By Katherine Long | Editor
Assumption Church on Syracuse’s North side is talking faith in a new conversation series aimed at nurturing parishioners in a new way. Friar Rick Riccioli, pastor of Assumption, gave the Sun a preview of the new effort.

What is a Tau Talk?
Inspiring conversations about living your faith in the real world, held at a local coffee shop or restaurant each month.

What’s the format?
A presentation on the month’s topic, followed by questions and conversation driven by participants. Each month, the presenter will be drawn from Assumption’s friars, sisters, or staff members, and each session will run between 60 and 90 minutes.

Why is Assumption launching this new effort?
Friar Rick said the parish and its council were looking for creative, accessible ways to offer faith formation to parishioners. Many of those parishioners live in Syracuse’s suburbs.

“To invite them back into the North side on evening or weekdays is a bit of a challenge,” he noted. “So instead of expecting them to come to us, why don’t we go to them?”

The talks are patterned a bit after Theology on Tap, a program that brings young adults together in social settings (often bars) to talk about faith — but Tau Talks are for everyone, not just young people, Friar Rick said.

The name Tau Talks comes from tau, the Hebrew letter known as a symbol of renewal and of the Franciscan community. The name also sounds a little like TED Talks, Friar Rick added, referencing the popular conferences about ideas of all kinds.

“We want to keep feeding our parishioners,” he said. “Many make a choice to come from the suburbs to Assumption [for Mass] because they feel a part of our community. We want to help keep that connection alive during week as well.”

What are the details?

Tau Talks: Prayer 101

When: Wednesday, July 18

10 a.m.: Dunkin’ Donuts, 105 2nd St., Liverpool

6 p.m.: Limp Lizard, 201 1st St., Liverpool

Who: Primarily for Assumption parishioners who live in the suburbs, “but anybody can come and be nurtured and return to their parishes better prepared for the Christian life,” Friar Rick said.

More: Find more about future Tau Talks at

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