Calix Atlanta

chaliceWe’ve got a date for the first Calix Atlanta meeting and created a web site to give people information about Calix here in Atlanta.  Here is a link to the website–quick and easy template just like this blog.

Calix Atlanta members meet monthly to practice the 11th Step in community with other local Catholics in recovery.

Calix is not Catholic AA. Calix is a lay organization approved by the bishops in the various chapters’ respective dioceses. There are chapters in 21 states in the US. Here in Atlanta, we have just begun process of getting that approval. Calix doesn’t attempt to “sober anyone up.” An alcoholic who is not sober is not ready mentally or spiritually for Calix membership.

Why Calix?

The Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is generally accepted as the best remedy for we who are afflicted with the disease of alcoholism. The Calix Society, an organization of recovering alcoholics, their friends and family, shares this view.

Why is there a Calix Society? What does it do? Answers to these questions are vital to the Catholic recovering alcoholic attempting to achieve and maintain a sober life.

We have spent a long time, often many years, developing a physical dependence on alcohol. Finally by the grace of God, we reach the point where we must change – physically, mentally and spiritually. We manage to put together a short period of sobriety by attending AA meetings and working the 12 Steps.

For Catholic alcoholics; however, sometimes something more is desired to fulfill our spiritual program of recovery. We realize that the 12-Step program advocates recourse to a “higher power,” and is necessarily non-denominational. But having been raised in the Church, rich in tradition, dogma and ritual, we begin to yearn once again for the faith we may have neglected or abandoned when we were drinking.

Through Calix, we reintroduce ourselves to our Catholic Faith, in sobriety. Some important points to consider:

  • 12 Step Programs are necessarily non-denominational and need to remain that way
  • The 12 Steps are not opposed to Catholic teaching; and Calix is not divisive of 12 Step fellowships – it is a true symbiotic relationship.
  • Calix provides an opportunity for those with resentments about the Church to explore those issues by reintroducing Catholic alcoholics to their childhood faith.
  • While it is not a forum for airing grievances against the Church, Calix meetings are a safe place for fallen away Catholic alcoholics to grow in knowledge of their faith.
  • Calix provides Catholic in recovery an opportunity to openly discuss scripture and utilize the Sacraments to enhance their 11th Step work.
  • While Calix is not a forum for airing grievances about 12 Step programs, those skeptical about specific recovery programs are welcome and encouraged in sobriety.
  • Recovery literature suggests alcoholics in recovery might do well to return to the church of their youth.
  • Recovery literature also suggests we would do well to learn about prayer and spiritual matters from clergy. Calix provides Catholic alcoholics a forum to do so.
  • Fr. Ed Dowling convinced leaders in the Catholic Church that there is nothing about the 12 Steps that was contrary to the Church’s doctrines.
  • In a letter to the Calix Society, co-founder of AA Bill Wilson wrote that he found nothing about Calix that was in conflict with AA traditions.


9 thoughts on “Calix Atlanta

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog today 🙂
    I wish there was a Calix Society group in Denver. I should try to start one. I would LOVE to be able to discuss my faith as part of my recovery.

    • I love your blog. I am starting Calix here and the Calix main office put me in touch with someone else here who had inquired about it. I will keep you posted on how we do here!

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  4. In every parish there are many alcoholics. Some are in recovery and some are not. Some are dry but still addicted. All desperately need help since they are at a terrible low in their lives and not functioning as God plans for them. I have such a son. But where is the help in the parish community? Low self esteem, embarrassment, anger and family troubles from lack of work and inconsistent behavior breed chaos. Catholic sponsors to take these hurting people to a meeting at church followed by the opportunity for confession with a priest, firm but compassionate, could be the help needed for real recovery. Please encourage such programs to exist in every parish.

  5. What about the priest at Mass during the announcements, adding an invitation to all interested in becoming a part of a needed ministry for those in recovery. Priests need to encourage and welcome those who would benefit.

    • Some dioceses have really great recovery ministries. Most don’t tho. Madison Wisconsin is building a great one. I think Philadelphia has a good one. These could be used as models. But it takes individual parishioners to make it happen.

  6. Those trying to recover need a helping hand. They have low self esteem so won’t reach out to say–“Hey–would you help me in recovery?” To get them involved is the first delicate step but how to do that is the challenge.
    Moms who suffer live many miles away so can’t start group in son’s parish. How to reach those in need and make them feel wanted and needed, helpful and then helped is the problem to be solved. Any ideas? Are any priests deeply involved in this ministry in Northern California?

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