photo Jean VanierJean Vanier, Our Founder

"Jean Vanier is a very tall man; he must be almost 6' 5". At his height, he can see the world around from above. But when he looks right at you, with his thoughtful smile, you might get the impression his height makes him uncomfortable. Indeed, he dislikes photos where he towers over others. Jean Vanier likes to look people right in the eye, whether they be poor or wealthy, Christian or Muslim, from Africa or Europe, Asia or the Americas - or whether they have an intellectual disability or not."


- Jean Vanier Official Site,


Suffice it to say that Jean Vanier has led a full life! Whether it is the British Royal Navy at age 13; the Canadian Navy; joinig, and subsequently leading, the lay community L'Eau Vive in France; working on a PhD thesis on Aristotle at the Institut Catholique de Paris; or following, and later moving away from, a call to become a priest....all by the age of 28...Jean's life is truly quite remarkable. We encourage you to visit to get a full picuture of his life's journey thus far.


If you find yourself interested in more, please visit our Suggested Reading and L'Arche in the Media pages for recommendations and links to further material.