Light carries message of peace



Scouts stand by the “Peace Light” that they brought from New York to Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood. The flame was lit in Bethlehem. Right, local Scouts at JFK Airport in New York

On the evening of Dec. 16 at the Gloucester Township Tree Lighting ceremony, local scouts participated in an international project to spread the message of peace.

Scouts from Troop 177 (Our Lady of Hope in Blackwood) traveled to JFK Airport in New York on Dec. 10 to meet a flight from Vienna, Austria, carrying the “Peace Light.”

For over a thousand years lamps have been continuously lit in the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem. For the last 22 years, a child from Upper Austria has lit two blast proof miner’s lamps from a grotto lamp. The lamps are then carried on an Austrian Airlines jet from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Vienna, Austria, from where the Peace Light is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back to their own countries.

The light is then flown from Vienna to New York City.

Scout leaders light their miner’s lamps in New York and spread out across the United States and Canada to share the Peace Light.

The Scouts from Troop 177 brought the light to St. Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, on Dec. 11, where it was kept burning. The scouts from Troop 13 in Swedesboro brought the light to St Gabriel the Archangel Parish.

The Light was then shared with local churches and with the public at the Gloucester Township Tree Lighting in Veterans Park.