CHS ALPHA FOR CATHOLICS PROGRAM
In 2008, CHS conducted the first Alpha Program (Exploring the Meaning of Life). The first Alpha organised by the CHS Alpha Team was held in the RCIA (English) room attended by about 40 people. The Alpha Team continued to organize the program until 2011. In 2012, the Alpha Team conducted the Alpha II (A Life Worth Living, study on the Book of Philippians) and Alpha III (Challenging Lifestyles, study on Sermon on the Mount) attended by a total of 80 people. Subsequently, the Alpha Team was incorporated into the Parish Formation Team (PFT) in 2013 and the PFT continues to run Bible and Life Application video study programs for CHS till today.
For those unfamiliar with the course, Alpha is a local parish tool for evangelization that is being used by thousands of Catholic parishes in over 65 countries across the world, including Brazil, France, USA, the UK and here in Malaysia. The Alpha course is also being used by churches from many other denominations to introduce people to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. In particular Alpha is attracting many who are asking the question ‘Is there more to life than this?’ This quest has now led over 15 million people to do an Alpha course somewhere in the world. Alpha is proven to awaken faith in lapsed Catholics, those on the fringe of parish life, and those outside the faith. It is a proven method to introducing people to a living relationship, personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
The Alpha for Catholics course conducted in CHS spanned over a period of ten weeks with a weekend (Sat & Sun) retreat halfway through. The usual classes are held from 3pm to 5pm on Sundays and began with light refreshments to foster fellowship among participants followed by a video talk on a subject central to the Christian faith. After the video presentation, participants were divided into pre-arranged groups moderated by a ‘host’ and ‘helper’ whose objective was to encourage everyone to share their thoughts and experiences on the subject for that day.
Overall, a total of 126 people took part in the Alpha for Catholics program this year 2018 at CHS which included participants from other parishes as well as non Christians. Alpha helps people in that first important step on their continuing journey of knowing the faith or Catholic conversion. Alpha is also an invitation to “drop your nets” and become Missionary Disciples of Hope.