It had been far too long since the Oakland Young Adult Ministry had been able to gather for Theology on Tap.
One of their special guests on July 12 was a new bishop—David Bonnar of the Diocese of Youngstown, formerly a priest from Pittsburgh. Bishop Bonnar brought with him Darcy Osby, his director of faith formation from Saint Aidan Parish in Wexford.
They spoke about staying close to Jesus while navigating life’s transitions, especially those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“God has a plan for you,” Bishop Bonnar told the young adults. “He has a future full of hope for you. But it takes time for that plan to unfold.”
Bishop Bonnar told them how he received the surprising news that Pope Francis had chosen him to lead the Diocese of Youngstown, and that he had to trust God’s plan for him.
In addition to the lockdowns and the challenges that he faced during the pandemic, Bishop Bonnar also transitioned from serving St. Bernard and Our Lady of Grace churches in the South Hills, to pastor of Saint Aidan Parish, before receiving his new assignment.
He encouraged his audience to surrender to God amid transitions, clinging to the Eucharist, the Mass and the Scriptures.
Osby shared her and her husband’s struggle with infertility that led them to become foster parents of a 14-year old girl.
Osby said the time they spent together during the lockdown strengthened their bonds as a family.
“People say that they want to return to normal after the pandemic,” she said. “God does not call us to be normal. He calls us to be saints.”
Max Petrosky, who attends Most Holy Name of Jesus Church, said being able to gather as a large community of young adults was long overdue. He was inspired by the testimonials.
“It was very impressive to hear two people who have two different backgrounds offer their perspectives on transitions in life,” he said
“Bringing back Theology on Tap makes us excited and brings a sense of relief,” said Erica Gamerro, pastoral associate of Saint Paul Cathedral Parish, who oversees the Oakland Young Adult Ministry.
The ministry will host two more Theology on Tap events this summer at McFadden’s on the North Shore:
- Mon. Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.: “Keeping Relationships in Bounds,” featuring Tisha Bridges, diocesan director of Victim Assistance Ministry
- Mon. Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.: Tips on negotiating your professional career as a Catholic, featuring a panel of young adults who work in corporate, healthcare, education, and technology positions
These events are open to all young adults ages 21-39. For updates, follow Oakland Young Adult Ministry @OaklandYAM on Facebook and Instagram.