Chance of showers, certainty of faith, food and fellowship

Chance of showers, certainty of faith, food and fellowship
Bishop Dennis Sullivan speaks to Theology on Tap participants June 15 at Holy Angels Parish, Woodbury. Photo by Peter G. Sánchez

Bishop Dennis Sullivan speaks to Theology on Tap participants June 15 at Holy Angels Parish, Woodbury.
Photo by Peter G. Sánchez

WOODBURY — The threat of rain might have changed some plans, but South Jersey’s young adult community wasn’t deterred. They wanted to spend an evening with Bishop Dennis Sullivan.

Originally, plans called for an outdoor backyard barbecue at the bishop’s residence as part of the Camden Diocese’s Theology on Tap program, so young adults could share a drink and converse with the Camden leader, diocesan priests and fellow Catholics. However, when the weather forecast threatened rain, thunder and lightning, the event was moved a few blocks away, to Holy Angels Parish’s Worship Center.

With young adults helping themselves to pulled pork and potato salad; the Knights of Columbus Msgr. Joseph Leary Council 6296 (St. Charles Borromeo, Sicklerville) serving drinks; young adults, priests and sisters engaging in a friendly competition of cornhole; and Father Joseph Ganiel spinning tunes as disc jockey, Theology on Tap didn’t miss a step.

After reflecting on the upcoming Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis in front of the more than 50 assembled young adults and priests, Bishop Sullivan expressed his hope that the barbecue at his residence for the Theology on Tap community could be rescheduled for the fall.

The evening was capped off with a short walk to Bishop Sullivan’s home (the rain never came), for a decade of the rosary in the backyard.

The gathering on June 15 was planned as a season finale of sorts for the diocese’s Theology on Tap, which, dating back to last September, has provided 10 evenings of faith, formation and fellowship for 20- and 30-somethings. The young adults’ night with Bishop “celebrated a fantastic year” for the program, said Greg Coogan, diocesan director of Young Adult Ministry, who noted that from Cherry Hill to Sewell, from Galloway to Woodbury, the program has engaged and evangelized to over 450 participants.

Planning has begun for the next series of Theology on Tap programs to premiere in the fall.

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