SEATTLE - While waitresses whisked in and out of the crowded back room of Finn MacCool’s pub, 180 young adults quietly listened to Seattle’s Archbishop J. Peter Sartain ask them to make a mess of their lives and the world.
“You must not let yourself be marginalized. Faith in Christ is not a joke,” he said, quoting Pope Francis’ remarks to young people at World Youth Day 2013. “Faith in God’s Son who became man and died for us must make a mess, must disturb us out of our complacency.”
The archbishop used Pope Francis’ call to focus his Theology on Tap talk, “Make a Mess: Answer the Challenge,” on how those gathered could make changes and “take the Gospel to the street.” He asked them to think about ways to engage as Catholics in the world, from not gossiping to greeting strangers with kindness.
“I can assure you that looking people in the eye and saying hi to people on the streets of Seattle will get you a reaction,” he said. “But don’t do it to be nice. Do it because you are a disciple of Jesus.”
Finn MacCool’s in the U District was chosen as the venue for this year's archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Evangelization’s annual Theology on Tap speaker series. Lilly McGarry, a parishioner at Seattle’s Christ the King Parish, thinks holding the event at restaurants and bars makes great sense.
“It’s an environment [young adults] are used to and it kind of makes it fun,” she said. Plus, for the archbishop and young adults to be out mingling in a public place is “pretty cool” and a good form of evangelization to non-Catholics and Catholics alike, McGarry said.
Mass at nearby Blessed Sacrament Parish preceded the talk. Small-group discussion and a question-and-answer session with the archbishop followed his remarks. Once the official event wrapped up, young adults continued to mill around and socialize, with a few approaching the archbishop for private conversations.
Three more Wednesday night Theology on Tap events are scheduled this summer with a running theme of “making a mess” Pope Francis-style. Each starts with 5:30 p.m. Mass at Blessed Sacrament Parish, 5050 Eighth Ave. N.E., followed by a talk from 7-9 p.m. at Finn MacCool’s, 4217 University Way N.E.
- On Aug. 13, Jesuit Father Glen Butterworth will speak on “Bringing the Body to Life.”
- On Aug. 20, Seattle young adult Maria Ochoa will speak on “Living Authentically: Embracing Yourself, Wholeheartedly.”
- On Aug. 27, Deacon Dennis Kelly will speak on “Living in Love: A Call to Mercy.”