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The Final Curtain

23 november 2012

The curtain came down on November 10, 2012 in Fish Hoek, near Cape Town in South Africa...

The last pilgrimage organized for the 40 years of Faith and Light has concluded almost two years of celebrations around the world!

The messengers of joy met together about fifty times in countries or provinces, to give thanks for the gift that was made in 1971 in Lourdes! About fifty times, we shared our message of joy: "Yes, friendship and fellowship with people with intellectual disabilities have been source of great joy! Come and see how the little ones lead us to Jesus to whom they are so close." About fifty times, beautiful birthday cakes were made with care, all very tasty, all so beautiful! About fifty times, our song "Messengers of Joy" was sung!

But we must stop one day... and that day, about a hundred people gathered for the last big party. There were five members of the South African communities (from Cape Town and Johannesburg), that Elinata, coordinator of the province Capricorn Africa, joined from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Volunteers were invited to help and discover the beauty of our communities. The program was very intense: games, singing and dancing (see video), a few speeches, prayer, meals, liturgy...

At the end of the meal, we shared a big cake, decorated with the cover of our last guidelines: guidelines that have been excellent and very nourishing!

The liturgical time focused on two symbols: the breaking of bread introduced through the Gospel of the pilgrims of Emmaus, and the anointing with oil on everyone’s forehead accompanied by a word of blessing.

Finally, and this was the highlight of this beautiful day, we were introduced to the rhythm of African drums and percussion! A music leader arrived and in less than an hour, we managed to play like if we had been doing it all our lives! Eight minutes of madness where everyone regardless of disability, were able to enter into full communion. During eight minutes, all of us were in unison, insensitive to our differences!

Thank you to Bev and to the team who prepared and conducted this day, you have been excellent and the final "drumming session" will go down in history, a session that has made a lot of noise as if we wanted to be heard to the ends of the earth: "Together, we can do extraordinary things when everyone is accepted for who they are! Together, we want to share our message of joy! Together, we will continue the adventure for another 40 years and even more! "

Ghislain du Chéné
International coordinator



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