Last Theology on Tap for season draws nearly 100

Fr. Matt Barnum explains church teachings and theology to nearly 100 people at AMVETS.

Fr. Matt Barnum explains church teachings and theology to nearly 100 people at AMVETS.

Star photo/Shanna Avery

BALDWIN — Nearly 100 people spent Sunday afternoon at Duane E. Dewey AMVETS Post No. 1988 in Baldwin, enjoying lunch while partaking in discussion and lessons in theology.

Throughout the winter, Fr. Matt Barnum, priest for St. Ann in Baldwin, St. Ignatius in Luther, and St. Bernard in Irons, hosted Theology on Tap at different venues in the county. Starting out earlier this winter in Irons with nearly 60 people, by the final session, in Baldwin, attendance grew to 95.

"It is great to see so many come together for not only a time of fun, but also learning," he said.

During Theology on Tap, those in attendance are invited to unanimously write a question pertaining to Catholicism and theology on a piece of paper, which is put in a basket. Barnum picks a question out of the basket, and dives into explanations and teachings on the topic. One topic often leads into other related questions.

Among some of the topics discussed were issues going on in the Ukraine, to why the Catholic Church suggests parishioners offer $10 to have a Mass said for loved ones and those who are deceased.

Barnum explained how practices and traditions apply to the world-wide Catholic Church, and how in impoverished countries, the suggested $10 per Mass said for someone is what the priest lives off of.

The topic of cremation also was discussed, as cremation burial is now allowed in the Catholic Church, but the ashes must be buried or placed in a mausoleum, not scattered.

"If I die today, I like to fish in mom and dad's creek. You don't want an ear cut off and thrown in there. Ashes are fingers, ears, eyes, etc. The body is a body even after it is cremated," he said, also adding the church also discourages putting ashes on a shelf, as a person's whole body wouldn't be placed on a shelf.

Barnum said Catholic cemeteries are consecrated by a bishop, but Catholics can be buried in township cemeteries. The priest brings holy water and blesses the grave.

During Theology on Tap, Barnum asks parishioners and those present to tip the wait staff well. 

AMVETS made lunch available for the occasion, as usually just breakfast is served on Sundays. Cooks and volunteers came in to make sure folks were accommodated, which people expressed appreciation.

The next Theology on Tap will be dedicated toward teaching of the Mass, and will be during the summer at a date yet to be determined, with a picnic on the parish grounds at St. Bernard in Irons.

Sessions also will take place in early fall of 2022, at establishments in Irons, Baldwin and Luther, and in winter 2023.