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About the Blogger

Dr. Katherine F. DeVries is a former Associate Director of the Young Adult Ministry Office.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Theology-on-Tap and the Search for Meaning

The Young Adult years (20s & 30s) are a time of asking some really deep, meaning-seeking questions.  My high school English teacher, Mr. Paul Baltz, used to refer to "the Alfie question."  Just what is it all about, anyway?  He went on to teach us a brilliant strategy of logical reasoning, involving the value of grappling with IRQ’s - Issue Raising Questions. 

Life is filled with IRQ's – especially during the Young Adult years.  Those are the years when, as Fr. John Cusick says, "More things of significance are happening for the very first time than have ever happened before or will ever happen again."  Such things are bound to stir up deep questions, as people search for meaning in their lives.  The main concerns of young adults - relationships, spirituality, and work - are all laden with choices, challenges, and ever-changing variables that make navigating the best path a true adventure for even the bravest of heart. 

A group of young adults are pictured gathered outside the St. Mary of the Lake parish rectory in Chicago while listening to one of the many summer conversation sessions offered as part of last year’s Theology on Tap. The session was titled, "Why Bother with the Church?"

Thankfully, we are not on the journey alone… and we Catholics have some amazing tools at our disposal!  For Young Adults, a significant tool is Theology-on-Tap.

Theology-on-Tap, celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year, is a free, summer speaker and conversation series designed for Young Adults to address those meaning-seeking questions.  Each 2-hour session explores an element of the Catholic faith and the Christian life.  First, a speaker presents wisdom from the Catholic tradition on a particular topic.  Then, participants enter into conversation with their peers, exploring how the information presented impacts everyday life. 

Among the 93 different topics offered this summer are: 

  • Recognizing God in Everyday Events
  • You Are So Not In Control!
  • How to Win the Love of Your Life
  • The Lost Art of Sunday
  • How Can I Be a Good Catholic in Today’s Workplace?
  • Relationships – What a Trip!
  • Catholic Q & A
  • Living Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life

Theology-on-Tap supports young adults in connecting with peers who share their faith, and helps them better understand the rich traditions and tools of our Catholic faith (i.e., prayer, Scripture, Sunday Mass, the sacraments, etc.).  The sessions help them know that they are not alone in their questions, struggles, hopes, fears and joys.  Additionally, Theology-on-Tap helps them make connections between the Catholic faith and everyday life.

This summer, 56 Parishes and Catholic Student Centers throughout the Chicagoland area are opening their doors to Young Adults.  With each site hosting one night a week for 4 consecutive weeks, young adults will gather at 224 sessions!  A bit of trivia:  Over the past 30 years, there have been 4188 sessions hosted in well over half of our 357 parishes. More than 270 speakers have been privileged to address over 40,000 young adults during the summer sessions.

In honor of the 30th Anniversary Celebration, all present and past participants of Theology-on-Tap are invited to attend the finale celebration with Cardinal George on Sunday, August 8.  Mass at Holy Name Cathedral begins at 3 pm, followed by the Picnic at the Cardinal’s residence.  It promises to be quite a celebration!!! 

May God continue to bless and guide all of us, we face our IRQ’s with the support of one another, and within the context of the Catholic faith.

Theology-on-Tap 2010
Sunday, July 11 – Sunday, August 8.

Young Adult Ministry – Archdiocese of Chicago

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