L'Arche Portland, represented by Ben Miller, Marilyn Petruzzelli, Aaron Flores, Keeley Terpstra, Grace LeChevallier, Andy Noethe, and Beth Barsotti, participated in the L'Arche USA National Assembly and celebrations for the 50th anniversary celebrations of L'Arche around the world. Here are a few photos from the trip.
For more on Jean Vanier, his message, life, and publications, visit Jean Vanier's website.
About the John Templeton Foundation/Templeton Prize
The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Established in 1972 by the late Sir John Templeton, the Prize aims, in his words, to identify "entrepreneurs of the spirit"—outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Prize celebrates no particular faith tradition or notion of God, but rather the quest for progress in humanity’s efforts to comprehend the many and diverse manifestations of the Divine. Men and women of any creed, profession, or national origin may be nominated for the Templeton Prize. The distinguished roster of previous winners includes include Desmond Tutu, The 14th Dalai Lama, Inamullah Kahn, Mother Teresa, representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and others. The Prize has been awarded to scientists, philosophers, theologians, members of the clergy, philanthropists, writers, and reformers, for work that has ranged from the creation of new religious orders and social-spiritual movements to human sciences scholarship, to research about the fundamental questions of existence, purpose and the origins of the universe.
L'Arche Portland's board, staff, core members, assistants, volunteers and supporters came out to the Historic Kenton Firehouse on May 7, 2015 to celebrate community and honor the contribution of founding member Dorothy Coughlin with the first Spirit of L'Arche Award.
On a warm spring evening, a joyful crowd gathered to recognize Dorothy for her long-time leadership and support of L'Arche Portland. We are grateful for the amazing work she has done on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities both with the Archdiocese of Portland and in her own life.
When asked what her dreams were for L’Arche in the next 50 years, Dorothy responded “nothing of good is ever done alone,” adding that “L’Arche is sustained by hidden grateful prayers.” She hoped simply that more people come to L’Arche; that more people experience the love of community and family, acknowledging as Jean Vanier saw, “that love can bring us alive.” She said she was hopeful that society as a whole can move forward and see an individual for who they are, can celebrate their gifts and abilities rather than see their disabilities as a burden. She wondered aloud what our Portland community would look like 50 years from now, with L"Arche as a sign of hope and as a leader. Dorothy's good friend Cheryl said she'd like to see that too.
Thank you to the entire board for hosting and especially to Nick Dazer for providing the food and Frank Normandin and Jerry Deas for organizing. We are grateful to Aaron Hobson, Doug Westberg and Jeremy Doney who provided beautiful music all evening. And a special thank you to everyone who attended and/or made a contribution in thanksgiving for Dorothy's work and the mission of L'Arche Portland.