Monday, April 25, 2016

Is there more to life than this?

Some members of our Alpha Group 

The Presentation Brothers, Mt. St. Joseph completed another successful Alpha course on Sunday with a themed retreat day on the Holy Spirit. Carolyn and Nora joined us for the retreat. The Brothers organise the Alpha course here in our community in Mt. St. Joseph twice a year and in our community in Glasthule, Co Dublin. Our Youth Ministry Team (PBYM) visit schools in the city to deliver the Junior Alpha Programme to TYO students.   

While Alpha is open to everyone, we encourage young adults in particular to attend. Our Alpha group here in Mt. St. Joseph met on a Tuesday evening throughout Lent. We were blessed with a wonderful mix of ages and background. Alpha groups are all the more enriched when they are intergenerational and indeed international. The Alpha programme embraces all, atheists, agnostics and believers alike. Participants are encouraged to ask the big questions about life in a safe and informal setting. Usually, a lovely bond develops among the participants with a genuine sense of belonging. This truly is Church in action.

Set over an hour and a half, a typical Alpha session consists firstly of time together over an informal meal. This allows for the all-important bonding to take place. Following this, there is a themed input, either in the form of a DVD or a talk in person. Finally, people go into groups to discuss the topic at hand. The Alpha course encourages people to ask questions pertinent to them and to see if there is room for Christ in their lives. Alpha encourages people to strengthen their faith through grappling with their doubts.

By the end of the 10 weeks, people feel refreshed by Alpha. Everyone feels a genuine sense of belonging to this small community with whom they have journeyed in a short few weeks. But what is perhaps most exciting is seeing people who have connected with God in a very personal way. Lives are changed through the power of the Holy Spirit and it is a privilege to accompany them on that journey.

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