Young adult group ‘taps’ into Cathedral history

Anne Marie Amacher
Deacon Dan Huber points to where the tabernacle previously was located at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. The tabernacle was transferred to the Mary altar. Deacon Huber gave a tour to Theology on Tap participants and other guests on Aug. 8.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Instead of sipping beer while eating dinner and listening to a speaker at a bar, Theology on Tap participants enjoyed a change of venue for a special event Aug. 8 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The cathedral’s pastor, Father Rich Adam, offered to host Theology on Tap for young adults at the “mother church” of the Diocese of Davenport. He invited guests to attend because the parish has plenty of room.

Parishioners served guests Cathedral ale and pizza in the great hall. There, Fr. Adam talked about Sacred Heart Cathedral’s history from its beginning at St. Margaret Church. The building, which stood on the property that now houses the cathedral, was built before the Diocese of Davenport came into existence in 1881. At that time, St. Margaret was chosen as the new diocese’s cathedral. Fr. Adam said the parish outgrew the church building fast, so a new church building was erected.


Theology on Tap participants watched a video featuring the cathedral’s history. A prominent figure in that history was Antoine LeClaire, who founded the city of Davenport and donated land for the diocese’s first church (St. Anthony’s) and gave money for erection of St. Margaret Church. Deacon Dan Huber gave a tour of the cathedral, pointing out statues, talking about relics and about physical changes to the building over the decades.

Theology on Tap’s organizer Luke Ebener said he was pleased with the turnout. The group, which meets monthly, is typically aimed at young adults in their 20s and 30s. Each month different speakers give a presentation. The Archdiocese of Chicago created Theology on Tap in 1981 as a way to reach out to young adults who want to learn more about their faith and come together to share community.

Locally, meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. from March to November in the “upper room” at Jersey Grille, 5255 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport. The September meeting, tonight, is a panel discussion on “Why are you Catholic?” The October talk will feature Father Chris Weber, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lour­des Parish in Bettendorf, leading a Q&A about church topics of young adults’ choice.

Lauren Bollweg, who learned about Theology on Tap after moving to the Quad-City area recently, enjoyed the cathedral tour. She also likes the idea of young adults gathering to talk about their faith and is excited to learn more about the area and the faith at future events.

Another recent new resident, Caroline Deggendorf, said she is looking for a good Catholic community. Theology on Tap can help her to learn more about her faith and meet up with people her own age, she said.

Christina Fox, who is familiar with the cathedral, said Theology on Tap is a great group for young adults who want to learn more about faith and have fellowship.

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