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Moore, Santoni kick off Theology on Tap

Andrew Thagard | Thursday, October 2, 2003

Notre Dame alumni Colleen Moore and Frank Santoni tackled the intricacies of the campus dating scene in the first installment of “Theology on Tap” at Legends Wednesday evening.

“Ever since Legends opened up it seemed like a great opportunity to bring people together,” said Father J. Steele, who co-hosts the program with Father Kevin Russeau.

Addressing a crowded room of about 100 students, Moore and Santoni focused on the two extremes of relationships at Notre Dame – random hookups and the “ring by spring” phenomenon, and said that there isn’t much in between.

“The only thing that is in the middle is us wondering why nothing is happening,” Santoni said.

The two noted that not much has changed in this regard since their time as undergraduates at the University.

“It’s scary,” Moore said. “We graduated six years ago complaining about the [dating] scene. Really, nothing has changed.”

According to Moore, students are attracted to the extremes of relationships because they are well defined and focused on the individual.

“Neither of the [extreme relationships] really leaves a lot of room for the other person and their needs,” she said.

The two offered a four-fold path to achieving healthier relationships. First, Moore and Santoni urged students to be “others” centered.

“To do dating well is not going to be about you,” Santoni said. “It’s going to be about being in a relationship with someone else. God designs us with a need to connect deeply and authentically with other people.”

He also said that it’s important to be open to exploring yourself, others and God and to be “present” minded.

“Too often we’re too caught up in our internal dialogue to pay attention to the date,” Moore said.

Finally, the two emphasized that successful dating is a mutual investment that requires self-knowledge.

“This whole ‘dating in the middle’ isn’t an easy thing but it’s very possible,” Moore said. “It’s kind of in your hands.”

“Theology on Tap” is organized by Campus Ministry and takes place Wednesday evenings at Legends. The event was inspired by a similar concept in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Participants were provided with free snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Students of age could purchase alcoholic beverages, but few chose to do so.

“It’s been in the works for a long time,” said Courtney Schuster, a student coordinator. “It’s a really awesome way to bring people together in an informal setting to talk about real stuff.”

Next week’s “Theology on Tap” will feature Bill Mattison and a discussion on “How Far is Too Far?: Catholic Sexual Ethics.”