The Light-Life Movement

foska 2019The Light-Life Movement is one of the renewal movements in the Catholic Church. It has its roots in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and has been approved by the bishops. The Movement gathers together people of various ages and vocations: children, teenagers, adults, families, priests, religious, and members of lay institutes of consecrated life. The family branch of the Movement, for sacramental marriages, is called the  Domestic Church.

The Light-Life Movement is aimed at the formation of mature Christians who want to serve the Church and their neighbors. The founder of the Movement, Venerable Servant of God, Fr. Francis Blachnicki (1921–1987) instilled in his followers the vision of a parish as a living community of communities and the conviction that the renewal of the Church begins in a parish. Thus the formation groups at various levels want to aid in transforming parishes into living communities.

The symbol of the Light-Life Movement is an early Christian symbol ΦΩΣ-ΖΩΗ (read fos-zoe). These are Greek words 'light' and 'life' joined with the letter omega and forming a cross. This symbol illustrates the most fundamental principle of Christian life—the unity of faith and life.

Spirituality of the Light-Life Movement has been expressed in The Guideposts of the New Person. The formation program is at the heart of the Movement and is based upon the document “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” (Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum). There are three steps to formation. The first is evangelization leading to receiving and accepting  of Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior, a conscious decision to follow him and to live according to his law. The second stage is called deuterocatechumenate. The prefix “deutero” communicates that this formation is modeled on and uses elements of catechumenate, the period of preparation to baptism. The third stage of formation, described by the Greek word diakonia, is the selection of a specific service and apostolate.

The fundamental methods through which the formation program of the Light-Life Movement is realized are: ‘the light-life method’ described above (it permeates all other elements of formation), retreats called ‘oasis’ and small formation groups. The structure of the Movement is compatible with the structure of the Church. Small groups of the members of the Movement usually form a community in a parish. Four times a year movement members attend the so-called communion days which gather people belonging to various branches of the movement from several parishes or even the whole diocese.

Priests serve the Movement as its moderators. They are responsible for the spiritual formation of the members of the Movement and for the unity with the Church. Those who discern a deeper level of belonging to the Movement and its charism join the Union of Priests of Christ the Servant. The person responsible for the whole Movement is the General Moderator of the Light-Life Movement. On the level of the state, diocese, and parish the responsible are respectively state, diocesan and parish moderators.

The history of the Movement dates back to the first oasis retreat organized in 1954. Until 1976, the movement was known under the names The Oasis Movement and The Movement of the Living Church. The Light-Life Movement has been founded and developed in Poland but it has already spread to other countries: Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Byelorussia, Latvia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, USA, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, China and Brasil. There are also small groups or communities in Norway, Sweden, Greece, France, Belgium, Luxemburg,  Bulgaria and the Philippines.