Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Theology On Tap Flows Throughout Summer

By SHANNON FITZPATRICK AND EMILY SAUNDERS, Special To The Bulletin | Published July 2, 2009

The summer speaker series Theology on Tap is underway and open to young adults, ages 18-40, of all denominations and various walks of life. Sessions consist of well-known inspirational speakers and an open forum, with a twist: All sessions are held at local bars and restaurants.

The purpose of the sessions is to develop an understanding of faith and its daily role in the lives of young adults. Discussion is guided by popular speakers and accomplished through “straight talk, hard facts and real answers.”

Three sessions have been held so far. The first session featured Jennifer and Greg Willits, most well-known through their popular satellite radio show, “The Catholics Next Door.” Their talk focused on how to be the “Catholics Next Door,” and what their faith means to them.

The second session featured Father Vic Galier, a Global Fellow with Catholic Relief Services. His session defined what exactly Catholic Relief Services is, how those in CRS do their outreach to the world, and also including information on how to get involved.

The third session featured Sister of Life Mary Gabriel, who gave a talk on the topic “Living a Life-Giving Life.” Sister Mary currently serves as the vocations director with the Sisters of Life, a group of sisters who take a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. Currently, the order consists of 65 sisters.

Coming up are sessions by Frank J. Hanna III on July 8, hosted by the Holy Spirit Young Professionals, Tom Peterson on July 15, hosted by Christ the King YAM, and Father Henry Atem on July 22, hosted by St. Peter Chanel Church. All young adults are welcome to attend.

In his talk “Atlanta, The Vatican, and P75,” Hanna, a local Atlanta merchant banker, will share the adventure of how he helped to obtain as a gift to the Vatican, P75—the oldest copy in existence of the Gospel of Luke. He been highly involved in promoting educational liberty for the last 24 years, helping to start three Catholic schools in Atlanta, leading various efforts for school reform, and chairing the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

Peterson received an inspirational and life-changing spiritual conversion after attending a retreat in 1997, and since then has created both and, Web sites to educate people on the Catholic principles of the sanctity of life and Catholic evangelization. His session is entitled “Change the World in 60 Seconds: How a TV Ad Campaign Brought Back 92,000 Inactive Catholics in One Diocese, and More to Come.” Peterson has dedicated himself to producing powerful high quality Catholic television commercials to be aired nationally and worldwide.

The last speaker in the series, Father Atem, is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Parish in Roswell and is set to discuss how to keep one’s faith strong throughout tough times in a talk called “Tough Times, Tough Faith.” Ordained in May 2008, he will share his experiences and practical insight on “making sense of suffering” through the lens of faith.

Sessions by Hanna and Father Atem will be held at the 5 Seasons Brewery at the Prado, 5600 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Peterson’s talk will be held at the FOX Sports Grill in Atlantic Station, 261 19th St., Atlanta.

Gathering and dinner start at 7 p.m., with speakers starting at 7:30 p.m. A social follows. A $5 cover charge at the door is required, and there is no pre-registration.