BIRTH AND GROWTH OF FAITH AND LIGHT|
- THE PAIN OF GERARD AND CAMILLE
French couple, Gerard and Camille, had two sons who could neither walk
nor talk, nor have any real contact with their parents. In 1968, the
family wanted to join their diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. Because the
boys were so disabled, the family was not accepted.
they made the journey themselves. Their hurt increased when at Lourdes
itself the hotel management asked them not to bring the boys into the
dining room and when they heard people say. "When
people have children like that they should keep them at home."
EXPERIENCE OF JEAN VANIER
on, they met Jean Vanier and Marie-Helene
OF PAIN, PEACE AND HOPE
idea came to organize a pilgrimage especially for intellectually
disabled children and young people and adults. At Easter 1971 twelve
thousand people spent three wonderful days in Lourdes, which transformed
into a place of peace and joy.
PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY ARE A GIFT
Out of this miracle of the heart, parents
discovered that their child could be a source of peace and joy.
A CHALLENGE FROM - JEAN VANIER
On the last day of the pilgrimage Jean Vanier summed up what everybody was feeling, when he said to the community leaders.. "What has been given to us at Lourdes is so great, it is such a precious gift, that we do not have the right to let it be buried now."
When the pilgrims returned home, they continued
to meet regularly and Faith and light communities began to multiply.
SPREAD OF FAITH AND LIGHT
In 1975 a second international pilgrimage brought the groups together in Rome, a third and a fourth in Lourdes in 1981 and 1991. There are more than 1000 Faith and Light communities throughout the world, WITH 16 in Australia. The bond that unites them all is the Risen Jesus himself He gives Fait