Earlier this week the news broke that Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche, died aged 90.
“The son of a Canadian diplomat, Jean Vanier embarked upon a naval career that saw him serve during World War Two. But in 1950 he resigned his commission saying that he wanted “to follow Jesus”.
He studied theology and philosophy, completing his doctoral studies on happiness in the ethics of Aristotle. He became a teaching professor at St Michael’s College in Toronto.
“During the Christmas holidays of 1964, he visited a friend who was working as a chaplain for men with learning difficulties just outside Paris. Disturbed by conditions in which 80 men did nothing but walk around in circles, he bought a small house nearby and invited two men from the institution to join him. L’Arche – the Ark – was born.” (Martin Bashir: BBC Religion editor 07 May 2019)
From these simple beginnings a significant worldwide organisation grew. L’Arche is a worldwide federation of people, with and without learning disabilities, working together for a world where all belong