The first steps of Neil Armstrong were “one giant leap for mankind” and led Catholics from Vince Lombardi to Paul VI to reflect on their faith and place in the universe. For some, the Apollo 11 mission was a source of inspiration – for others, there was concern that looking to the heavens meant forgetting those in need on Earth. Plus, the Bishop of the Moon.
Commentary on the Catholic reaction to Apollo 11
Vatican Flag carried aboard Apollo 11 and Apollo 15
Medal given to Buzz Aldrin by Paul VI
Apollo 11 goodwill messages – including that of Pope Paul VI
Vatican Radio broadcast on Apollo 11 mission with words of Pope Paul VI
Video of Paul VI looking at moon through telescope during the Apollo 11 mission, watching the landing on television and speaking about the landing.
Image of Pope Paul VI watching Apollo 11 on television
Image of Pope Paul VI with Apollo 11 astronauts
The Space Hymn can be found here on page 6
On the Bishop of the Moon
Armstrong, Neil, Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin. First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. 1st ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.
Farrell, OSB, Gerard. “Our Father’s God Whose Ever-Mighty Hand – Space Hymn” found in Our Parish Prays and Sings; a Service Book for Liturgical Worship with Official Texts, Hymns, Psalms and Paraliturgies. Collegeville, Minn: The Liturgical Press, 1965: 566-567.
Rahman, Tahir. We Came In Peace For All Mankind: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc. Silicon Disc, LLC, 2008.
Specola Vaticana. The Heavens Proclaim: Astronomy and the Vatican: A Book. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Vistor ; [Rome, Italy] : Vatican City State : Vatican Observatory Publications, 2009.
Wilson, Charles Reagan. “American Heavens: Apollo and the Civil Religion.” Journal of Church and State 26, no. 2 (March 31, 1984): 209–226.
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