Alpha - Catholic
"One of the advantages of Alpha is that it focuses on Kerygma. In the ancient Church, there was a clear distinction between the Kerygma and the Didache, the catechesis. The Kerygma was the starting point of faith, and the catechesis had to form the faith. But faith in itself blossoms only by hearing the Kerygma...I especially appreciate the ecumenical spirit of Alpha: there is no pressure on anybody to join a different denomination, but just to join Jesus.”
-- Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household
"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, Vatican
"I recommend Alpha; an excellent method for the first proclamation of the gospel."
--Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno, President of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop of Aparecida
"Through Alpha, and the testimonies of those who participate in their sessions and groups, faith is renewed, rekindled, takes root."
--Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
"I have had the privilege of participating in various Alphas in Quebec and have witnessed how lives are changed and how the participants are touched by the teachings, witnessing and fellowship experienced during the course. The method is simple yet very effective. Small groups are definitely a key role to the success of this tool of the New Evangelisation."
-- Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada
"Alpha is for meeting Jesus. What I like in all that I have seen and heard about Alpha is the simplicity. For me, the Christian life has something to do with simplicity, friendship, closeness and joy. That's what I feel about Alpha and I think that's a sign that it works and that it's given from the Lord."
-- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Austria
"Many of our Catholic parishioners have benefited from Alpha by way of its building on their initial interest in the Church, as a pre-catechumenate experience, or for others, a renewal of their desire to more deeply understand and live their Catholic faith."
--Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston
‘Many parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit have found Alpha a great tool for helping men and women hear the initial proclamation of the gospel. I am pleased that our use of Alpha with the archdiocesan staff has invited a recommitment to the basic truths of the gospel.’
--Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit
"Alpha is without doubt a great experience of new evangelisation."
-- Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting The New Evangelisation
"For many years now and in various parts of the world, Alpha has shown itself powerful in bringing faith alive in all kinds of people. Its focus is on Jesus, its method is simple and its appeal is wide-ranging. It is also well adapted for use in Catholic communities looking to provide the kind of ignition we need if we are to become a more missionary Church."
--Archbiship Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia
“Over the years, I have come to appreciate the profound effects that Alpha has had on so many people. Alpha provides a warm, welcoming environment where people can grapple with the deep questions of life: where do I come from; what difference can I make; where am I going; how can I find my purpose and meaning for my life, etc. Since these questions are human questions, all people are welcomed.”
--Bishop Eduardo Nevares, Diocese of Phoenix, AZ
"Alpha is a treasure for evangelisation, especially of the youth. Many people have met Christ for the first time in their lives. Many have also had a first and foundational experience of the Holy Spirit, through which they have come back to the Church as a result. Some of those who had not been confirmed have been confirmed and long to know the Lord better and to collaborate in this wonderful task of making this treasure known to many."
--Bishop Xavier Novell, Bishop of Solsona and Co-Head of Youth for the Bishop’s Conference of Spain
“One particular resource can assist with implementing new strategies for evangelization of the unchurched as well as our fallen away parishioners. The Alpha in a Catholic context program…is based on welcome and hospitality,sharing and prayer. Each session includes a meal, a talk and small group discussion, where no question is too simple and no answer is pre-packaged. Alpha offers an excellent environment for those asking the big questions of life in a friendly, open, and informal environment. Alpha in a Catholic context has had concrete positive results in Catholic parishes across the country and already in parts of our own Diocese."
--Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, OH
"I started using Alpha 15 years ago; I said I’ll start using it until I find something that works better, and I’m still using it. Because we see results: life transformation, people encountering Jesus, experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit, coming alive in their faith; falling in love with the Eucharist, with the Sacraments, with Scripture, taking their place in the mission of the church, taking ownership of the mission of the church. And not just people in the pews, but people who didn’t even go to church…our current Alpha…43% are not church-goers!"
--Fr. James Mallon, St. Benedict's, Halifax, Nova Scotia
“Alpha is one of the best things happening in the Church today. For so many parishes, there is no event or program that we can be free to invite people to. But Alpha for Catholics gives us the chance to be the kind of missionary disciples that God has called us all to be. If any parish is looking for a place to be welcoming and engaging, they must offer Alpha for Catholics.”
--Fr. Mike Schmitz, UMD Newman Center, Diocese of Duluth, MN
"To me, Alpha is one the best ways a parish can use to bring people to Jesus."
--Fr. Larry Richards, St. Joseph/Bread of Life Catholic Community; The Reason for Our Hope Foundation, Erie, PA
"Working in parishes I ran a variety of excellent adult formation and small group programs. Running Alpha was distinctly different from most of the others. The first thing that was different about Alpha was that it tended to attract a more diverse audience than a typical parish program. We had atheists, committed non-Catholic Christians, Catholics struggling to engage their faith, Catholic missionary disciples, and more. The second thing that was different was the response to the program. People were more motivated to participate in parish life in other ways after Alpha; they wanted to volunteer for future Alpha courses and to invite people to Alpha to a greater extent than I had experienced with most other programs. The most fascinating thing that has made Alpha stand out for me has turned out to be that now, in my role working for the Archdiocese, I am starting to see something like the experience I had running Alpha repeat in parishes across the Archdiocese that invest serious time and attention in Alpha."
--Patrick Krisak, Director, Faith Formation and Missionary Discipleship, Office of Lifelong Faith Formation & Parish Support, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship, Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston