Sunday, April 22, 2018
JEAN VANIER'S ARK FOR THE BROKEN AND THE FRAGILE
This week's arts and culture column begins like this:
L’Arche is many things — a sanctuary for the developmentally disabled in which they and their assistants, as they are called, live together as members of the community.
An international federation that has spread throughout 37 countries and 149 communities. A sign. A paradox. A sticking point.
A mystery, based on Jean Vanier’s abiding beliefs: that the disabled are not burdens but rather teachers, that our strength as human beings lies not in our worldly accomplishments, but rather in our vulnerability.
Vanier has written more than 30 books, and travels worldwide to give retreats, visit fellow houses, encourage and teach. But he makes his home at (and is still a member of) the original L’Arche community, Le Val Fleuri, in Trosly-Breuil, France.
“Summer in the Forest,” the 2018 documentary directed by Randall Wright, is so named because of the sunlight-dappled forest that lies adjacent to that community.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.