L’Arche, a Community of Welcome

In 1964, Canadian Jean Vanier invited two men with developmental disabilities to live with him in an old home in the French village of Trosley-Breuil. He named the house L’Arche (French for ark) after Noah’s ark and gradually welcomed not only more men and women with developmental disabilities but also the assistants who would live and work with them. Since then L’Arche has grown into an international federation of more than 135 communities in 34 countries.

Each community is unique, yet we all share a common vision of the basic dignity of each human person. We seek to create homes and provide meaningful work for all our community members in an attempt to create a world where everyone, regardless of ability or disability, is recognized as being of equal value.


We seek to be communities where people whatever their race, religion, culture, abilities or disabilities can find a place and reveal their gifts to the world. – Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier, humanist, philosopher, theologian, man of letters is first and foremost described by his companions as a man with heart, a man of compassion. He is a passionate advocate for humanity and truth.  Link to website about Jean Vanier