My parish is presenting the Alpha program in the fall. Alpha is touted as a course in basic Christianity which is designed to help people come closer to Christ. My concern about it is that it is a protestant program. It was written by Nicky Gumbel, an Anglican minister. It is used by many denominations and there is even a link on the Alpha USA website specifically for Catholics.
I wonder if there is a program written by Catholics for Catholics which does the same thing. I fear that using a protestant program sends the message that protestant materials teach truth. Never having participated in the program, I don’t know much about the materials. I have Catholic friends who have participated in it and think it is a great program. It seems to me that as Catholics we have become so concerned with ecumenism that we have lost site of the truths of the Catholic church, the one holy, Catholic, apostolic church.
None of the promotional information I have viewed tells me anything of substance about the course. There is a lot of “feel good” rhetoric bandied about, but not “meat” so I cannot form an opinion about the material to be presented.
I understand the reasons for wanting to have a tool like this in any parish, but I question the wisdom of using a program designed by a protestant. I pray that the Holy Spirit is present in the “team” of presenters of the program so that no harm is done.
I would love to hear from others who have participated in the Alpha program or who have knowledge of a Catholic program that teaches basic Christianity.