In recent days the Church has been shocked to learn of the death of Jean Vanier.
A man of great vision, he founded the L’Arche (The Ark) movement in 1969 having seen first hand the plight of thousands of people living with disabilities who had been institutionalised. L’Arche has now become a federation of communities in many countries around the world, where people with disabilities live with those who care for them.
In 1971 he also co-founded Faith and Light, which works with those coping with developmental disabilities by fostering friendship, prayer, celebration and sharing.
Highly commended for his work, Jean Vanier wrote 30 books on a variety of subjects, including tolerance, religion and disability. He firmly believed that each person has an intrinsic value and that those with and without learning disabilities can learn from each other and develop in community.
At the recent FLAME congress at Wembley Arena some of the young people from the Diocese could here Vanier speak firsthand of his work and encounter with Almighty God.
In his final statement, Vanier said “God is good and whatever happens it will be the best. I am happy and give thanks for everything. My deepest love to each one of you”.
“To love someone is to show to them their beauty,
their worth and their importance.”
― Jean Vanier