These notes, talks and guidelines have been prepared for various purposes and contexts.
In the summer of 2019 Dr. Caroline Farey traveled to Mount Angel Abbey in St. Benedict, Oregon, USA, to give a series of talks at the abbeyʼs annual Oblate Study Days. She presented twelve sessions to more than forty of the abbeyʼs numerous oblates—lay people, married or single, as well as diocesan priests spiritually associated with the community of Benedictine monks. The theme uniting all the sessions comes from a single line of the ancient hymn Ubi Caritas: “The love of Christ has gathered us into One. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.ˮ In each session Dr. Farey uses sacred artworks to illustrate fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith.
These short notes are designed as a handout to help Catholics understand some of the deep truths of the Catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles, in relation to different sessions of the Alpha programme, an evangelisation tool often used in Catholic parishes.
The differences between ‘Alpha’ and an authentic Catholic evangelisation can be summed up in the phrase from St Augustine, ‘Christus totus’, the whole Christ, Christ and his Church. To understand Christ is to understand him wholy, as head and members of the one body.
This is a downloadable handout written for all those involved in the Liturgy of the Word for Children, especially priests, so that the withdrawal of the children from the main body of the Church is not a withdrawal from the grace of the liturgy, the ‘sacred action that surpasses all others’.
How the Sacred Scriptures are read and explained is obviously central, so that the children may experience God the Father who ‘comes lovingly to meet his children…’.
To prepare someone to receive a sacrament for the first time is to prepare him or her for a lifetime of sacramental commitment, grace and joy. To do this, the Church gives us everything we need. Her way renews the parents, the catechists and the whole parish as well as prepares the candidates. See how it works!