Alpha in a Catholic context at San Gabriele dell'Addolorata
The Alpha course started running at San Gabriele dell'Addolorata located in Pescara, Italy in January 2010, after parish priest, Don Valentino Lezzi, attended an Alpha Conference at Holy Trinity Brompton. Having just finished their 4th course, we caught up with Don Valentino, lay leader, Paolo Amoroso, and Monica Lopez Suarez, a guest on the course, as they shared with us their positive experience of Alpha in a Catholic context.
How would you describe Alpha in a Catholic context?
Talking about Jesus and the Church while having a meal is a brilliant idea! The small group which is gradually formed around the table gives you the opportunity to speak about all the doubts and perplexities that have previously separated people from things concerning God. You can rarely talk about your faith in daily life, and Alpha provides the perfect chance to do so.
Who is Alpha in a Catholic context for?
Alpha is for all who are far from God. It is for those who, for various reasons, have fallen away from God and the Church over time, who are angry with God or ignore Him and attribute to Him all situations of suffering and sickness.
What impact has Alpha in a Catholic context had in your parish?
The parish has awakened, and now understands the importance and urgency of evangelising. Many, many people have shared their time, work, prayers, money and enthusiasm. Many parishioners view attending Alpha as a noble act: working for Jesus and for the Kingdom of God. In my opinion, the volunteers are the first ones to be evangelised in Alpha, which creates the mindset that we must announce the Kerygma, and we have realised that there is a thirst for God here, and that most of the guests were looking for an opportunity to talk about Him.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of helping on or attending an Alpha in a Catholic context course in their parish?
I would say: “come and see”. Just experience the love of God that fills you up through so many brothers who give up their free time to witness the love of God.