"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Alpha indeed

For the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley has just authorized the use of a new adult faith-formation program called "Alpha." Having been an adult faith-formation director in the past, I was curious about the program. And having perused the creating organization's Web site, I must say it's too bad that O'Malley is right.

Appropriately named, the Alpha program ought not to be necessary. It's like going back to the beginning that often never was: an adult version of what Catholics should be getting from the Church when they are in high school or college. By framing and motivating the fundamental questions of life, to which traditional Christianity provides the God-given answers, it gives the legions of ill- or non-evangelized adult Catholics a reason to care about church. They learn why a personal relationship with God, expressed and nourished by the Eucharist, is what gives lasting meaning to life. They even hear a little about how to have such a relationship. Imagine that! With admirable realism, the Alpha approach does not presuppose much knowledge of theology or even of distinctively Catholic doctrine. So we now have an excellent springboard for parish, family, and individual efforts already made in many parishes but are appreciated by only a few.

I'd love to lead such a thing on either a volunteer or paid basis. Thank you to the creators.
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