“I’m not sure that we can really understand the message of Jesus if we haven’t listened to the weak.”
Jean Vanier is one of our heroes. The French Canadian Catholic philosopher and theologian left his prestigious job as a professor of philosophy to found L’Arche, an international federation of group homes where able bodied people and people with developmental disabilities live together in community. L’Arche began in 1964 when Vanier’s friend, a Dominican priest named Fr. Thomas Philippe, made Vanier away of the plight of thousands of people with learning disabilities living in institutions. L’Arche began when Vanier invited two disabled men (who lived in institutions) to come live with him. There are now thousands of L’Arche communities worldwide.
Watch a video about Vanier’s work from PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly here: