The Calix Promises

Twelve Step programs are generally accepted as the best remedy for those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism. The Calix Society, an organization of recovering alcoholics, their friends and family, shares this view. However, 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 recovery 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.

The Calix Society has been in existence since 1947 to help augment the recovery efforts of Catholic alcoholics beyond what they experience as members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). While a spiritually driven program of recovery, AA remains a non-denominational organization, despite the great influence and leadership in the early days by a nun of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and a Jesuit priest. Around 1947, a group of recovering members of AA in St Paul/Minneapolis felt a need to have a group where they could augment their recovery using the scriptures, devotions and sacraments of the Church to expand their spiritual growth. Thus the Calix Society was formed (Calix is Latin for Chalice -- consistent with the Society's efforts to quench the spiritual thirst of its membership by spiritual means).

Calix embodies the Catholic Church's growing emphasis on the "New Evangelization." The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on "re-proposing" the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith. The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. In a sense, Calix re-proposes the Truth of the Gospel to alcoholics and their friends and family, helping them to believe in Jesus Christ as their "higher power" and facilitating the growth of a personal relationship with Him.

Calix represents more than an opportunity for alcoholics to reclaim their faith and grow in the love of Christ, however. It also promises an opportunity for healing between alcoholics and their family and friends, especially those in Twelve Step programs like Al-Anon. This promise extends the growth in love of God to a growth in the love of one's neighbor as one's self.