L'Arche - a worldwide federation of communities
1049 South Austin Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60644-5313
Ansprechpartner: Knoebel, John
- Gemeinschaft, Gemeindeprojekt
- Sozialpolitik/behinderte Menschen
L'Arche is an international federation of communities where men and women with developmental disabilities and those who choose to share life with them live, work, play and pray creating a home together. Core members, persons with disabilities, make up the heart or core of our communities. The assistants are those who live and share life with them.
French Canadian Jean Vanier founded L'Arche as a Catholic organization in 1964 in Trosly, France when he invited two men with disabilities to come live with him. From this humble beginning, L'Arche has grown to include over 127 communities in 31 countries throughout the world. It has evolved into an ecumenical organization welcoming all religious traditions, and those with no tradition at all. Each community is unique and autonomous but internationally federated. They all share a common vision of the basic dignity of each human person. They seek to create home and provide meaningful work for all our community members in an attempt to create a world where everyone, regardless of ability or disability, is recognized as being of equal value.
Having a L'Arche community in the Chicago area was a desire held by an ecumenical group of people since the 1980's. The group was initiated and inspired by individuals who had once lived in a L'Arche community. While waiting for the community to be born, this group of people sponsored Faith and Sharing retreats, invited Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen to give presentations, prayed together and made friends with persons with developmental disabilities.
Its mission is:
- to create home, welcoming people with disabilities and thereby responding to the distress of those who are too often rejected, giving them a valid place in society;
- to reveal the particular gifts and unique value of people with disabilities who belong at the heart of L'Arche communities and who call others to share their lives;
- to be a sign that society, to be truly human, must be founded on welcome and respect for the weak and the downtrodden; and
- to be a sign of hope in a divided world.
John Knoebel is the Director of L'Arche.
For other net participants we can offer overnight facilities. Further we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, procure an expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.