English-language Alpha courses are multiplying in the Archdiocese of Montreal. The Alpha program is now available in seven parishes, five more than last year.
What is Alpha's appeal? According to Dubant, the world is full of seekers who lack a place in their daily lives to explore how they think or feel about God with others and to reflect on the purpose of their life. Many Catholics stop their God-exploring after making their Confirmation, and Alpha provides a nonjudgmental, open space for people to discover or renew their faith. Such was the case for Dubant in 2012:
"While living in Vancouver and running my wedding-planning business, right across from my office was a church. Because I knew that the church meets lots of future brides and grooms, I wanted to meet with the church leaders," Dubant explains.
"The pastor and his wife invited me to an Alpha course. I was curious and eager to collaborate with them, so I accepted the invitation. And that's how my journey with God started."
That God-encounter marked a turning point for Dubant who, as a result, decided to close her business, move to Quebec and choose to dedicate her life to evangelization.
Since October, St. Willibrord Parish in Verdun implemented an Alpha course, called "Faith in the Family," in tandem with their children's catechetical program, inviting parents to stay for breakfast after dropping off their children at the program.
In January, Corpus Christi and St. Willibrord parishes launched Alpha courses, and St. Veronica will do so April 5.
In addition, a diocesan-organized course, led by Dubant and diocesan staff Corey Jolly (lay evangelist) and Lucie McElligott (liturgy service), is also scheduled to begin April 3 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in St. Laurent.
St. Luke and St. Thomas à Becket parishes, who pioneered the program in the diocese, have developed a team of Alpha coaches and have now introduced two additional Alpha sessions designed particularly for youth and for parents.