"To the chaplains, Faith and Light offers the opportunity to rediscover in a new way the core of the Gospel message, the good news of Jesus Christ, announced to the poor and little ones, and to find there a source of renewal for their ministry." (Charter I)
He took my place
I met Denis when he was six years old. He now lives in a centre for people with disabilities. Denis has Downs Syndrome. Contrary to the majority of people with Downs Syndrome, Denis is very cold and never hugs anyone.
We went to holiday camp. About twenty people were gathered around the altar for mass. After having taken communion, each person prayed and sang. When I wanted to go and sit down on the seat reserved for the priest, Denis was sat in my place. What should I do? Should I have stopped him? Left him? Put him on my knee? Sat on the floor beside him? I sat on the floor.
Shortly after, Denis got down from his chair, came up to me and hugged me. This really wasn’t normal! Then Denis went and hugged each person. This extraordinary event touched us all very much.
In the evening, as a team, we discussed what had happened during the Eucharist. Everyone was deeply moved because Denis had never before done such a thing. It was obvious that Jesus alone was able to make this transformation happen. It was clear to all of us that Jesus himself had come to join the poor one and transfigure him…
Father Janusz, Poland
''Franco was a member of the team responsible for welcoming participants at the last international meeting for Faith and Light leaders held in Rome. Despite, or rather thanks to his disability, he reminded everyone why and for whom we were all meeting together. Between two sessions on finances, I went to take a coffee with Peter, the delegate from Singapore, and I said to Peter : ''You see Franco over there? All our work here is for Franco and his friends. If we lose sight of that, then we are wasting our time.''
Then I said to Franco :
- "Come along Franco, we need your prayers."
Immediately, Franco put his hands on our heads and he prayed for us and blessed each of us by making the sign of the Cross on our foreheads. I was very moved by this short moment with Franco: he become for me like an icone of Jesus during our gathering.
Father John, the Netherlands
The Faith and Light community icon ?
Jesus on Calvary, his mum and John his friend, aren't they the icon of a Faith and Light community ? Jesus, the child who suffers from an incurable suffering ; Marie, the mother whose heart is pierced, powerless but infinitely present ; John, the friend, who is led by compassion and fidelity. The three of them are united in the same spirit of trust in God, a small prayerful community with no words except the last word of Jesus : "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!"
Father Joseph Larsen (former international chaplain)
The beauty of Faith and Light
The beauty of Faith and Light is showing that in hopeless situations, there is always something to live.
Mgr Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes-Lourdes
Your love and your prayer
On February 11th (N.D of Lourdes), the Archidiocesis celebrated a special mass for the sick. We participated with our "brothers and sisters" who received the sacrament of the sick. At the end, one of them wanted to say a word, approved by the Cardinal. He said : "Among us, there are people who are called "abnormal", I am one of them. But we are also children of God and we ask you not to reject us or make fun of us, but instead to make us feel your love. We do not ask for money, but rather your love and prayer". You had to see him with his twisted body and his thick voice. Many cried and people clapped, more than for the Cardinal's homely.
Father Hans Putman, Sudan
Thank you, my Lord
I think with gratitute that God used the Faith and Light spirituality during all these years : He helped me grow in my way of looking for perfection and in my relations with each other, He helped me to be patient, to forgive and to stop seeing flaws in everything; but above all, through the persons with an intellectual disability, He drew me closer to Him and made me rest in his love. I share all of this because the Faith and Light spirituality is also the spirituality of my congregation (Sacred Heart) ; and in my life I saw them both meeting each other, as complementary. One more time, Thank you Father!
Father Vicente, Brazil