Tapping into faith

Students worship at the explanatory mass on Sunday December 13Students worship at the explanatory mass on Sunday December 13

As college students, we are encouraged to take a long hard look at our core beliefs and the foundations of our faith. We are challenged to stand behind those beliefs and not simply adhere to the traditions of our parents, but rather to decide for ourselves if we are to embrace those traditions as our own or to begin forging a different path. Recognizing this critical time in our lives and looking to assist us in getting answers to our spiritual questions, Mercyhurst has taken part in Theology on Tap.

This program, which is open to the whole campus and Erie community as well, provides Catholics with the opportunity to more accurately understand the practices of Catholicism and to allow for non-Catholics a chance to gain more knowledge on the faith. This is Mercyhust’s second year participating in this event. Theology on Tap is a nationally recognized program which consists of two parts.

The first part, on Sunday December 13th, was an Explanatory Mass which involved conducting a regular mass while taking time to acknowledge individual parts and further explain their significance.

“The idea for the explanatory mass came out of a perceived need to explain some of the theology of why we do what we do at mass, hopefully providing for students a deeper understanding of the mass that will assist in their participation and Eucharistic spirituality,” Rev. Fr. James E. Piszker said. The second part of Theology on Tap, held on Monday, December 14th, was geared toward allowing students to actively and openly pose questions about faith and have their peers be able to relate and assist them in a relaxed atmosphere.

For the Mercyhust community, this portion of Theology on Tap is held at the Corner Stone. The meeting took place in the basement where students ate food and even enjoyed an alcoholic beverage or two (if they were of the legal age to do so).

“Theology on Tap allows you to explore personal questions on faith and relate to other students who are experiencing a similar dilemma, especially at this time in our lives. Best of all, the discussion is done in a laid back nonjudgmental environment,” senior Beth Boyd said.

The focus of discussion was on the necessity of mass attendance in the 21st century.

“As more Catholics opt out of regular mass attendance, this is an important issue,” Piszker said.

Future topics of discussion may include the role of Mary and the Saints in the Catholic tradition and the question of 2012, Nostradamus and end time predictions.

Stay tuned for announcements of future gatherings.