Father André Roberti, S.J.1 october 2013
Founder of L’Arche and Faith and Light in Belgium ascended to join the Father on 20 September.
Father André Roberti devoted his life to people with a learning disability and their families.
At the beginning of the 1970s, he opened “Le Toit” residential home in Brussels and, after meeeting Jean Vanier, he joined “L’Arche”, founding “L’Arche in Belgium” in 1973.
In 1971, he participated in the first international Faith and Light pilgrimage to Lourdes *, along with a large number of Belgian pilgrims (filling two whole planes!) After three years of celebrations involving large numbers of people, Faith and Light Belgium was officially born in 1974.
Father Roberti was one of the founders of Faith and Light in Belgium, and also national chaplain, community chaplain….. He was always close to each and every one of us. His munificence extended beyond Belgium’s borders, for after spending several weeks at the “Le Toit”, a young Polish lady launched Faith and Light in Warsaw!
Let us give thanks for what Father Robert has been for us, as the tireless “builder of bridges” and for his gift in helping to launch L’Arche and Faith and Light in Belgium. This is the man who said he was certain he was right to be with the person with a disability…
The Thanksgiving Mass for Father André was held on Friday 27 September at 2pm at the Church of St. John Berchmans church in the Saint-Michel collège in Brussels.
* After returning from Lourdes, Father Roberti wrote this piece:
“Faith and Light in the style of Péguy”.