A Christian, faith-based community for those with intellectual disabilities, their family & caregivers, and friends.
The Knights of Columbus in California have traditionally supported thousands of people with intellectual disabilities through our partnership with Special Olympics and through donations gathered for the Columbian Foundation Supporting People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Now we are asking the Knights of California to step to the forefront and offer spiritual support to our special needs brothers and sisters.
Currently, there are two, active Faith and Light Communities in California:
- Arlene’s Lighthouse in Manhattan Beach
- Joyful Friends in Chula Vista
Faith and Light communities are centered around the spiritual life of a person with intellectual disabilities and his/her family. Too often families with members with intellectual disabilities feel isolated and excluded from their church and local communities. Sometimes these special needs individuals make noise in church and the family may overhear comments like, “Why did they bring him to church?” or feel a kind of prejudice against them. However, every person has been redeemed by Christ and should be a welcomed member of our worshipping body. Also, every person should be instructed in the Faith to the limits of their comprehension.
Faith and Light communities can be formed by members of one or more parishes. In such a setting, the members would include people with developmental disabilities, their families and any other person, non-related, who would like to share in their relationships as a friend. The community meets once a month for prayer and a social time. There are themes for each month, which come from our International Secretariat in an annual booklet called the Guidelines. At each monthly meeting there is time for shared prayer, personal intercession, explanation of the theme of the month, acting out of a Scriptural passage, singing and socializing. The meetings are usually about an hour and a half long. The location of the meetings could be in a parish facility or in a private home. Some communities consist of members of different denominations and meet in a home or public facility. There is an openness about Faith and Light, which allows it to include people of different backgrounds, but the essentials are always the same, respect, love and acceptance for all God’s people.
It is not that hard to start a Faith and Light community. A Council can help to gather several families with members with developmental disabilities, introduce them to what Faith and Light can offer (use the trifold flyer) or guide them to review the international website:
www.faithandlight.org and then ask them to make a commitment to meet monthly.
Contact me when a group begins gathering. Resources can be sent to your team, so you can begin forming a Faith and Light Community. I will guide and accompany your group as it progresses towards becoming Faith and Light Community.
Michael Brault, Chairman