A Trip of A Lifetime for L’Arche Antigonish Member

By Elizabeth Abler
First published on Latest Issue, September 21st 2017

I went on the trip of a lifetime on May 20th 2017 when Steffi and I left for France. We were invited to go to an international L’Arche retreat. The retreat was held in Trosly, France, where the first L’Arche community was started by Jean Vanier. When Steffi and I were in France, we had the opportunity to meet people from different countries including the U.S.A., Poland, Scotland and Croatia. Since we spoke different languages we would have to wear headsets if people were speaking in a  different language. The customs were different in Trosly. For example, they would drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate out of a bowl instead of a cup .

We got to meet Phillipe, one of the founding core members who lived with Jean Vanier. When he  as speaking he said that he liked living in a village beside Trosly because there was more to do.  He could go to the movies when he wanted. I thought that it was funny that Phillipe did not like living in Trosly. When I was in France we got to see the workshop at L’Arche where the core members worked. They made soap, pottery and mosaics out of glass. They also had a store here they sold items to support their community. L’Arche Trosly had another workshop that is a day program where core members who are not able to work have fun. They do crafts and different activities.

When Steffi and I were in Trosly we got to meet Jean Vanier. He is a very powerful speaker and an amazing person. He talked about how L’Arche got started and he said that, ”all people are precious.” A lot of people were crying when he said that. When Jean Vainer was talking he inspired me to work with people who have disabilities when I finish college.


If you would like to learn more about the L’Arche community or to support the homes and day programs please contact the Antigonish office at 902-863-5000 or visit 4 West Street.

To donate please make your cheque payable to “L’Arche Antigonish”.

You can sign up for the L’Arche Newsletter by emailing community@larcheantigonish.ca. Follow L’Arche Antigonish on Facebook at www.fb.com/larcheantigonish

L’Arche Antigonish’s 2nd Annual FUN RUN is Sunday September 24th. This is a fun event with a free BBQ hosted by the Antigonish Kinsmen Club. Walk, Run or Wheel 5Km for a wonderful organization. Meet at 9am at the StFX track. Registration is only $20. Contact L’Arche, or visit them on Facebook for details.

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