Theology on Tap, a weekly summer gathering for young Catholics hosted by Archdiocese of Chicago parishes, kicked off its season with a record crowd of more than 500 young adults at Old Crow Smokehouse in July. Fr. Thomas Rosica, media attaché of the Holy See and chief executive officer of Salt and Light TV in Canada, and Michael O’Loughlin, author of Tweetable Pope and national correspondent for America Magazine, lead a discussion about what young adults have in common with Pope Francis.
“Theology on Tap originated in our Archdiocese as a gathering of young people in social settings to discuss our faith,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “I wholeheartedly support such opportunities for dialogue, which these events make possible as they foster growth and understanding for all.”
Theology on Tap is designed to be a casual and welcoming setting for young adults to connect with their peers and discuss topics relevant to understanding and deepening their Catholic faith. The program originated in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1981 as a speaker and conversation series for Catholics in their 20s and 30s, married or single, with meetings in bars, restaurants, coffeehouses and church basements, often with libations available. Over the years, it expanded to more than 40 dioceses across the country and worldwide.
This year, the Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago is introducing a new model where parishes will work in teams rather than each parish managing its own Theology on Tap program. Weekly events will engage young people and their faith journeys on three levels, or taps. They will be invited to grow the Catholic community by reaching out to those who may not regularly attend church or who may need more faith formation; to learn and develop upon an already active faith; and to offer opportunities for community service to put faith into action.
“Theology on Tap is a great way to get young people more involved in their Catholic community,” said Fr. Peter Wojcik, codirector of the Department of Parish Vitality and Mission. “Our goal is to help young people connect and develop their faith and to live it daily. Theology on Tap also provides an opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new friends.”