Catholic Doctor an Active Participant in Both Faith and Science

By Margaret E. Hynes

Catholic Doctor an Active Participant in Both Faith and Science

Our culture places a great deal of confidence in science, especially since the pandemic.

While many people believe that science and faith are at odds, that mindset is actually far from true. Many Catholic professionals who serve in the field of science, have a healthy understanding of the connection between these two areas.

For example, Dr. John Robert (Rob) Hamill, Jr. MD, is a parishioner of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa who has a deep faith in God and a deep appreciation for science.

“The world around us points to something greater than us,” said Dr. Rob. who is president of the Catholic Medical Association’s (CMA) Tampa Bay Guild of St. Philomena.

When he was in school, Dr. Rob felt a calling by God to work in the field of medicine.

“I became a physician because I was trying to find some meaning in my life. I wanted to do something for other people, and I felt medicine was a good fit for me,” said Dr. Rob.

In his daily practice of medicine, Dr. Rob seeks to bring the principles of his faith to the office each day.

“The big health issues right now are basically tied to the right to life, whether it is abortion, or pregnancy, or end-of-life issues, and who has the right to end life. The Catholic position is very strong – all life is given from God. Our oath, as physicians, is to do no harm and to help others. All life is valuable,” said Dr. Rob.

He also strives to provide faith-based options to his patients when it is appropriate to do so.

“A lot of my patients are really struggling, alone, or lost in this world. If there is a difficult diagnosis or surgery, I pray. I give my patients that option as well. I don’t impose it, but I make it available to them when I think it’s appropriate,” explained Dr. Rob.

Dr. Rob became involved with the Tampa Guild of the Catholic Medical Association 14 years ago and feels strongly about its impact on the community.

“I feel that physicians need to be leaders both by being a physician but also by living the example that we need to be social distancing to help take care of this crisis of COVID, a major crisis in healthcare right now,” said Dr. Rob.

Dr. Rob arranges the White Mass annually. It’s a Mass held in recognition of the dedicated work of healthcare professionals and to ask God's blessings upon patients, doctors, nurses, and all healthcare professionals.

This year’s celebration was held on September 25th at Christ the King Parish. Bishop Gregory Parkes was the main celebrant for the Mass.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

"Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are." (Paragraph #159)

Teresa Peterson contributed to this article.

Photo Caption: Doctors and other healthcare providers gathered for a photo with Bishop Gregory Parkes after the White Mass at Christ the King Parish in September, 2021.