Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer
February 20, 2024 // Diocese

Theology on Tap Winter Series Ends with Mass, Mardi Gras

Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer

Mardi Gras parties marked the end of the Theology on Tap Winter Series on both ends of the diocese on Tuesday, February 13. Before the party in Fort Wayne, Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass at the University of Saint Francis. In discussing the readings in his homily, Bishop Rhoades called them a “good prelude” to the season of Lent that began the following day.

More photos here.

He said the collect of the Mass – the prayer that concludes the opening rites of Mass – for Ash Wednesday speaks of “taking up battle” against spiritual evil and said Lent is a special time to pursue holiness by means of self-denial, penance, and sacrifice.

Photos by Joshua Schipper

Focusing on the first reading, which came from the Letter of St. James, he said the saint “explains the dynamics of temptation and its possible results.”

“He speaks of the reward coming to a person who perseveres in the midst of temptation, and that reward is the crown of life – the crown of life if we persevere in fighting temptation.”

Bishop Rhoades summarized that, in the cases where people persevere through temptation, they follow the path of Jesus’ love that leads to eternal life, and in cases where people “choose the way of sin, which results in the total separation from God.”

“James’ teaching shows that the battle to overcome evil is fought deep within the human heart.”

He then cited a passage from the teachings of the Second Vatican Council: “The whole of man’s history has been the story of our combat with the powers of evil, [which stretch] … from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield, man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.”

He said that the antagonist of these spiritual battles against temptation is “the Father of Lies, the devil,” and that he wants to “kill our souls.”

“We read sometimes about the temptations of the world – those enticements to sin, for example, from our culture. But we also read about temptations that come from within ourselves as what St. James is talking about in the reading today.”

He said that St. James writes about sin that comes from within oneself as “desires” or “disordered passions and appetites” in our hearts that are the result of original sin, or what the Church calls “concupiscence.”

“The root of sin is in our hearts, in our own free will, when we give into disordered desires,” Bishop Rhoades added.

On Tuesday, February 13, Bishop Rhoades celebrated a special Mass and attended a reception at the University of Saint Francis to close the Theology on Tap Winter Series in Fort Wayne.

Alec DeVries, one of the organizers of the Fort Wayne installment of Theology on Tap, attributed the success of this season to hard work of the planning team, diocesan offices, and partners like 2TomsBrewing Company and the University of Saint Francis. He also said he believes this series had the highest turnout, at least since the pandemic.

This series also saw the introduction of four hangout nights on Fridays in Fort Wayne, which gave young adults another opportunity to build interpersonal relationships and strengthen the local Catholic community. DeVries said having these socials three days after every talk helped to maintain the momentum of the series through each week.

DeVries added that while many pointed to the speakers as highlights of the winter series, the conversations he had with participants indicated that “young adults are really craving this community – these types of spaces and these types of events – and want to do more and want to continue to grow their faith and continue to build better relationships with other young adults across the diocese.”

Details about the upcoming Theology on Tap Summer Series can be found in the coming months at

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