Who is Hiding Your Shoes?
Most of us can probably identify at least one relationship that began, developed, and continues even though we have never been in the same room with the other person. Our relationships are increasingly mediated by technologies like e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. These new forms of communication and connection are full of gifts and opportunities.
I had lunch with a L’Arche donor recently. He is a good man, kind, open and thoughtful. He is a man who cares about L’Arche and is giving of his time and resources to support the people that L’Arche loves and serves. Roger* and I are able to have lunch together from time to time because he lives in the vicinity.
In my perfect world I would be able to meet personally with everyone who supports L’A...
I’ve just returned from a remarkable meeting. Five hundred members of L’Arche from 140 L’Arche communities around the world – 40 countries – gathered together in Atlanta for a once-every-five year meeting of the International Federation of L’Arche.
On Wednesday we voted on some principles and constitutions that will guide us as L’Arche grows and expands in the years to come.
But the best part of...
We love it and we hate it and we need it.
Change: Making something different from what it was or what it will be if we don’t act in new ways.
What changes might I make to maximize my health, or the health of my family, or the health of our community, or our planet?
If there is too much bullying happening in our schools or at the workplace, what change is needed? If too many people live in isola...
This past weekend my family watched the movie “We Bought a Zoo”, which was released last Christmas (I know, we are not exactly ahead of the curve!). It's based on the real life story of Benjamin Mee who bought and refurbished a zoo in England*. At one point the Benjamin character says, “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing brav...
Intouchables - The Movie
Something important is happening in France today.
The story begins with two men, Philippe and Abdel. Philippe was part of the French aristocracy, the former head of a champagne manufacturer, immensely wealthy and popular.
Abdel was much younger, of Algerian background, and the ringlead...
You will love meeting Jessica Vorstermans. She became a part of L’Arche the day she was born (as you will read). She is currently a PhD Candidate in Critical Disability Studies at York University and has a deep interest in Latin America. She cares deeply about many things.
- Nathan Ball
Jean and Jessica
In 1984 Jean Vanier invited Harvard University professor Henri Nouwen to come to L’Arche for one year. During that year Henri decided to leave Harvard and join L’Arche as a writer and pastor. He stayed with L’Arche until his death in 1996.
But his legacy lives on, particularly through his many publications...
It’s tempting to romanticize fragility and weakness, but when given a choice, most of us rarely risk revealing our imperfections. While Canadian singer Leonard Cohen sings about the value of human brokenness “that’s how the light gets in” – the more common experience is perhaps closer to T.S. Eliot’s sense of humans as “absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” What makes it...
Every cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 total chromosomes). That is, for most of us. A whole bunch of people in our world have an extra chromosome. The extra chromosome causes problems with the way the body and brain develop.
Actually it is not a problem because if anything, most people I know who have Down syndrome are ha...
I’m glad to introduce you to Lauren McCarthy Nagler. She came to L’Arche after university “for a few months”. That was over four years ago. She has a ton of talents and is a model for the quality of life and love that she both gives and receives in L’Arche, especially in her relationships with people who have a disability.
Putting On The Brakes
Do I need to slow down? Probably, yes.
On his way out the door to school my five year old looked up at me with his beautiful big eyes and said,
- It really is Daddy, it’s after Sunday it is… I know it is… it’s the loving day. - The what? I said.- It really is, he said again, it’s the loving day.
I was perplexed and bent down to try and understand. My daughter chirped in to help out.
- Dad, she said, he means Valentine’s day!
Mary wrote to me after my last blog. She affirmed the importance of highlighting the many variations of disability whenever we try to define it. She also alerted me to a World Health Organization initiative to reach consensus on how to standardise definitions of disability. It’s called the International Classification of Functioning (ICF).
The neat thing about this project is its philosophical ...
Sometimes I am asked the simple question: How many people have an intellectual disability? Actually it is not so simple.
Let’s start with disability in general. The World Health Organization estimates that around 10% of the world’s population, 700 million people, live with some kind of disability. That’s the world’s largest minority.
But what a...
Joe Egan has been a L’Arche leader for over 35 years, currently as Vice National Coordinator of L’Arche Canada. He’s seen it all and still shows up every day because of his passion and commitment to the people and mission of L’Arche. Here is what Joe has to say today.
Any New Year’s Resolutions?
Three times a week at 6 a.m. I swim at Variety Village, a wonderful fitness...
I would like you to meet Jenny. She is young, smart and creative and has made some significant contributions to L’Arche over the past two years. Here is what she has to say.
I could not have imagined…
I can’t believe it but this is my last week with L’Arche. I co...
One of my kids has some behavioural issues.
Every day he has to work extra hard to manage some of the basic interactions that many of us take for granted. His Mom and I have to work hard at being good parents for him. Lots of times both he and we get it wrong. It’s stressful.
Dr. Ross Greene
The other night I...
For many of us, Christmas is a bittersweet time of year. It is a time for remembering both persons and events that have been a part of our lives in the past, but that are now changed or gone. Christmas can reveal the ways in which we belong as well as the ways in which our connection with others has been broken or is non existent.
This year I will be with my wi...
(I am happy to introduce you to Jean-Louis Munn, the creative force behind L’Arche Canada’s Communications function. He has lived and worked with L’Arche for many years. He is the author of today’s blog post.)
Asking for the Moon?
I just learned that ‘’The Boy in the Moon’’ by Globe and Mail journalist and author Ian Brown is on th...
Two years seems like a long time ago for you and me. Yet for many Haitians time has moved slowly. As we approach the second anniversary of the earthquake that was so devastating there continues to be elements of social instability and a great need for reconstruction in Haiti.
A bright light in this situation is the rebuilding of the L’Arche Community in Port-au-Prince. Being small and agile, L’...