BANTING : The Church of Our Lady of Fatima has started the Alpha Course.
Parish priest Fr VA Michael intends to run the Alpha Course as a formation programme for both the youth and the adults. He hopes that this experience will help them to reach out to BEC members and also to the migrant communities.
The enthusiastic responses from both the young and adults reinforce the conviction of the facilitating team comprising lay leaders from five parishes in the KL Archdiocese as they give up eleven Sundays to journey with the Banting folks.
“Every time after the session, I get so rejuvenated. Faith is alive and so vibrantly shared. The talks reflect our ordinary lives and we are able to relate to one another in the small group,” shared one participant. One youth remarked, “Indeed, after listening to the talk about the Bible and having listened to my group, I now want to engage more with the Lord in Scriptures.” Much as the participants are searching for a deeper meaning in life, one of the facilitators, Rita Alfenso, remarked, “I, too, am growing with them.”
James and Cecilia have been married for almost 20 years and they have four children. This is James’ testimony: “I was baptized last Easter. My wife and children are all Catholics and it was only in recent times that I realized it would be good to be belonging to the same faith as a family. However, after my baptism, there are still a lot of things I do not know. Now as I attend the Alpha Course, my faith is deepening and I am learning a lot more.”
Cecilia, James and their younger three children are currently attending the course at Fatima Church, Banting. While the parents sit through the talks by Rev Nicky Gumbel via DVD, the children attend Youth Alpha, conducted live with activities to reflect the talks.
The Alpha Course began in 1977 in the UK as a course to introduce Christianity to new converts and to the unchurched. Since then, 13 million people have attended the course conducted in more than 70 languages the world over. Nominal Catholics have been re-evangelized and ‘mature’ Catholics are now able to share their faith.
The Malaysian Catholic team has travelled extensively in the Asia Pacific region briefing key leaderships of the church, including speaking at Bishops’ Conferences and giving pilot courses to priests, religious and the laity at numerous dioceses.