telescopes and 100 pairs of glasses on hand for the private affair. Although she teaches math, Sanders coordinates annual field trips to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

Seventh-graders at St. Francis Xavier made simple pinhole cameras to indirectly view the eclipse at its maximum coverage. Younger students will view it in real time online.

School administrators at Ss. Simon and Jude secured the proper eyewear for their students and classes will take turns viewing it outdoors between 9:13 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Parents can also opt to have their child remain indoors.


Arizona viewing info