Frater was started in France in 1945 by a group of people with disabilities, with the help of a priest named Henri François. Over time, Frater moved beyond borders; today it is a meeting place and a source of solidarity, friendship and faith for a large number of people with disabilities around the world.
1942 Henri François, a Catholic priest and parish curate, is named Hospital Chaplain. Unable to carry out visits to sick people at their homes, Father François entrusts this task to three people with disabilities and members of the parish: Bernardete Buflon, Margarete Renand and Joanete Huget. Together they organize meetings during which they begin to feel responsable for other people with disabilities.
1945 A spiritual retreat is held in Benoite-Vaux (France), atttended by nearly 100 people from the area. This event is considered the “birth date” of the Frater organization.
1946 The movement expands throughout the Verdun diocese (France) and is officially named the Catholic Brotherhood of the Infirm.
1949 First Study Days held, with the participation of other French dioceses.
1950 Frater continues to expand by way of meetings at Lourdes (France).
1952 France’s Cardinal and Archbishop Assembly officially authorizes the Catholic Brotherhood of the Infirm. Adoption of the Brotherhood Charter. The first national team is created.
1955 The first Frater diocesan organization is created.
1956 Publication of the first newsletters for managers and advisors. Frater starts activities in Belgium as well as Spain via personal encounters in the sanctuary at Lourdes. Frater is currently present in 44 Spanish dioceses.
1957 Frater expands to Trier (Germany). There are currently 36 centres in development across the country. Frater is officially recognized by the French leadership.
1960 Creation of the International Catholic Brotherhood of the Infirm.
First International Committee meetings in Bury (France), attended by representatives from France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.
1961 2nd International Committee meetings in Trier (Germany). First international team set up.
1963 3rd International Committee meetings in Frieberg (Switzerland), attended by France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.
1965 4th International Committee meetings in Barcelona (Spain), attended by France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark.
1966 First International Conference in Strasbourg (France), attended by delegations from France, England, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Burundi.
Publication of the book “Et nous voilà vivants” by P. Thierry D’Argenlieu and Father Delagoutte, recommended by Father François to provide a more solid theological basis for Frater.
1967 Frater begins activities in Latin America thanks to the efforts of Father Duato in Peru.
1968 5th International Committe meetings in Argenteuil (France). Madagascar Brotherhood officially joins the organization.
1969 Publication of International Newsletters begins in France.
1970 Contacts in Costa Rica with the help of Father Humberto Hernández.
1972 Second International Conference in Rome (Italy). Frater becomes the “Catholic Brotherhood of the Infirm and Handicapped”. 380 members in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Holland, Italy, Madagascar, Peru, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Portugal. Audience granted with Pope Paul VI.
Frater established in Brazil thanks to the efforts of Jesuit seminarist Vicente Masip.
1973 Frater established in Columbia, Mexico and Argentina.
1974 6th International Committee meetings in Vienna (Austria), with the participation of nine new European countries, one from Africa (Madagascar) and four from Latin America (Peru, Brazil, Colombia y Mexico).
Designation of a Latin American Coordinator.
Out of ecumenical fairness, Frater becomes the “Christian Brotherhood of the Infirm and Handicapped”. Frater begins activities in Guatemala.
Death of Father Duato.
1975 Frater establishes relations with the Pontifical Council of the Laity.
Contacts in Poland.
1976 7th International Committee meetings in Frankfurt (Germany), with the participation of 17 countries from Europe, three from Aftrica (Madagascar, Zaire and La Réunion), countries from Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico) and Australasia, as well as Tahiti. Brazil and Peru become official members.
Frater begins activities in El Salvador with the help of Alfredo Martín Gallego.
1978 8th International Committee meetingsin Loyola (Spain) with the participation of 19 countries across four continents. The main theme: Humanization and Evangelization. The subject is examined using the Life Reflections method.
Frater begins activities in Bolivia.
1980 First Latin American Continental Assembly in Lima (Peru), with the participation of eleven countries. A continental coordinating team is set up. Continent-wide statutes created.
9th International Committee meetings in Ciney (Belgium), with the participation of 23 countries. Portugal becomes an official member.
1981 Frater takes part in the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons.
Second Latin American Summit.
First European Summit in Montbarry (Switzerland).
1983 First European Committee meetings in Sameiro-Braga (Portugal). The theme: Evangelization. The importance of establishing continental networks and statutes is recognized.
1984 Second Latin American Assembly in San José (Costa Rica). Continental statutes are updated.
10th International Committee meetings in Costa Rica. The theme: Unity and Evangelization. International Christian Brotherhood statutes adopted. An intercontinental and interim team is elected.
Uruguay and Bolivia become official members.
1985 Frater celebrates its 40th anniversary.
European committee meetings in Lyons (France).
First intercontinental council meeting in Lyons (France). Intercontinental team elected.
Frater begins activities in Rwanda.
1986 Death of Father François on February 3.
Contacts in Taiwan.
Discussions begin with the Holy See for the official recognition of Frater by the Pontifical Council of the Laity.
1987 European committee meetings in Banyoles (Spain). An appendix of intercontinental statutes for Europe adopted. Interim continental team elected.
Intercontinental Council meeting in Banyoles (Spain).
Frater begins activities in Chile, Cuba and Panama.
1988 Third Latin American Assembly in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with the participation of 14 countries and a delegation from Zaire. Latin American appendix of statutes adopted. Continental team elected.
Publication of “The Messages of Father François”.
1989 3rd International Council meetings and 1st Intercontinental Committee meetings (Extraordinary session) in Sameiro (Portugal), with the participation of 23 countries. New Intercontinental Statutes approved. New Intercontinental team elected.
Europe-America continental meetings in Sameiro and first ever inter-African meeting.
Frater begins activities in Puerto Rico thanks to the efforts of Encarnación Torres.
Publication of “Father François and the Brotherhood”.
1991 First African Summit in Kigali (Rwanda).
1992 4th Latin American Assembly in Guadalajara (Mexico).
Inter-African Summit in Lyons (France).
Extraordinary European Summit in Le Mans (France).
Contacts in Canada and Nigeria.
Frater participates in the 7th International Conference of the Pontifical Council of Pastoral Assistance to Healthcare Workers in Rome.
1993 4th International Council meeting in Castellón (Spain).
Frater begins activities in Venezuela.
Contacts in Romania and Guinea.
1994 Participation of Claude Trontin, Frater’s Intercontinental Coordinator, in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council of Pastoral Assistance to Healthcare Workers.
Contacts in Paraguay and Ivory Coast.
1995 2nd Intercontinental Committee meetings in Salvador de Bahía (Brazil), with the participation of 24 countries. New Intercontinental team elected. Coordinator: Francisco Cerignoni (Chico).
Frater begins activities in Slovenia. Contacts in Ecuador.
Major problems for Frater in Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire due to armed conflicts and epidemics.
On February 11th, Frater is officially designated as an International Catholic Organization and a legal entity by the Pontifical Council of the Laity for five years.
1996 European Summits in Brussels (Belgium) and Segovia (Spain).
5th American Assembly in Cochabamba (Bolivia).
1997 5th Intercontinental Council meetings in Le Mans (France).
Participation of the International team in the International day of Polio sufferers and the severely disabled in Lourdes (France) and the International day of Pastoral Assistance for Health in Rome (Italy).
Contact in India and Vietnam.
1998 Trip to Asia: “Asian Mission 1998” Luc François.
European Summit in Oporto (Portugal).
Inter-African Summit in Douala (Cameroon). The theme: Frater: “From a personal level to the universal”.
2000 Participation in the Jubilee of 2000 and World Day of the Sick in Rome.
3rd Intercontinental Committee meetings in Wiesbaden (Germany). The theme: Brotherhood in the new millenium: the individual. Ecumenism. New countries join: Burundi, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Honduras and Puerto Rico. Central team re-elected.
Approval of the Intercontinental Statutes by the Holy See.
2001 6th Latin American Assembly in Aguadilla (Puerto Rico). New continental coordinating team elected.
2002 European Assembly in Saint Maurice (Switzerland), with the participation of 40 people from ten countries.
2003 Visit and contacts in Taiwan and Vietnam.
2004 European Assembly in Berekfürdö (Hungary), with the participation of ten countries.
3rd African and Malagasy Assembly in Kinshasa (D.R. of Congo). Appendix of African Statutes approved.
2005 7th Latin American Assembly in Panama City (Panama). New continental coordinating team elected.
4th Intercontinental Committee meeting in El Escorial, Madrid (Spain). The theme: “Sprituality and Mysticism in Frater” and “The Christian meaning of Suffering”, attended by continental leaders and three delegates, elected on each continent. Statutes updated. New Central team elected.
2006 New version of Interncontinental Statutes approved by the Pontifical Council of the Laity, along with the organization’s new name: the Intercontinental Christian Brotherhood of People with Disabilities.