Philosophy

“… God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world…” (1 Cor 1:27-28)

“His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”  (John 9:2-3)

 

L’Arche is not an isolated community living behind high walls.  We are building small bridges for people to go back into the world, returning to their neighborhoods and their communities.  This is necessary for them, and it is important for society as a whole to welcome these individuals back into the greater community.

Although it seems that people with developmental disabilities can only take from us, they are in fact capable of teaching us many things.  They can help us realize what is important in life; to understand that God is within each and every one of us – the strong and the weak – and has accorded each of us the same amount of human dignity.

For this reason, L’Arche should not be viewed as a closed fortress, but as an essential part of society.  L’Arche stands as an example of how people of various intellectual abilities, social status, religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds can live together in harmony with the entire surrounding community.

One of the biggest hardships for people with development disabilities is being isolated from the world around them, a world that has no place for them.  L’Arche has overcome this challenge by enabling the community at large to realize every individual’s true worth.  If we stop seeking perfection from everyone, and accept every individual we meet without criticism and pre-conceived notions, we will become recipients of wonderful and often unexpected gifts:  sincerity and openness, love and loyalty, simplicity and humility, gifts to a particular profession or calling…