Author unites faith, science in new book

By  Angelica Vecchiato, Youth Speak News
  • August 3, 2022

David Goulet’s Halos Rising challenges Catholic youth to envision the future of sainthood.

The Toronto-based author and screenwriter’s new novel, a page-turning fantasy anthology, narrates the biographies of tomorrow’s saints.

From Peter Kim, a young doctor, who sacrifices himself for others amidst North Korea’s 2029 avian flu breakout, to the “sainted cyborg” Oscar Camacho from South America, who courageously stands up for his fellow workers in a factory strike, this book aims to inspire the next generation of young saints.

“Ours is a creative and imaginative God, so every time we use our own creativities and imaginations we participate in the divine dance,” said Goulet, a father of two. “Science and faith are not mutually exclusive,” he said. “In many ways they complement each other. Faith inspires science, just as science can inform faith. In my book, I tried to imagine what frontiers our future saints might explore.”

Many saints of the past, according to Goulet, were “amazingly creative people” who tied together faith and science, something which spurred him on as he completed his novel. Goulet cited St. Brendan of Ireland who voyaged across the North Atlantic, and St. Maxmillian Kolbe, who dreamed of making movies and going to the moon in rocket ships, as paragons of adventure-seekers and faith-lovers

As well as meshing faith and science, the novel tackles subject matter germane for the modern world, seeking to provide “new exemplars.” These novel role models, according to Goulet, will help to “navigate the moral and ethical boundaries,” as humanity stands on the crossroads of something never before seen, encountering muddled waters in “genetics, quantum physics and the possibility of exhausting our planet’s resources.”

Halos Rising takes its inspiration from the author’s younger days. In the mid 1980s, when Goulet was in high school, he published a short story in The Catholic Register about colonists on Mars praying to a crucified Martian. Halos Rising draws from this sci-fi motif, but with a futuristic Catholic faith twist.

“I’ve always been a fan of science fiction and fantasy and often thought about how I could combine my faith life with my creative musings. A canon of future saints seemed the ideal platform to do that,” he said.

A cross between “altar boy and fanboy,” Goulet has been a writer for most of his life. Although he spent most of his 20s in Tanzania, Samoa and Tuvalu as a lay associate with the Missionaries of Africa wanting to explore his faith in “brave new worlds,” he continued to write upon his return to Canada while working with several charities.

“I grew up on Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Godzilla movies and (the) Famous Monsters of Filmland (magazine). I also grew up in a remote Eastern Ontario lumber town (Barry’s Bay), which, to my seven-year-old self, seemed in the middle of nowhere,. Movies, comic books and novels became escape portals for my imagination. I would spend hours listening to soundtracks and drawing my own posters for movies I hoped to one day make. I also wrote short stories in school that my teachers liked and encouraged me to keep writing,” said the freelance writer.

Goulet later completed the Act One Christian screenwriting program in Hollywood, realizing his youthful dreams of pursuing a writing career

The Catholic author hopes Halos Rising will hit a personal chord with young readers.

“I hope that these stories could be their stories. Maybe when we look to the saints of the past it’s hard to connect with their lives because of the vast changes in our human context. Could I see myself living in a cave for three years like St. Benedict did? That’s tough. But what about living on the International Space Station for several months in quarters not much bigger than a cave? How would that affect your faith? The future is rushing towards us, and young people today are both blessed and cursed to have to deal with that reality, that context. The good news, pun intended, is that God will be there with us every step, on every moon.”

(Vecchiato, 17, recently graduated from Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in North York, Ont.)

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