It is with great sadness that L'Arche Portland shares the death of founder Jean Vanier, who died today in Paris, France. He was 90 years old.
Vanier founded L'Arche in 1964 in response to the treatment that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities faced in institutions. L'Arche now includes more than 150 communities in 38 countries around the globe. Its more than 10,000 members welcome and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities, fostering growth and allowing everyone to share their talents and abilities. L'Arche communities in the United States provide homes and places of belonging where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers; create inclusive communities of faith and friendship; and transform society through relationships that span social boundaries.
After its founding in 1964, L'Arche grew quickly across France and the world and continues to welcome people with and without disabilities from diverse religious and cultural contexts.
From James Martin, S.J. at America Magazine: “Jean Vanier showed us, like few people ever have, the overwhelming power of gentleness. Not only in his ministry with the disabled but in his voice, his demeanor, his very presence. During his life there was no one I thought more deserving of the title ‘living saint.’”
"I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes."
- Jean Vanier
Spirit of L'Arche Celebration
This Thursday, May 9, 6pm-8pm
Summer in the Forest Film Screening
We will be screening "Summer in the Forest," a film about a Jean Vanier's experience and relationships in L'Arche. This will be follow by a discussion and reception.
Sunday, June 23, 1pm-4pm
Cedar Mill Library
Visit jean-vanier.org/en to learn more about the life and legacy of Jean Vanier.