Today, we need unity in the church more than ever. Mark and Florence Deleyritz are a couple who are pioneering Alpha within Catholic communities in France.
An exciting movement in France began in 1998 when a French Catholic couple, Marc and Florence de Leyritz, attended Alpha at HTB, UK and then took it home. Today, there are more than 400 registered Alpha Courses in France, and over 43,000 participants have completed Alpha.
Others seeking to revive Catholic parishes internationally have used the French training programme. Florence states, ‘My absolute dream would be that every Catholic community would have the opportunity to use Alpha to invite non-churchgoers to explore the big questions of life.’
Marc and Florence received an invitation to the Synod of Bishops in October 2012, where they spent three weeks with 300 Archbishops and Cardinals, and gained great insight into how Alpha could be used as a powerful tool in the Catholic Church. They were especially privileged to give a presentation of Alpha to the Pope, sharing that ‘Alpha is an instrument of service to the kerygma for parishes and chaplaincies, born thirty years ago and now in 165 countries in 112 languages. It has been welcomed by nearly 20 million people, many of whom have met Christ.’
The couple believes that every person has a longing for spirituality. ‘Every person has a responsibility for a heart to heart relationship with God, which should impact our way of doing things in the church.’ This comes through openness and preparedness. ‘We plan accordingly and our pastoral orientations and projects will be bold and loving,’ Florence explains. As forefront leaders for Alpha in the Catholic Church, Marc and Florence continue, after fourteen years, to pursue God’s plans for Alpha in France. ‘We are exploring how Catholic leaders can have this leadership perspective on pastoral conversion and church growth. We are developing quite an ambitious leadership programme.’
Want to learn more about Alpha in a Catholic Context? Learn more here.