On Saturday, March 1, the L'Arche Portland community gathered for a festive Mardi Gras celebration, during which it blessed the newest member of its leadership team, and received the L'Arche Jubilee Ark from L'Arche Seattle.
Hosted by St. Michael and All Angels Church, the community shared a potluck meal before crafting masks and medallions for the Mardi Gras celebration. Each medallion had the name of a L'Arche community from around the world that each participant was then asked to pray for during Lent. L'Arche Portland is part of an international federation, with over 145 communities in 40 countries around the world.
The community also welcomed the newest member of its leadership team, Grace LeChevallier, who recently reentered the community as the Licensing Coordinator. This is a new leadership role at L'Arche Portland, focusing on the care of our core members (members of the community with intellectual disabilities). Originally from Portland, Grace first entered L'Arche as a Jesuit Volunteer in the L'Arche Mobile community, before returning to Portland as a live-in assistant at L'Arche Portland from 2009-2011. Grace most recently worked for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation.
The event concluded with a Mardi Gras parade celebrating the Jubilee Ark that was presented by members of the L'Arche Seattle community. This year marks the 50th anniversary of L'Arche, and is being marked by five Arks traveling to each community around the world. All five Arks will be presented to Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche, at a celebration in France in October.