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Eucharistic Congress will offer 'crash course in Christianity'

‘Alpha’ – described as a “parish tool for evangelisation” – will offer pilgrims and the public a chance to explore basic questions.

Pope Benedict XVI rings the bell of the International Eucharistic Congress, watched by Fr Kevin Doran and Dr Diarmuid Martin.
Pope Benedict XVI rings the bell of the International Eucharistic Congress, watched by Fr Kevin Doran and Dr Diarmuid Martin.
Image: International Eucharistic Congress 2012

ORGANISERS OF the International Eucharistic Congress taking place this June in Dublin have announced the provision of ‘crash courses’ in the Christian faith as part of the event.

The specially curtailed version of the ‘Alpha’ courses – a 15-week programme described as a “parish tool for evangelisation” – will be run in Dublin alongside the Congress.

The programme aims to allow people discuss basic questions about the Christian faith, such as the identity of Jesus, why he died, the role of God and techniques for prayer.

Among the events taking place will be a talk by Nicky Gumbel, an Anglican vicar who pioneered the course, which organisers say has been adopted by Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic churches in 60,000 parishes around the world.

An estimated 18 million people have completed Alpha Courses since 1993, and the programme is backed by the Pope’s personal Legate to this year’s congress, Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

Other noted proponents of the scheme include retired footballer Linvoy Primus, and TV adventurer Bear Grylls, who featured in a TV ad for the courses:

Read: Pope Benedict will not attend Eucharistic Congress in Dublin

More: Almost 2,000 volunteer for Eucharistic Congress

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Gavan Reilly

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