Catholic bishops learn about Alpha course

More than 20 Catholic archbishops and bishops from across the world have been attending an international conference in London this week to learn about one of the most well-known evangelisation programmes in England and Wales: the Alpha course.

The clergy gathered in London for the 'Alpha International Conference' which included over 1500 representatives from a hundred countries.

The bishops came from, among others countries, France, Columbia, Mexico, India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Costa Rica. As there were so many Catholic delegates at the event - more than 250 -  a Mass was offered at Westminster Cathedral by Most Rev Luis Augosto Castro Quiroga (Archbishop of Tunja, Columbia and Coordinator of the Continental Mission). This was followed by a reception at Clergy House,  with representatives from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, including the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE).

Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood, who hosted the gathering, said: "Alpha is the most marvellous tool for evangelisation. Alpha serves to bring faith alive and to me that is the most important thing in the world, because if a person's faith and belief in Jesus becomes 'real' as opposed to 'notional' then you see the whole of life differently."

Kitty-Kay Shuttleworth, Alpha for Catholics Director, said: "Alpha is running in thousands of Catholic parishes all over the world and the presence of the archbishops and bishops this week is a sign of how the course is growing throughout the Roman Catholic Church
worldwide. It is thrilling that so many Bishops, priests and laity were able to be here and attend the special Mass at Westminster Cathedral."

The Alpha course was started in an Anglican church and is used across the denominations as a parish tool for evangelisation; it aims to provide an introduction to the Christian faith. To date 13 million people have attended the course in over 160 countries. 

For more information about Alpha for Catholics see:

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