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L’Arche and Cape Breton mourns the passing of Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier greeting Jenn Power and Silas Donham.

-by John Gillis

    L’Arche founder Jean Vanier passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 7th, in Paris surrounded by relatives. He was 90 years old.
    In a release from the same day, L’Arche noted that Vanier “leaves a long life and legacy of exceptional achievement,” L’Arche International Leader Stephan Posner noted.
    “His community of Trosly, the communities of L’Arche, Faith and Light, many other movements, and countless thousands of people have cherished his words and benefited from his vision.”
    Vanier founded L’Arche in 1964 in response to the treatment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in institutions.  L’Arche grew quickly across France and the world and continues to welcome people of many faiths and cultures.
    Today, L’Arche includes more than 150 communities in 38 countries including 29 communities and two projects in nine provinces across Canada. More than 10,000 members welcome and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities, fostering growth and allowing everyone to share their talents and abilities.
    Companion of the Order of Canada, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and Templeton Prize recipient, Jean Vanier received many honours and awards for his groundbreaking work and inspiring vision of a more human society where each person - regardless of their age, abilities, or background - has a place and contributes their gifts. He shared this vision through 40 books, countless public talks, and interviews. Yet to the community of L’Arche, “he was simply Jean, our founder, guide, and companion in the journey.”

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