Is 'Alpha for Catholics' a Good Program?
Is the Alpha program right for Catholics?
If faithfully implemented, the Alpha for Catholics program is definitely a worthwhile one, as the U.S. bishops have noted.
However, as we have noted elsewhere, people should realize the purpose of Alpha for Catholics:
There are some who assert that the course is theologically flawed and deficient, given its Protestant origins. . . . [M]any of the adaptations that have been made to it over the years have gone a long way toward resolving those issues. What many of these critics fail to understand is that the Alpha Course is meant to be a basic introduction to the heart of the gospel and not a systematic and exhaustive catechesis or course in theology. That comes later.
So, Alpha is particularly useful in introducing non-Catholics—or reintroducing lapsed Catholics—to the basics of the Faith. That is, as an evangelization or New Evangelization endeavor. Program leaders also report that it can also reinvigorate the faith of active Catholics.