Who would ever think that enjoying a beverage at a bar and learning about the Catholic faith could come together in a fruitful way for our Church? Theology on Tap is a new initiative in the Diocese of Pueblo that offers young adults, ages twenty to forty or so, an opportunity to spend time in a socially comfortable environment and receive Catholic teachings from relevant and engaging presenters. Theology on Tap started nationally in Chicago in 1981. Now, we are able to offer and enjoy this gift since the Vocations Office has purchased the license to use the name and ministry model.
The Theology on Tap website describes their ministry: “RENEW Theology on Tap reaches young adults where they are while inviting them to discover how faith can give sense to their everyday lives. It is a way for dioceses and parishes to discover (or rediscover) these young adults in comfortable, relaxed settings. Our goal is to help you create a sustainable and comprehensive model for ministry designed to meet and engage young Catholic adults wherever they are in their faith journeys.”
Theology on Tap has helped us to also offer other opportunities for our young adults through the diocese. Ales and Apologetics, the same event under a different name, is offered in Grand Junction on a regular basis. Some of our regular presenters, Dr. Seth Wright and I, have also offered this gift to the young adults in Alamosa and Durango.
One of our most recent events was hosted at a local brewery in Pueblo where Fr. Michael Chrisman, Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Pueblo, spoke on the beauty and depth of Catholic Liturgy. The event was hosted in a room usually used for playing pool. However, we over ran the place with a great group of eager young adults. While there is no obligation to purchase food or drink at any of our events, the host location offers a wide variety that individuals purchase on their own to enjoy during the presentation.
Fr. Chrisman's presentation focused on the history of the Mass, the parts of the Mass, and how a person is called from the Mass to serve in our daily lives and then back to the Mass to be nourished again so to live according to Christ’s call. Employing quotes from Saint Justin Martyr’s description of the early Church’s worship, Fr. Chrisman captivated our attention with the connections between citations from this great Saint and our current worship at Mass. He continued to dissect the Mass into its four mains parts: the introduction rites, the liturgy of the Word, the liturgy of the Eucharist, and the concluding rites. As Fr. Chrisman explained each part, he expounded upon Scripture that supports our current praxis.
Finally, at the close of the event, Fr. Chrisman answered questions such as: “Is there a specific wine that must be used at the Mass?” He also answered the question, “If all Catholics consume the Precious Blood from the same chalice, then why are there not more outbreaks of illness in the Catholic Church?” Speaking to the Church's requirements listed in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Fr. Chrisman answered the first question by explaining that the wine used at Mass is to be made of 100% grapes. He continued and answered the second question by explaining the power of grace that is in operation at Mass and that allows us to be united without the dangers of widespread illness.
However, my personal favorite part of the evening is when Fr. Chrisman began the presentation by telling of his brothers and himself playing Mass at home when they were younger. He explained to the millennial young adults present that phones used to have chords! He then demonstrated how he and his brothers would unclip the chord from the phone base and then use the chord and the phone at the bottom to “incense” their pretend church. How genius and hilarious!
For anyone interested in more information about Theology on Tap, please contact the Vocations Office at (719) 544-9861 ext. 1111 or 1114. Information about upcoming events as well as videos and photos of past events are available at Vocations Office Theology on Tap.
Please pray for the fruitfulness of the ministry of Theology on Tap and all that the Diocese of Pueblo is offering for our young adult Catholics who desire to grow in their faith and to offer that same lived faith to others.
Contributor: Nearing the completion of his fifth year of priesthood, Father Carl Wertin has served at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Trinidad, Colorado and now works with seminarians and discerners as the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Pueblo. He enjoys anything outdoors, skateboarding, and being a Catholic priest. He helped start Theology on Tap and is excited to see what God has in store for Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Pueblo.