I’ll admit that I had not heard of Theology on Tap before I came to the Catholic Herald and my expectations were nonexistent. Now, after having gone to a few, I’ll say I was surprised by what I saw.
Tracy and I traveled to sites in St. Francis, Grafton, New Berlin and Milwaukee to promote MyFaith and the Catholic Herald. As a first-timer to Theology on Tap, I didn’t know how wrong I was about certain things.
First, I wasn’t sure how many young Catholics would show up to these events. In one session Bishop Donald J. Hying told us that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee lost 1,000 parishioners a month last year, and yet, in Grafton and New Berlin the rooms were full.
I thought because we were going to areas with lower populations it would be just the crickets and us. But young people from the area came to listen and participate in a respectful discussion about faith. For example, in Grafton, the theme was based on the TV show, “Hoarders,” and the things we hoard in our lives – like daily Starbucks coffee. If only we approached faith and helping others the way we approach our own vices, how different our world would be.
Second, the Milwaukee site at Rounding Third on Blue Mound Road, was the one I thought FOR SURE would be packed, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, Bishop Hying had to compete against a Brewers game and a venue change which resulted in his making the presentation in the basement. The few that did attend the event were fully participating in the conversation with Bishop Hying, and I left with a stronger understanding of living my faith in a secular society.
Some young people might have a problem, or many problems, with the Catholic Church, but the purpose of these events is to have a discussion about what is going on in the church today. Some people came to the sessions with deep questions about life, faith and God, and I hope they left with more understanding of Catholic teachings.
If the Brewers went around southeastern Wisconsin, allowing people to discuss positives and negatives, fans would come to vent and express their passion for the team. Young Catholics need to apply the same enthusiasm to the church, especially when the archdiocese invites you to express yourself.
I admitted to not knowing about Theology on Tap; now, having experienced several sessions, I’ll probably make it a regular summer activity. This type of event is for those who, like me, would rather be involved in a discussion than attend a lecture.
If you weren’t one of people we met this year, keep us in mind for next year. In the meantime, take part in “Brewing the Faith,” a new, monthly speaker series that meets all year, every second Tuesday of the month at Reveres Wells Street Tavern, 505 Wells St., Delafield. Free drinks and appetizers start at 6:30 p.m. followed by a speaker at 7 p.m. Visit www.lakecountrycatholics.com for more information.