Toughest questions proposed at annual “Grill the Bishop”

The St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center is welcoming Bishop John Quinn to their Theology on Tap night this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in an event called “Grill the Bishop.”

This event is a twist on the Newman Center’s annual “Grill the Priest,” where a priest or two would be asked questions from students.

This time, Bishop Quinn will be in the spotlight and available for questions. Students can come ready to ask about anything they have questions about, from the Catholic Church and Christian teachings, to what life as a bishop is like.

“It’s open to any kind of questions and discussions about the Catholic faith,” said Father Jason Kern, the priest at the Newman Center.

The idea to invite Bishop Quinn to the Newman Center began back in August, when Joe Bakken, the Center’s Campus Minister, first suggested it.

“Joe suggested that we do a ‘Grill the Bishop,’ and he meant it as a joke, but I said, ‘Let’s try’,” said Father Kern.

Bakken said they’ve had a lot of events in the past that have always been popular and students have liked them.

“We thought it would be interesting to see if the bishop would even be available to come,” he said. “And he was.”

After e-mailing the bishop’s secretary a range of dates, he responded with one that he said would work, stating that he was eager to come and spend the day here on campus.

“He loves seeing the college students and talking with them, being able to share the church’s teachings,” Father Kern said.

Students will be asked to write their questions down on pieces of paper and then will be collected. In order to save time, similar questions will be condensed or combined together so as many questions as possible can be answered.

Bakken said they are planning on fifty to a hundred people to attend, but are hoping for more, especially with such a special guest.

“It’s not very often that the bishop, the head of our diocese, is going to be coming down and there is an opportunity to ask him questions about the Catholic Church and learn from him,” he said.

Previous “Theology on Tap” event themes have been talks on theology of the body, angels, the ethics in health care, the Church’s understanding of sexuality, drug and alcohol addictions, and beauty. The Newman Center tries to find “dynamic speakers” who not only dive into a topic that interests people, but also help students learn and grow through knowledge of the church, said Bakken. The topics are usually relevant to today’s culture.

“Hopefully, it gets the students thinking more about theology and faith, and asking good questions so they can pursue some of that,” he said.

The event is free and open to everyone. The night will include free pizza and 1919 root beer to anyone who attends and will take place in Halloran Hall at the Newman Center.

Alissa Thielges

Alissa is a sophomore majoring in mass media at MSU. When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she enjoys eating pie and fangirling over various fictional characters. You can get in touch with her at her email

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