Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 12, 2007
Theology on Tap goes looking for love
Five-part lecture series lets youth ask questions, enjoy Catholic fellowship
"Everyone is looking for love, but they might not understand what it is."
- Wade St. Onge
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
This year's Theology on Tap has taken on a many splendoured theme. The popular five-part lecture series that quenches the thirst for Christian fellowship and faith among the local 20-to-30 something crowd, is "looking for love" and to discuss its relevance to Pope Benedict's pontificate.
Wade St. Onge helped organize the event that began Feb. 1 at O'Maille's Irish Pub, 104-398 St. Albert Road, in St. Albert with a talk by Father Paul Moret. The next session will go Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
"The holy father is trying to spread Christianity as a relationship of love as opposed to a set of rules or legalistic structure that so many perceive it to be," said St. Onge, 29. "I believe Pope Benedict sees a return to the essence of our faith, which is the living of a deep and true call to Christian love."
St. Onge has worked in young adult ministry in the Edmonton Archdiocese since moving from Saskatchewan last summer. He is currently pursuing a distance learning master's degree in theology and Christian ministry from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
"The pope wants us to evangelize the fact that as Christians, the essence of faith is love. He wants the West to have a fresh look at Christianity."
The theme was in keeping with Pope John Paul's theology of the body - about how we are created in the spirit of God.
"We are created to love as God loved," St. Onge said. "Everyone is looking for love, but they might not understand what it is. There are a lot of counterfeits."
An underlying message to this year's series is if you are looking for love, Christianity and the Catholic Church have what you want. St. Onge is hoping to attract new people among the usual five or six dozen who attend.
"We want to reach out to the world and dialogue with this culture about the meaning of love, sexuality and marriage. We encourage those who don't go to Church to come out because this is something of universal interest."
St. Onge will take the mike Feb. 15 to discuss Let's Talk about Sex: Expressing Love Through Our Bodies. He emphasized that the topic is not intended as an exploitive attempt to arouse interest, but as a sincere discussion on how to properly express physical love.
"The feelings and emotions of love certainly play a role. But essentially, love is to give of yourself for the good of the other. It's a decision or commitment even if it means a sacrifice on your own part," he said.
"The way we have misused our sexuality has caused so much damage in society. People don't realize that the Catholic Church's teachings are not just a bunch of needless rules. They actually work.
"If you live by the Church's teachings on sexuality, you will find true sexual liberation and joy - not the kind some people were preaching in the 1960s. To do the alternative actually leads to a lot of misery and heartbreak."
St. Onge says there are great benefits to coming out and spending a casual evening with friends or members of other parishes. "It helps to give young adults a place or forum not only to ask questions, but for fellowship. It helps people to reconnect with their parish."
For more information, call Andrew Papenbrock at 469-1010.