The history of the Catholic Church was built on evangelizing and bringing people to God through relationship with Jesus Christ. In the few centuries immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus, the main goal was to introduce and convert people to the teachings of Jesus Christ. When the Church was new, the faithful were evangelizing to people who knew nothing about Jesus.
With this in mind, the Cathedral of Christ the King is introducing a new program called Alpha to serve this important mission of evangelization.
It would be extremely rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of the Christian faith. So our methods of evangelization look very different today. Pope St. John Paul II called us to the “New Evangelization,” a mission to go out in our daily lives and lead others to Christ. Yet, it may seem intimidating to practice what it means to live out the “New Evangelization.”
“The Catholic Church historically has done a great job of evangelization,” says Casey Phillips, Director of Evangelization at the Cathedral of Christ the King. “In more recent history, we have sort of lost that art of evangelization or become confused as to what that looks like.
We also have a growing denomination in our population of ‘former Catholics’ so to bring them back into the church with truth and love is so important.
“Pope Paul VI said that the church exists in order to evangelize,” Casey says. “We do that in many ways, especially as witnesses through word and deed. We are here with more tools to help our parishioners.”
Through Alpha, our parish is seeking to create a culture of hospitality and welcome — a way for parishioners to reach out to others and bring them into the parish.
“We will begin with a meal which is then followed by a presentation,” Casey says. “This presentation is about what the Catholic Church believes. After that, we will break into small groups and we welcome people to join in the discussion.”
This program is called “Alpha” because it is the very beginning. It is a place to learn about the teachings of the church without getting too deep into the theology or dogma of the church.
“We are looking to bring people into the community and relationship,” Casey says. “This is also a beautiful opportunity to reengage people who are already Catholic and get them more excited about their faith. Most of all, we are looking to draw people into that encounter with the Lord, to give Him an opportunity to work in them.”
The Alpha program will run from Sunday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 19. These 11 weekly sessions will take place from 6:15-8:15 p.m. Parishioners are called to invite others to come and see what this program is about. All are welcome regardless of their religious traditions or church affiliations. We encourage people to RSVP on the parish website for meal preparation purposes, though no one will be turned away at the door.
“We are working to show people what their call is,” Casey says. “Jesus gave us the Great Commission of ‘Go therefore, making disciples of all nations….’ Now we need to respond to that and actually GO!”
Visit Cathedralctk.org/alpha for more information, to watch the introductory video or to RSVP. If you have any questions or are interested in serving with this program, contact Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.