ALPHA IN A CATHOLIC CONTEXT
In the Greek alphabet, Alpha is the first letter. Similarly, Alpha as a resource is a stepping-stone that never claims the exhaustive fullness of truth, but rather is a proven and effective invitation to people searching for the initial proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, typically known as the Kerygma.
Alpha is a culture shifter that helps parishes develop into ‘communities of missionary disciples’, fostering a renewal for the Christian community that desires to be transformed by evangelisation.
" THE CHURCH MUST BE A PLACE OF MERCY FREELY GIVEN, WHERE EVERYONE CAN FEEL WELCOMED, LOVED, FORGIVEN AND ENCOURAGED TO LIVE THE GOOD LIFE OF THE GOSPEL. "
― Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium, 114
WHAT PEOPLE ARE
SAYING ABOUT ALPHA...
Fr Mauro, A Parish in The Gold Coast
"ALPHA WAS GIVEN TO US AS A PROGRAM, AS A TOOL TO REVITALISE THE PARISH. THE KERYGMA WAS MADE KNOWN IN A VERY SIMPLE AND FUN WAY TO PARISHIONERS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN PART OF THE PARISH FOR MANY YEARS. HOWEVER, DESPITE ITS EFFECTIVENESS, THERE WAS STILL SOMETHING MISSING, SOMETHING LACKING."
Vanessa, A Parish in Queensland
"WE'VE DONE MANY ALPHAS. WE'VE HAD MASSIVE ALPHAS WITH OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE, BUT WE'VE ALSO HAD ALPHAS WITH SMALLER GROUPS OF FOUR TO SIX PEOPLE. I'D SAY THAT SO FAR, WE'VE ORGANIZED AROUND 27 OR 28 ALPHAS, AND WE'RE COMMITTED TO CONTINUING BECAUSE WE SEE THE FRUITS OF OUR EFFORTS EVERY YEAR."
Fr Krish, A Parish in Hobart
"I WAS INTRODUCED TO ALPHA AS A DEACON. I OBSERVED THAT PEOPLE WERE ACTIVATED THROUGH ALPHA - IT IGNITED A FIRE WITHIN THEM, MOTIVATING THEM TO SERVE THE PARISH. AND, OF COURSE, THEY KEPT COMING BACK BECAUSE WE PROVIDED GOOD FOOD, HOSPITALITY, AND MEANINGFUL INPUT. THEY TRULY GREW AND BECAME MORE INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY. I WITNESSED THE FRUITS OF ALPHA."
St Charles Catholic Primary School
"I BELIEVE ALPHA IS TRULY THE PERFECT FIT FOR WHAT OUR PARISHES NEED TODAY. ALPHA CREATES A SPACE WHERE WE CAN INTRODUCE PEOPLE TO JESUS, BRINGING THEM CLOSER TO HIM. WHEN WE CREATE A TRANSFORMATIVE ENVIRONMENT WHERE INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCE THE GOSPEL PERSONALLY AND FEEL COMPELLED TO SHARE IT WITH OTHERS, WE CAN TRULY BRING ABOUT CHANGE IN OUR PARISHES."
Christine, A Parish in Adelaide
"ALPHA HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE WAY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, FOSTER CONNECTIONS, IGNITE THE SPIRIT, AND BUILD CAMARADERIE. IT HAS BROUGHT ABOUT TREMENDOUS POSITIVE EXPERIENCES AND IMPACT."
Sacred Heart Mosman
“ALPHA HAS BEEN A BREATH OF FRESH AIR FOR MYSELF AND MEMBERS IN MY COMMUNITY. SO OFTEN WE RUSH AROUND DOING 'IMPORTANT' THINGS WHEN THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB WE HAVE IS TO REFLECT ON OUR LIVES AND REMIND OURSELVES THAT GOD HAS A PLAN FOR US ALL. ALPHA HAS ADDED SENSE AND MEANING TO SO MANY OF LIFE'S BIG QUESTIONS. THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS IN ALL OF US AND ALPHA ALLOWS US TO EMBRACE THE SPIRIT AT A MUCH DEEPER LEVEL.”
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Parish
“THE HOLY SPIRIT DAY AWAY WAS INCREDIBLE. OUR THREE ALPHA'S; DAYTIME, EVENING AND YOUTH GATHERED TOGETHER TO RECEIVE PRAYER, SING, LAUGH AND GROW CLOSER TO JESUS. THERE WERE 49 OF US WHO WERE LED BY OUR ALPHA TEAM TO DEVELOP A STRONGER CONNECTION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMAZING!”
St Raymond’s Maronite
“GOD SHOWED ME THROUGH THE GIFT OF WITNESSING THESE STORIES THAT HE WOULD GO TO THE CROSS AGAIN FOR JUST ONE. SEEING SUCH TRANSFORMATION IN THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS HAS HELPED ME TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE OF WHO THE SHEPHERD WHO LEAVES THE 99 REALLY IS.”
St Patrick’s Church Hill
“ALPHA IS A WONDERFUL JOURNEY OF FAITH THAT BRINGS JOY AND LOVE. ONE-BY-ONE THE GUESTS CAME TO ALPHA EVERY THURSDAY EVENING WITH A BIG SMILE AS IF SAYING: 'HERE I AM' – (THIS) CREATED SUCH AN ATMOSPHERE OF JOY. THE JOY THAT RADIATES HUMAN LOVE ONLY GOD CAN GIVE.”
St John The Baptist Catholic Parish
“WE LAUNCHED OUR FIRST ALPHA AFTER A PILOT TERM. WE ARE THRILLED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY AS A GROUP OF 20 TO JOURNEY TOGETHER WITH NEW FRIENDS AND OLD, BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, ASKING QUESTIONS AND SHARING STORIES.”
"ALPHA IS GREAT. IT GATHERS PEOPLE TOGETHER IN A NICE WAY THAT PROPOSES SOMETHING, IT DOESN'T IMPOSE AND GATHERS THEM FOR A MEAL WITH SOME INSPIRATIONAL TESTIMONIES. IT RADIATES THE GOSPEL - THE FRAGRANCE OF THE GOSPEL - TO A WORLD THAT IS DESPERATELY IN NEED OF A SPIRITUAL DIMENSION."
ARCHBISHOP CHRISTOPHER PROWSE
Alpha in a Catholic Context exists through the overarching mission of the Church. Using Alpha as a tool helps the mission of the Catholic Church become reality by simply inviting people to ask the big questions. With this being said, Alpha is just the beginning. Once guests experience Alpha, they understand who Jesus is and can start to explore their relationship with him.
"YOU SEE A GROUP THAT LOOKS LIKE THEY'VE KNOWN EACH OTHER THEIR WHOLE LIFE, RADIATING JOY, TOTALLY ALIVE IN THEIR FAITH AND HUNGRY FOR MORE OF GOD. MANY GUESTS EXPERIENCE GOD'S DEEP LOVE AND MERCY AND OFTEN THAT HEALING HAS A FLOW-ON EFFECT INTO THEIR FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES AND WORKPLACES. ALPHA SHIFTS THE WIDER PARISH INTO MISSION AND BUILDS LEADERS."
Revive & Thrive brought together Catholics from nearly every diocese in Australia, representing every capital city; to finally gather again in person post-pandemic. In November 2022, over 150 attendees spent two days hearing from a diverse group of nine Christian leaders who came to minister to them. The first day of the conference focused on themes of sustainable ministry and ended with an evening of Eucharistic Adoration with prayer ministry. The second day featured keynotes on team building and culture, among other topics.
ALPHA AUSTRALIA'S FIRST NATIONAL CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
Alpha Youth in a Catholic Context has collaborated closely with Dioceses and Catholic Education offices to enhance the implementation of Alpha Youth at the Diocesan level, ensuring scalabile and sustainable integration into the life of the local Church.
The strategy is built upon five key principles: connect, engage, retain, grow, and multiply.
These principles adapt to align with context-specific priorities and undergo regular implementation, measurement, and review, often annually.
A remarkable 12 Dioceses embraced Alpha Youth and actively implemented it in various ways this year.
CATHOLIC EDUCATION COACHING SUITE
In 2022, Alpha Youth in a Catholic Context launched the Catholic Education Coaching Suite, designed to equip educators and leaders in schools and broader Church environments to make Jesus' last command their first priority.
The suite includes four workshops that explore Alpha's course, culture, and context:
alpha.yth (The What)
Jesus' Last Command (The Why)
The Open Generation (The Who)
Alpha Walkthrough (The How)
Aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, the Coaching Suite has already facilitated over 115 coaching sessions, in the last year, with more anticipated in the second half of 2023.