WASHINGTON (CNS) — On the International Space Station there’s a place, while filled with robotic equipment, where astronauts like to hang out. Called the Cupola, the small module has seven large bay windows that give crew members a panoramic view of Earth.
On his first — and thus far only — mission into space in September 2013, astronaut Mike Hopkins was eager to find the Cupola. What he saw he found amazing.
“When you see the Earth from that vantage point and see all the natural beauty that exists, it’s hard not to sit there and realize there has to be a higher power that has made this,” said Hopkins, who is Catholic.
It was in the Cupola that Hopkins found himself praying and at times taking Communion.
Under a special arrangement with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and with the help of Father James H. Kuczynski, pastor of Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood, Texas, Hopkins’ parish, the rookie astronaut carried a pyx with six consecrated hosts broken into four pieces. It was enough so that he could take Communion once a week for the 24 weeks he was aboard the ISS.
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