GERMANY, Sr. Cordula-Maria Leidig •
An information day about the Alpha Courses took place at the Schoenstatt Center in Wiesbaden and was the prelude to the “Alpha Course” project that the Schoenstatt Center is developing together with the parish of St. Peter and Paul (Wiesbaden-West). —
For most of the 18 participants (from Wiesbaden up to the surrounding area of Bad Nauheim) “Alpha” was completely new territory: “Alpha” is a series of meetings where the Christian faith can be discovered in a relaxed atmosphere. At each meeting, questions about life and the Christian faith are discussed, e.g. Who is Jesus? How does God guide us? Does God still heal today? The impulses are designed in such a way that exciting conversations follow.
What is „Alpha“?
Alpha was developed in the 1970s in the Anglican Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London. Now Alpha exists around the world and is held in cafes, churches of various Christian denominations, universities, prisons, youth clubs, and at home – wherever people are. Everyone is welcome!
The following three elements belong to each Alpha meeting: First a tasty meal, which is then followed by an impulse, and finally people can have exchanges in small groups.
The speaker, Anita Spohn (Cologne-Pulheim), emphasized that the most important things are the warm hospitality, cosy, familiar atmosphere and the genuine, personal testimony of faith of the hosts and organizers.
Based on Prayer
Since the basis for these alpha meetings in Cologne was a prayer group, which consisted of only eight people in the beginning, a prayer group was founded quite spontaneously on Monday after the information day together with the pastor and acting city Deacon of Wiesbaden. Meeting point: every Monday evening at 6.50 p.m. in the Schoenstatt Chapel. A Holy Mass (6 pm) is available before the meeting, and a Rosary (5:30 pm) is available before that. If you like, the chapel is open!
The first task of the alpha course team in the making will be to set the dates for the alpha course planned in the fall. Then it is important to advertise this course and prepare the team well. We will offer a second information day and attend the Congress “Divine Renovation” in Fulda at the beginning of October. The author of the book “Divine Renovation Bringing Your Parish from Maintenance to Mission“, Fr. James Mellon, is expected to speak. James Mellon was able to experience a resurrection of his parish thanks to the Alpha Course!
Fr.Tilmann Beller: Pastoral care in a dissolving culture
A book by Father Beller (+2012) and Sister Nurit Stosiek: “Jesus, die Antwort auf Fragen, die nicht von gestern sind (Jesus, the answer to questions that are not of yesterday)” (1997, published as a manuscript by the Movement Director of the German Schoenstatt Movement) will be very useful for us in this time of preparation. Father Beller presents Father Kentenich’s method for “pastoral care in a dissolving culture”.
Original: German, 07.05.2019 Translation: Lindsay Burger, Ohio, USA