Melbourne man John Smyth, 27, has brought to life theology, friendship, food and a drink or two with Theology at the Pub, a project modelled on the successful Sydney-based Theology on Tap.
“We wanted to get young Catholic adults together for their own benefit as well as providing a witness in a public place. The evenings have three elements: social, catechetical and evangelistic,” said John.
So popular is this style of program that Queensland hosted their first Faith on Tap just recently.
Theology at the Pub has gained momentum since World Youth Day 2008. Gathering at the Pumphouse Hotel in Fitzroy recently were about 200 hundred young people and Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne Christopher Prowse. They came to hear his reflections ‘After WYD: What next?’
Michelle Correia, coordinator of Hearts 4 Christ Croydon, reflected publicly about WYD 08 when prompted by Bishop Prowse.
“There were people there from all walks of life who believed the same thing as you,” said Michelle, 22. “There appeared to be so much to whinge about, but no one was whingeing!”
Bishop Prowse offered five rules of life in his address to the young gathering, in the context of the post-WYD modern world:
1. Be forever Pentecost young. 2. Be forever Catholic. 3. Be forever missionary. 4. Be forever poor. 5. Be forever loving and little.
Bishop Prowse said: “My hope is that WYD will become a normal part of young Catholic existence.” And, acknowledging the large migrant presence at the pub, he added that the new youth evangelisers were coming from our migrant communities. This underlined the responsibility of all gathered to evangelise in their daily interactions.
Nearing the end of the night, the young people had the opportunity to make suggestions. The suggestions ranged from participating in a Catholic media group, participating in music ministry and encouraging youth leaders to partake in more formation.
Dan, a former coalminer, used this time to reflect upon his own WYD08 experience: “The WYD experience of daily Mass and Confession was just incredible. We must never forget to keep our prayer life at the centre of whatever we are doing.”
Technology has been a great boon to this program. With numbers averaging a hundred at the gatherings, the use of social networking website Facebook has facilitated its success. All past talks and further information are available from the Theology at the Pub website: www.theologyatthepub.com.au
The next Theology at the Pub will feature Bishop Tim Costelloe SDB on Tuesday 14 October at the Pumphouse Hotel, 128 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. For further information, contact John Smyth on 0430 032 666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org