Catholics to pore over the theological

Arnold Tolliver, left, urged the gathering to focus on basic meaning of the Gospel, and not get tang Photo available for purchase

Arnold Tolliver, left, urged the gathering to focus on basic meaning of the Gospel, and not get tangled into minute details, Olivier Monod is at right.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 01:24 PM.

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.

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