Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer
March 1, 2023 // Diocese

Theology on Tap Series Wraps Up Its Focus on Identity

Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer

The theme of “identity” illuminated four talks given at the winter series of Theology on Tap, Fort Wayne, between January and February, under the banner “Called by Name,” culminating in the celebration of Mass and dinner before entering the Lenten season.

John Pratt, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said that this theme of identity was thoughtfully discerned by the Theology on Tap planning committee.

“We began with, ‘What do young adults need to hear?’ and one of the most fundamental things that kept coming up was identity.”

“Having a proper understanding of that — it’s rooted as sons and daughters of God. So the theme was ‘Called by Name.’ Every speaker discussed identity in relation to four various aspects: prayer, mission, community, and friendship.”

Photos by Joshua Schipper
Young adults gather at Brookside Manor on the campus of the University of Saint Francis on Tuesday, Feb. 21, for the last in the Theology on Tap Winter Series, “Called by Name.”

Pratt believes that this winter series was a success, with young adults returning each week for more formation and community — often bringing their non-Catholic friends.

“The combination of growth in the faith and building new friendships is what makes Theology on Tap successful.”

Peter MacDonald, a young adult participant in the series, said that he thinks that discussing identity is “really important for our age group, especially for most of America. Our culture is desperate to get identity. We’re always looking for that, and so, focusing on identity should be a huge emphasis for that age category. So, I think it hit the nail on the head in that way.”

MacDonald said that, for a social event, Theology on Tap is a very low-commitment way to learn about the Catholic faith and grow in community.

“It’s not some formal event. It is really easy to just come and check it out and not feel ostracized. It doesn’t even feel ‘clicky.’ It’s a really easy event to go to, especially if you know no one. And so I think the nice thing about Theology on Tap is that it’s good for an outsider to kind of come in and be welcomed into certain Catholic communities that have already been established. All you have to do is sit at a table, and you’ll meet people. It’s a great opportunity to network in the area with Catholics who are currently trying to live out their faith lives.”

The winter installment of Theology on Tap provides young adults five weeks of community during some of the darkest days of the year, but where are they to go after that? Pratt points to several parish initiatives that invite young adults into community with each other.

St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Fort Wayne is hosting a series of “Meals in Solidarity,” in which young adults will prepare, cook, and eat a traditional simple meal in solidarity with the poor from around the world. This is in conjunction with Operation Rice Bowl, an initiative through Catholic Relief Services that seeks to raise funds for countries in need. The recipes served at St. Charles Borromeo will come from the countries that are the focus of the Rice Bowl campaign.

Pratt says that young adults can also take advantage of the Our Lady of Good Hope evangelization series which will feature a speaker from the Theology on Tap series.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit the Youth Ministry page on the website at

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