Initial proclamation of the Gospel
Melbourne, Australia, 11 November 2019 -- Are you aware of the 'Alpha Course'? - From Mongolia to Australia we can come across meet this way of introducing people to Faith (adults and young) through a 10 week series of weekly or monthly encounters which started in the UK (London) some 35 years ago. Since that time about 27,000,000 people in 169 countries around the world have gone through this simple, attractive and interactive opportunity to share their deep life issues and to get in touch with Jesus and his disciples. This experience is ecumenical, open to any Christian denomination, although there are Catholic platforms of the Alpha Course available. The program package is available in 112 different languages, mostly online and free.
One Salesian from Shuwuu parish (Mongolia) was sent last March to the Alpha Youth Seminar in Ulanbaatar. Fr Jaroslav was overwhelmed by 400 young Mongolian participants, mostly Protestants and five Catholics. All participants were given the set of basic materials in Mongolian (basic guide for the 10 sessions, including the videos). Then the parish opened a Friday evening weekly "Alpha Course" session from August to October 2019 for young people, organized with the help of three other Catholics from Ulanbaatar parishes. About 10 young people interested in the Catholic faith took part in the weekly sessions, sharing their questions, sharing meals and getting in touch with the person of Jesus and his disciples.
The Australian Alpha Course 2019 Report indicates a steep growth in Alpha seminars (2200 in 2018), Churches - Parishes involved (1260) and participants (47,000 in 2018). There have been 500,000 participants in Alpha courses in Australia since the introduction of this evangelization program.
We may notice growing interest in Alpha Course also in many Salesian parishes around the EAO Region. Alpha International presents this experience as an 'opportunity to explore the Christian Faith in an informal, friendly, open environment. No one can force anyone to believe anything. We have found over the years that if we express radical hospitality and let guests be themselves, lives will be transformed.
This is a good chance for each Salesian parish priest or Youth Ministry delegate to introduce this out-reaching missionary experience, in view of many youth who are not yet personally in touch with Jesus, although they are involved in our education works or are exposed to our youth centres around the EAO region.
Basic materials for the Alpha Course (international)
Alpha Course – International: https://www.alpha.org/
Alpha Course Korea: http://korea.alpha.org/
Alpha Course – Cantonese (Hong Kong): https://alpha.org.hk/en/watch/
Alpha Course Japan: https://japan.alpha.org/
Alpha Course Philippines: http://philippines.alpha.org/how-to-run-alpha
Alpha Course Thailand: https://thailand.alpha.org/
Alpha Course Vietnam: https://www.hif.vn/alpha/