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Archives 'Trust Truth' series brings fatih, reason to a local bar

Sept. 18, 2019

By Amanda Conklin
Contributing Writer

CANTON – Two priests walked into a bar. While this is the start to many jokes, this scene was actually the startTrust Truth of many of the Trust Truth evenings in Canton.

The brainchild of Seth Conklin and Josh Parker, parishioners of St. Mary’s in Canton, with the help of their pastor Father Bryan D. Stitt, the Trust Truth series was formed out of a desire for more. These two young adults were searching for more fellowship and to go deeper into the faith – in particular to explore the relationship of faith and reason.

“Growing up [I had] the idea that faith and reason opposed one another,” Parker said. “This led me, as a teenager, to question whether or not the existence of God could be eventually disproven by science.”
He didn’t persist in those beliefs, though.

“When I was introduced to the rich intellectual tradition of Christianity (and Catholicism specifically), I was, in a sense, transformed by the logical arguments made that reason does not compete with faith, but rather is completed by it,” he said. “Trust Truth attempted – I would say successfully – to articulate and reinforce the validity of this ever-important paradigm shift.”

Early in the planning, the organizers knew they had to meet the people where they were, not only philosophically but also physically. So, it was decided that the series would not take place at the church or school. The Stadium Sports Bar was decided on for a location.

The original hope was for 10-15 adults to gather and hear a speaker, followed by a discussion. The expectations were far surpassed when around 30 people showed up to the first session, with the crowd growing in the weeks following. The biggest crowd was around 50, which led to a packed house.

“If I ever doubted that people want to be challenged to think about the Catholic faith and enjoy being together, I can think of any of our six sessions,” said Father Stitt. “It was such a joy to have people young and old, married and single, Catholics and Protestants, even believers and atheists discussing the presentations with charity and joy.”

Another young participant and recent convert to the faith reflected, “In, what seems to be, a growing world of uncertainty and distrust it’s easy to become a skeptic. Why this? Why that? Fortunately, justifications for many questions can be cited throughout the Bible. Trust Truth provided the answers I needed and helped strengthen my faith.”

Speakers included Father Stitt, Seth Conklin, Father Scott A. Belina, Father Raymond de Souza, Father Joseph W. Giroux, and Dr. Maura Hearden Fehlner. Topics included “Catholics & Evolution,” “What Atheists Get Right,” “Science Born from Christianity,” “If God, Then…,” “The Why Behind Worship,” and “Our Lady of the 21st Century.”

To help attract people from all vocations, free childcare was also offered during the series at St. Mary’s School.
Five of the six presentations and Q&A sessions were recorded and are available to listen to at www.cantoncatholics.com/homilies


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