Wednesday - 08/20/2003
Week of August 25,
Theology on Tap quenches spirits
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Sans smoky air, rowdy bar patrons and loud
music, close to 200 people filled Stonehouse
Pub, 11012 Jasper Ave., to standing room only on Aug. 19.
Beer or other inebriating beverages were not tops on patrons'
order lists. Though most of them had something to drink, what they
really came for was the "theology on tap."
This was the scene at the pub for four consecutive Tuesday
nights since July 29. Young adults gathered to listen and discuss
various issues in the world that demand and calls for a faith
perspective with theological experts.
This program is not new, but unheard of before in Edmonton.
The idea behind the series is to take theology where young
people live and play. It started in Chicago in 1981 as a way to
reach out to young people at universities and colleges during the
Youth ministry coordinator Roger Lamoureux,
one of the organizers, was beaming, both with pride and gratitude.
"We're just flabbergasted. We were talking when we planned it,
if we get 30 to 50 people on a regular basis, we would be very
By Aug. 19, attendance climbed close to 200.
On its last night, the topic was ever ancient, ever new.
Social justice activist Bob McKeon shared his personal stories
related to the Vietnam War, discussed biblical models of war and
the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teachings on just war.
Fresh in people's minds was that day's suicide bombing of UN
headquarters in Baghdad and discussions dwelt on the morality of
the War in Iraq
For most people, the Catechism's principles
on just war were new and something they have never paid attention
to before. McKeon explained the principles were worded
differently, although they were the same principles that world
leaders stood by in opposing the War in Iraq.
McKeon admitted, "There's certainly some critique with the just
war theology itself."
"John Paul II calls us to go beyond the just war principles
because the Gospel calls us to non-violence."
convinced theology on tap is a way of formation "in a pretty safe
environment, And yet it's challenging because the speakers are all
constantly saying, 'Where do you stand on this?'"
On its July 29 opening night, Notre Dame Sister Mary Lou
Cranston spoke about bioethics. Julien
Hammond discussed interfaith and ecumenical relations on Aug. 5
while Redemptorist Father David
Purcell led an Aug. 12 discussion on the use and misuse of
Scripture by Christians.
Jason Gariepy, 27, communications
manager for the provincial government, acted as the host of the
"It's about how we as Catholics can get along better with other
Christians and with other major religious groups, and how we can
have a better common understanding and how we can learn from each
other, be respectful and accepting of each other while still
maintaining our Catholic values and principles."
He believes this is the central message of all theology on tap
U of A civil engineering student Dennis
Bremault, attended the last two nights. "It wouldn't be the
first time I talked about my faith in a bar. It's
kinda cool. Your faith is everywhere.
God has always been there for me, that's why faith is important
On Aug. 26 Archbishop Thomas Collins will celebrate a Mass with
this group to be followed by a barbecue at Mary Help of Christians
The tap has been turned off for this year. It will surely be
opened next summer, but its patrons remained thirsting for more
theology on tap.