The 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, nuns, monks and members of secular institutes. 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 neighbours. The founder of the Movement, Servant of God, Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki (1921–1987) instilled in his followers a vision of a parish as a living community of communities and a 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 sign of the Light-Life Movement is an early Christian symbol phos-zoe (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 Man. The formation programme 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 which leads to the reception of Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour, a conscious decision to follow Him and to live according to His law. The second stage is called deuterocatechumenate and corresponds to the early Christian catechumenate, a period of preparation to baptism. Deuterocatechumenate is a second catechumenate because people who participate in formation have already been baptized. 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 programme 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.
Priests belonging to the Movement serve as its moderators. They are responsible for the spiritual formation of the members of the Movement and for the ecclesial character of the communities. 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, Canada, USA, Kenya, China and Pakistan. There are also small groups or communities in Norway, Sweden, Greece, France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Bulgaria.