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|Catholic Archbishop: This source of hope|
CATHOLIC Archbishop has described the Alpha course as a "source of
hope for the future" in an address to 1,400 delegates attending an
Alpha conference in Vancouver, Canada.
The Most Rev’d Adam Exner, Archbishop of Vancouver, said he believed Alpha to be a valuable tool to help local churches move from ‘maintenance’ to ‘mission’.
Archbishop Adam Exner speaks at the Vancouver Alpha conference
told the packed conference, "I think if we are honest with ourselves,
we have to admit that in the past number of years we have become a
"And I think we do a reasonably good job of looking after those who belong and practice, but I think we are weak in reaching out to those who have fallen away and we are weak in reaching out to those who do not yet believe.
"This is what I think the Holy Spirit is asking of us in our world of today.
"I sincerely believe that the Alpha approach to evangelising can and will enhance our evangelising effort - our effort to move from being a maintenance church to a mission-driven church.
"Alpha is the method - not the only one, but it is a tried and proven and effective method - of reaching out to the fallen-away and those who do not yet believe.
"I really believe that Alpha is a way of responding to what the Holy Spirit is asking of us today.
"I believe that Alpha is one way - and a very effective way - of contributing to our new springtime of faith and Christian living in our new world of today. And I believe that it is also a real source of hope for the future."
The growth of Alpha in the Catholic church has been considerable in recent years, with many senior Catholic bishops recommending it to their dioceses.
|Papal Preacher gives Alpha follow-up talks|
|Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household in
the Vatican, has accepted an invitation from the Catholic Alpha office to give a series of
seven talks on video which will be used as follow-up teaching to Alpha in the Roman
Catholic church. The series, entitled, Drink from the Wells of the Church, includes talks
on the Bible, Prayer, the Church and the Power of Pentecost. Fr. Cantalamessa
has spoken warmly of the Alpha course, describing it as a
return to the fundamental things of the Christian faith during an address to
a large inter-church conference in Germany in May. Mr David Payne, head of the Catholic
Alpha office, said, These videos have just been published and we are very excited
about their potential.
Left: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa speaking and, inset, with Nicky Gumbel, of Alpha
© The Alpha Head Office
|Why I welcome Alpha, by Cardinal|
U.S. Cardinal praises Alpha as he welcomes 580 North American church leaders to conference
Left: Cardinal Keeler and delegates to the Baltimore conference
A Catholic Cardinal in America has
spoken warmly of the Alpha course to Catholic leaders in the USA, saying how parishes in
his diocese have found it to be a wonderful way to lead people to a personal
encounter... with the living Jesus Christ.
Cardinal Thomas Williams of New Zealand
I am a learner, ready and willing to absorb all I can of what I already know to be a
remarkably effective course.
to evagelise, but we don't seem to have found the right method. I think that the Alpha
course offers easily the best method so far invented'
Rt. Rev'd Ambrose Griffiths, OSB, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle
| In Britain,
Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, wrote a warm message of welcome to
hundreds of delegates attending three Catholic Alpha conferences held in Westminster
Cathedral Hall. And during an official visit to to the Convent of Jesus
and Mary Language College in Willesden, north London, in 1997, he spoke with
schoolchildren attending a Youth Alpha course there.
Several Catholic bishops have opened Alpha conferences in the UK, including the Rt. Revd Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, and the Rt. Revd Ambrose Griffiths, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
Bishop Griffiths told delegates, We want to evangelise, but we dont seem to have found the right method. I think that the Alpha course offers easily the best method so far invented.
In Cardinal Keelers speech opening the Baltimore conference recently, he referred to Pope John Paul IIs desire to make the new evangelisation a major theme of our church for the great Jubilee of the year 2000.
Cardinal Hume meets schoolchildren attending Youth Alpha courses at the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in North London
|WHAT CARDINAL KEELER TOLD U.S. LEADERS|
|This is an edited extract of what Cardinal Keeler
said to North American delegates at the Balti-more Alpha conference in April:
Because of long standing commitments to be in Rome during these days, I regret that I cannot be there in person to welcome you to this conference and to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Our Lord Jesus has called each of us to go out and proclaim the good news, to be instruments in helping others to know how, through his death and resurrection and through his gift of the Holy Spirit, he calls us to holiness and calls us to bring that same message of the call for holiness, the call to service of God in Gods kingdom, to other people.
Pope John Paul II has made the new evangelisation a major theme of the preparation of our church for the great Jubilee of the year 2000. Now its clear that evangelisation is a priority for Christians, for us as Catholics, and it brings us face to face with a very practical issue, How do we respond to this calling? What do we do in our parishes and in our ministries?
Here in the archdiocese of Baltimore, several of our parishes and one of our campus ministry programmes have found that Alpha is a wonderful way to lead people, people with no Christian background as well as ordinary parishioners, to a personal encounter, a personal meeting, with the living Jesus Christ.
are hearing wonderful testimony of the good news touching and even transforming the lives
of individuals who have attended these Alpha courses.
There he spoke so emphatically about the new evangelisation, about our role in
being open to the Holy Spirit in our lives and being messengers for Jesus to others - a
work of witnessing to Gods holiness, and calling others to that holiness, which is
so important and which, I pray, will be at the heart of this Alpha Conference.
|The Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver has issued an invitation to his clergy to attend a Catholic Alpha conference there in July, describing the course as a most effective tool of evangelization. The Most Revd Adam Exner wrote, Why am I inviting you to this conference? The Alpha course has been used in may countries throughout the world and has proved to be a most effective tool of evangelization. It gives us practical ways of sharing our faith with others: with those who have never heard of Christ, with those who have fallen away from their faith, with those who wish to grow into a deeper personal relationship with Christ and His Church.The Great Jubilee of Christs Birth is a unique moment in the history of the Church and of the world.Alpha could be one way for you to answer the call of the Spirit to bring about the new Springtime of Faith and Christian Living desired by Pope John Paul II and to help make your parish an evangelizing community.|
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