Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Bishop David Zubik spoke Tuesday night at Theology on Tap, a regular program of the Oakland Young Adult Ministry. The event, held at the Steel Cactus in Shadyside, gives young Catholic adults a chance to mingle over chips, Coronas and Iron Cities, then hear a talk from a religious leader and to discuss theology.
Amid the wide-ranging talk and question-and-answer period, Bishop Zubik said young adults such as those in his audience are an urgent concern of the church. In recent surveys of Catholics involved in planning a broad restructuring known as On Mission for the Church Alive, he said, "the number one concern is you guys. The number one concern is, 'What's happening to our youth and young adults?'"
He said Catholics need to be "serious about providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the church."
Once parishes are consolidated, he said, he wants every one of them to have a youth minister, counting the position a necessity rather than a luxury.
Youth ministers, he said, would urge young people: "Don't leave. We need you. Jesus needs you."