Just as Pope Francis has energized the faithful worldwide, so too are members of Apalachicola’s St. Patrick Catholic Church planning a spiritual awakening in Franklin County.
A monthly series of theological discussions, conducted in a relaxed, restaurant environment, had its inaugural session last week at Tamara’s Café, as a dining room full of interested people drew up possible topics for what is being called “Theology on Tap.”
“God is still alive. God is not dead,” said Ryan Totolo, a parishioner at St. Dominic’s in Panama City who, together with Justin Gagnon, attended the Feb. 18 gathering to share how Bay County’s program has worked.
“This is for people from all walks of life, in a local setting outside the church. It is important that we do things outside of our church and homes,” he said.
Apalachicola resident Oliver Monod, member of a seven-person organizing committee, conducted the brainstorming session, as diners provided possible topics for future sessions. Also serving on the committee are Father Roger Latosynski, Jim Dunkin, Ramon Valenzuela, Gerald Shannon, Mark Vail and Franklin County High School sophomore Gabby Bond.
Bond’s suggestion of “The 10 commandments, what do they mean and how do we understand how to live by them?” was just one of about a dozen topics suggested by the gathering. Other ideas included God and creation, Vatican II, women and the Church, diversity in the Church, the new evangelization and the meaning of the sacraments.
Monod stressed that the entire Franklin County community is welcome to take part in the monthly “Theology on Tap,” sessions, and that the group plans to explore both Catholic theology as well as the teachings of different aspects of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
“The spirit’s not just catching on, it’s caught on,” said Father Joe, a retired Bay County priest who often assists Father Roger at St. Patrick. “It’s a new faith, a whole new vision.”
Katie Wood, who described herself as a nondenominational Christian who grew up in a regular Pentecostal church, said she would be interested in becoming more knowledgeable with Catholic terminology.
“A Christian denomination can identify with a relationship with Christ,” said one woman. “That can be a topic, a relationship with Jesus.”
Monod said the organizing committee plans to assemble a schedule of topics for the monthly sessions, which will last about an hour, and will begin at Tamara’s Café.
For more information on “Theology on Tap,”, call Monod at 899-7999.