Is there a way to explain purgatory to somebody?
How to you explain transubstantiation to your friends?
What do you say to someone who is trying to decide whether to serve the world or serve God?
Those were among the questions posed to Bishop Robert Deeley during Theology at Tim’s, a gathering of Catholic high school youth held at Tim Hortons in Caribou. Modeled after the popular Theology on Tap program for young adults, Theology at Tim’s gives the teens a chance to gather monthly in one of their favorite hangouts to learn about their faith in a casual setting.
“I like going to Theology at Tim’s because you learn something new every day,” said Paul Bonner, a teen from the town of Easton. “You go to school to broaden your perspective on things and what knowledge you’re going to carry on into the world, and that is just as important with our faith.”
Each month, the teens hear from a different speaker, and during the weekend of November 23-24, Bishop Deeley made the five-hour trip from Portland to Caribou to be with them. The bishop took their questions, while also posing a few of his own.
“Who created God?” the bishop asked, sharing a question that a first grader asked him during one of his Catholic school visits.
“No one,” answered Kailee Cox from Presque Isle. “He always was, and he always will be.”
“The relationship between the Father, Son and the Spirit is what?” the bishop continued.
“They’re all one,” the teens answered.
“And what holds them together?” the bishop asked.
“Love,” they answered, with a little prompting from the bishop.
“It is a relationship of love, which has ever existed,” the bishop said. “That love is something that can’t hold itself within itself because love, by its very nature, wants to be outside itself. Love, by its very nature, is generous. If we think about what love is, love is to will the good of another.”
The bishop told the teens because God loves us, he wants what is good for us, something important for them to keep in mind when making choices in their lives.
“The question for you is not: What do I want to do with my life? The question is: What does God want me to do with my life?” the bishop said. “Our prayer that we need to do, in terms of discerning what we’re going to do with our lives, is to ask ourselves: What is it that God wants me to do? How is it that God wants me to serve?”
Father Dave Raymond, pastor of the Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou, also attended the session and stressed to the teens the need to use their God-given reason when making choices. He told them to never be afraid to learn about their faith and the world.
“God gave us this tool to learn, to study in school, to learn about the greatness of God,” he said. “So study hard and learn about the fantastic things there are to learn about this world.”
“Religion is not against knowledge,” the bishop added. “Religion is about understanding how God and the world come together. Everything you learn about the world should lead you to seek the wonder of the One who has created it.”
Teens traveled from throughout northern Aroostook County to attend Theology at Tim’s with the bishop, coming from as far away as Madawaska, Van Buren, and Frenchville to be there.
“It was really special having the bishop here,” said Amanda Pinette from Fort Kent. “It’s just really nice to know someone else’s point of view on everything, especially someone like the bishop.”
“I thought it was great to hear from the bishop, just someone high up who knows so much,” said Jude Mosher from Presque Isle.
“I really enjoyed it and found it very interesting,” said Faith Roy from Frenchville, who attended Theology at Tim’s for the first time. “I wanted to see what it was like, and I really enjoyed it.”
In addition to attending Theology at Tim's, Bishop Deeley celebrated Masses in Mars Hill, Portage, and Caribou during his visit to Aroostook County. He also attended a chicken stew & ployes dinner and pie auction, which raised money to provide fuel assistance and emergency shelter for those in need.