The Spirituality of L'Arche

"L’Arche is a school of love where we learn to love others who are different. This requires each person to grow in humility and to work on themselves. It means learning to see each person as somebody in whom God dwells, a person from whom we can receive gifts and who can help us to grow in love."

- Jean Vanier, in a September, 2009 letter


L'Arche is a school of love, with the greatest teachers being our core members. People with disabilities have a special gift of touching our hearts and loving unconditionally.quote by Rachel Knoke Although each L'Arche community may have different spiritual traditions, all L'Arche communities are faith communities, rooted in prayer and based on the belief that each person has his or her own unique value, and deserves to be loved and cherished for who they are.


As simple as this belief may seem, it is quite challenging to live out on a daily basis. Our culture calls us to strive for material success and to value what we accomplish in life more than who we are as a person. Amidst this culture of individualism, we constantly strive to see God in each person, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable among us.


L'Arche was founded in the Roman Catholic tradition, but with communities in 36 different countries throughout the world, each community tends to reflect some version of the predominant faith tradition of their country. Most communities in the US are rooted in a Christian tradition. While each community identifies itself with a particular faith tradition, and is rooted in prayer, all L'Arche communities welcome people of any or no faith and support each person in deepening in his or her own personal spiritual journey.


Much has been written and spoken about the Spirituality of L'Arche. Visit our Suggested Reading and L'Arche in the Media pages for recommendations and links you might find of interest.