A fun and interactive faith sharing opportunity for young adults is brewing in Northeast Philadelphia. Starting Monday, April 8, a new Theology on Tap series will take place at Gearo’s Grille on Welsh Road.

The four-night event was organized by Father David Friel, parochial vicar at St. Anselm Parish. He has coordinated similar programs to help young adults learn more about their faith and meet one another in a relaxed environment.

The goal of the series is to have attendees “learn more about the topics, have a good discussion about it and be strengthened in their faith,” Father Friel said.

Theology on Tap is “a great way to evangelize young adults,” added Elizabeth Riordan, archdiocesan director of secondary religious education. “The hope is that young adults will bring their friends who may not feel comfortable in a church, but are interested in hearing what the Church has to say about specific topics.”

Theology on Tap was co-founded by Fathers John Cusick and Jack Wall inArlington Heights,Ill., where they began offering lectures on topics of interest to young adult Catholics in local bars and restaurants. Participants also engage in discussions following the lectures.

The Northeast Philadelphia series kicks off with Dave DiNuzzo, director of programming for the King’s Men, who will give a presentation on “Authentic Masculinity.” On April 15, Marie Joseph, executive director of the Legacy of Life Foundation, will discuss “Authentic Femininity.”

“I thought it would be of interest to people in their 20’s and 30’s to talk about what authentic femininity and authentic masculinity is,” Father Friel said. He emphasized that “authentic masculinity is not just for guys to attend, and authentic femininity is not just for women to attend.”

A presenter who will likely draw a large crowd on April 22 is Archbishop Charles Chaput. “He wasn’t able to come last October, but he asked me to invite him again, and it worked out this time,” Father Friel said.

The final presentation on April 29 will feature Father Chris Landis, parochial vicar at St. Anastasia Parish in Newtown Square, who will discuss “The Catholicism of J.R.R. Tolkien.”

“Father Landis knows Tolkien very well and will discuss ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and why Tolkien is a writer we care about in our faith,” Father Friel said.

Riordan noted that the presentations will “help our young adults to be stronger Catholics, greater witnesses of the faith and hopefully connected with others who are on the same journey of faith.”

The Theology on Tap series is free, with participants having the opportunity purchase food or beverages at the restaurant.

“I hope we get a good crowd for each of the nights,” Father Friel said. “Everybody is welcome because it is so informal, and there’s a give-and-take discussion. If somebody is not Catholic, I certainly want them to know they are welcome. We try to be all inclusive. There’s no reason why anybody should hesitate in coming.”

Theology on Tap Northeast can be found on Facebook.


Elena Perri is a freelance writer in Havertown.