Alpha in a Catholic Context
What is Alpha?
Alpha is a parish tool for evangelisation based on hospitality, sharing and open conversation. The same Alpha content is run all over the world, by Christians of all traditions, and provides a common expression of proclamation, service and witness. Millions of people have tried Alpha all around the world in 112 languages.
Alpha is a tool to introduce people to an initial proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ – the kerygma. As Pope Francis says, ‘Nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation.’ (EG, 165).
Alpha takes people on a journey often leading to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It enables people to ask their questions, share ideas, build friendships and experience the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Alpha is for everyone; all backgrounds, all contexts, all ages. Alpha is particularly attracting many young people who are asking the some of the big questions of life. Questions like, ‘Is there more to life than this?’
“We cannot forget that evangelisation is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ... Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.”
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 15
What does an Alpha session look like?
At Alpha, we love hospitality. Alpha is currently running Online. Guests are encouraged to fix themselves their favourite beverage before settling in for Alpha Online.
The Alpha talks are designed to engage people from all walks of life and inspire conversation. They explore the big issues of life and faith and unpack the basics of Christian belief, addressing questions like “Who is Jesus?”, “Why and how do I pray?” and “How does God guide us?”
The discussion time is an opportunity for people to respond to the talk, hear from others, and contribute their own perspective in an honest, friendly, and open environment.
Alpha brings people closer and helps them to find that power which unites. The Alpha experience is not only a means through which one finds true life, but also a way to share the good news of the Living Christ.
Cardinal Mark Ouellet
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America