The Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is generally accepted as the best therapy for those 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, serene life.
Consider the men and women, who have spent a long time, often many years, unwittingly developing a physical dependence on alcohol. Finally they reach the end of the line - physically, mentally and spiritually. Assume that they manage to put together a short period of sobriety and tentatively are testing the Twelve Step program. Their physical condition improves rapidly and, after a longer period, so does the emotional side of their lives.
For Catholics, however, something more is needed that can not be found in their Twelve Step meetings. They realize that the Twelve Step program advocates recourse to a "higher power" and God, but they also know that Twelve Step programs are necessarily non-denominational. Having been raised in a church rich in tradition, dogma and ritual, these recovering alcoholics begin to yearn once again for the faith they probably have neglected or abandoned. At this point the Calix Society can say: "Come back home. You must maintain your sobriety through your affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous, but let us help you to regain the spiritual life without which you may not succeed in the never-ending fight against your addiction." Perhaps the disease never will be conquered completely, but the sincere men and women of Calix have the answer of the Calix Society: "Substitute the cup that sanctifies for the cup that stupefies."
What Does Calix Do?
The "Credo" of the society succinctly tells the story: "Calix is an association of Catholic alcoholics who are maintaining their sobriety through affiliation with and participation in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our first concern is to interest Catholics with an alcoholic problem in the virtue of total abstinence. Our second stated purpose is to promote the spiritual development of our membership. Our gathering today is an effort in this direction. Our conversation and our association together should be a source of inspiration and encouragement to each other, geared to our growth toward spiritual maturity. Our participation in all other spiritual activities of Calix, such as the frequent celebration of the Liturgy, reception of the Sacraments, personal prayer and meditation, Holy Hours, Days of Recollection and retreats, aid us in our third objective, namely, to strive for the sanctification of the whole personality of each member. We welcome other alcoholics, not members of our faith, or any others, non-alcoholics, who are concerned with the illness of alcoholism and wish to join with us in prayer for our stated purposes."