Faith. Life. Meaning.

Joe DiPenta's Alpha Journey



"When God is working through me or through others, it's a feeling you don't really replace."


Joe DiPenta
Former NHL Player & Stanley Cup Champion
Halifax, NS
Alpha Course, St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Halifax, NS


Karen's Story


"It was beautiful to see people open up..."

Plainfield, Illinois USA

Rediscovering my Faith

As a podcast listener, I had been hearing about Alpha on the Divine Renovation podcast, and it really was appealing to me; nevertheless, I didn't start thinking about how possible it was for me to experience the program until I saw a tryalpha.ca billboard on the Lonsdale Quay bus loop, in North Vancouver. I am not sure if the billboard was intriguing enough for most people, but it was perfect for me, because of my previous knowledge of the program's existence. That was maybe a year ago. By the time there was nothing close enough for me or at a time without conflicting my working schedule.

A few months ago, I searched again on tryalpha.ca and, Thank God, there was an Alpha program about to start in Vancouver, on one of my days off and in a Catholic parish. 

Everything came so perfectly that I was supposed to go by myself, but I ended up being accompanied by my wife. And she enjoyed those two months as much as I did. I invited 5 friends to come with us, and at least one of them came and stayed until the final session.

What can I say about the experience? The series of videos and the lively conversation after them inspired on me an incredible and unexpected revival of my need for knowing more about The Lord's word and to realize again the need I have for a community of faith, closer than the one you experience on a Sunday mass, where you practically know nothing about everyone else.

Actually, after the Alpha course ended, I feel hungry for similar experiences, or for participating in Bible Study groups. That is something that unfortunately is not available in every parish... and that is a shame. For the moment I am trying to do some Bible Study by myself, but I believe that it can be more rewarding in a small group, a small community of faith.

There are no words to describe all the love, the hard work, the resources and time our Alpha hosts invested in us, the attendants. I don't want to mention specific names, but the coordinator, our table host, and the rest of our brothers and sisters in Christ really, really created a beautiful atmosphere for all to feel welcomed, appreciated and loved. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

And last but not least, all the meals were delicious, including some special menus created by former Alpha attendants. They even prepare extra meals for attendants with special dietary needs. What a great service. They really made us feel like being in the family.

I am the kind of person who is shy and wouldn't be preaching to friends or other people about God, but definitely, the Alpha sessions create an environment, a platform where I perfectly could feel comfortable talking about Jesus to fellow brothers and sisters. Who knows? Maybe in the future, I might be another member of an Alpha team in St. Augustine or in another parish. God Willing.

Ju​an P.
North Vancouver
​Alpha Course, St. Augustine's Parish, Vancouver, BC
Summer 2018

Finding Purpose...

It was really a  touching experience for me. Although I was born Catholic, I have always been looking for inspiration and motivation to become a better Catholic each day. Alpha gave me the opportunity to explore myself deeper and to meet wonderful and amazing people. Spending more time with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Every Friday at work I felt so motivated, so happy! My co-workers even asked me why I was so happy! And why I was always smiling. Obviously I didn’t know what to answer but I knew it was because of my meetings with God on Thursdays. 

I used to be a very positive person, but lately I was feeling that I had lost it after moving to Canada for all the changes and sacrifices I had been exposed to. But guess what? After a few sessions at Alpha my positive way of thinking  came back. Not 100% but I felt how it started to come back thanks to Alpha; I thought I would never be able to be me again, and now I feel that I am coming back. Always smiling and always being grateful with life and God. I am not totally back but I know I am in the right path to get there.



Gaby C.
Vancouver
Alpha Course, St. Augustine's Parish, Vancouver, BC
Summer 2018

Renewal

I was born into a Catholic famly and would discover through out my childhood several spiritual encounters with God but not really knowing the answers as to why things happened to me and to people that I had lost and had passed away.  I would remain in a haze staring at the upper skies with this spiritual malady that I had held deep until I was invited to an Alpha course.  I was willing and accepting to attend for the purpose I was there to find my Faith again and reunite with God, and to have a better knowledge, understanding and a true meaning of acceptance. Throughout the course, I noticed other people were there for the same reason and that reason was regardless of what or who we are.  We are all children of God and in fact the unity of the group was powerful, soul searching and together it remained open, tranquil and real.

I experienced the Holy Spirit at the Alpha course present with the unity of the group and at the very end of the course. We gathered together in White Rock at Crescent Beach to find each of our own answers of God and what we had learned for each of us.  My personal experience left me feeling remarkable, as I felt a warm touch on my shoulders and my whole body had felt like a sweep of the ocean went through it. This understanding was an extreme relief and of Faith for me, genuine knowledge of true acceptance to myself and others, and with the Graces of God loving me.  

Also to accept and understand, which I wanted to know for so long in my Faith, as to what this certain scripture meant to me. It was revealed to me when I reunited with God at Alpha.  I would learn the words with which He would answer and understood what he would reply to me. Job 4:7-9...and He did!

Helena G.
Vancouver
Alpha Course, St. Augustine's Parish, Vancouver, BC
Summer 2018