On this weeks programme John is joined by members of L'Arche Ireland community and in particular members of the community from Callan in Co Kilkenny. Diana Walsh, Helen O'Shea, Madeline Regan and Peter Brabazon join John to share the story of L'Arche and what it means to each of them to be part of this community.
L'Arche is a group of over 149 worldwide communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together in community. L'Arche fosters an environment to celebrate the unique value of ach and every person in those communities and recognizes our need of one another.
L'Arche was founded in 1964 when Jean Vanier, welcomed two men with disabilities into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil, France. Vanier became aware of the plight of thousands of people institutionalized with developmental disabilities. Vanier felt led by God to invite two men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave the institutions where they resided and share their lives with him in a household in Trosly-Breuil, France. He named their home "L'Arche", which is French for "The Ark", as in Noah's Ark.
The first community in Ireland was founded in 1978 in Kilmoganny, County Kilkenny. Since then, communities have been established in Belfast, Cork and Dublin. L'Arche in Ireland is currently home to over fifty people with intellectual disabilities and the assistants with whom they share life. The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in her remarks at the Millennium celebration of L'Arche, Faith and Light, Faith and Friendship and Faith and Sharing, said:". . . If you want to see Ireland at its best. If you want to see God's people at their best. If you want to see His work done well - Yes, this is the place to be"