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Thank you, Holy Father!

27 february 2013

On behalf of the 1.500 Faith and Light communities from all over the world, I give thanks for your pontificate...

Most Holy Father,

On behalf of the 1.500 Faith and Light communities from all over the world, I give thanks for your pontificate and I welcome the courageous decision you made by resigning from your ministry. We do know that the fragility of the bodies and spirit can be a source of grace, peace and joy when it is offered in prayer.

I thank you for the very warm message you addressed to us for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Faith and Light: "many Faith and Light communities have grown throughout the world. May they repeat to the heart of each person with disability the words of Pope Paul VI: “You are loved by God just as you are” and help them to then continue their pilgrimage in life with peace and joy within, surrounded by brothers and sisters who are happy to share with them the love that God brings in this blessed way to the smallest and weakest! May the celebration of this anniversary be a joyful message of hope for people with disabilities, for their families and their friends!"
Your message was a very valuable encouragement for the communities all over the world.


I was happy to have the opportunity to greet you on October 26th, 2011. When I introduced myself, I noticed how you smiled when you heard the name of Faith and Light. It confirmed that our mission with the most fragile of us had a privileged place in your heart and in your prayers. The next day, in Assisi, a small delegation of Faith and Light was present at the major event of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the meeting organized by blessed Jean-Paul II. The invitation we had received was very meaningful to me! Our communities witness that any person with disability is source of love when accepted as a person in his/her own right, source of joy when he/she is given the place he/she deserves and source of peace when we accept that he/she can build friendship. To the contrary, rejecting persons with disabilities brings tensions and conflicts; if we refuse to meet persons with disabilities we deny the grace that they alone can offer. Eliminating persons with disabilities lead us into "structures of sins".

When one of our communities feel too weak to go on meeting regularly, we invite them to give thanks for the new step in their lives. We encourage them to continue the friendship particularly through prayer.

Most Holy Father, this is also what you chose to do. The prayer of the most fragile is particularly welcome in the heart of God. This is our experience in Faith and Light! I personally learned it from my daughter Julie, born with Down Syndrome. That is why I am sure that your prayers for the Church and for the world will give us strength, courage and audacity to follow your call for a new Evangelization. I know that Faith and Light will have its place in your prayers; we can assure you that the Faith and Light communities will pray for you and will continue to bring to the world the message of this joy that we live in our communities, the joy which is given to us when we share our difficulties and our sufferings.

"Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love" (Ps 32, 18). May I ask for your apostolic blessing and assure you, Most Holy Father, in deep respect of your Holiness, that I am your very humble and obedient son and servant.

Ghislain Du Chéné,
International Coordinator   

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