Young adults participate in the Perspectives Over Pints evening. The Toronto archdiocese's Office of Catholic Youth initiative modelled after Theology on Tap is a two-part "summer series". Photo courtesy Chelsea Torregosa

Young adults share Catholic perspective over pints

  • July 26, 2023

The Toronto archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Youth and St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica Young Adults are spicing up the typical Catholic young adult fellowship evening.

Modelled after Theology on Tap and Bible and Beer, the groups’ new Perspectives Over Pints event structures its evening socials around a specific theme explored further in-depth by small group discussion. As a two-part “summer series” installment, Perspectives Over Pints had its launch night on July 14, delving into the theme of honour.

St. Michael’s lay pastoral assistant Chelsea Torregosa said Perspectives Over Pints is an innovative way of bringing young Catholics together.

“The idea came from noticing the lack of opportunity for young adult Catholics in the central region of the Archdiocese of Toronto to come together,” said Torregosa. “There are different young adult ministries and communities within downtown, but we wanted to try creating a space for people to come together. We wanted a casual space where young people can come together to share a meal, and discuss anything based on a theme we would provide.” 

Around 40 young people between the ages of 18 and 36 gathered at the Firkin on Yonge Street in the downtown core. Torregosa reports that as well as welcoming people from the inner city, the event drew people from as far as Pickering and Markham.

Tiffany Madlambayan, 34, enjoyed the community and connection she found.

“We all have the same values, we all have something in common,” said Madlambayan. “I was telling someone that I found that I’ve had more profound, deeper and vulnerable conversations going to these events than I have had with my close friends.”

The evening opened with icebreakers, followed by break-out discussion in small groups and capped off with light-hearted conversation over food and drinks. Honour was the main topic of conversation, chosen strategically because dialogue to follow wouldn’t be limited particularly to knowledge of Catholic theology.

“We wanted to be inclusive regardless of someone’s spirituality and education,” said 23-year-old Torregosa.

Madlambayan said she appreciated the small group insight.

“The best part was the open-endedness in discussing different takes on the meaning of honour,” she said. We had someone in our group who drew on the Ten Commandments whereas I connected honour to a passion project I had worked on.”

Perspectives Over Pints differs from Theology on Tap in preferring group discussion of a set theme rather than a guest speaker giving structured lectures. There is also a greater emphasis on fellowship as opposed to scholarship in its approach.

“There is something to say about meeting people in fellowship, and finding people with a different perspective to challenge one’s beliefs and understanding. Whether its faith-based, emotionality, behavioral or knowledge-based, critical thinking has always been part of Catholic culture and we should continue to challenge our young adults to question the perspectives we have, find people to support us through the journey, and ultimately put the rest up to the Holy Spirit to guide us through the narrow path. Perspectives Over Pints is a causal place to do just that and more,” said Torregosa.

The next Perspectives Over Pints will take place on Aug. 11 at the Firkin.

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