It is with sadness that we learned of the passing today of Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities worldwide, an organization dedicated to making known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships. A former naval veteran with a gentle, caring heart, Vanier was a man of peace who inspired the world to embrace people with disabilities as individuals with great dignity and worth from whom we all have much to learn. He accomplished his vision through a spirit of encounter, listening, and solidarity. He also was co-founder of Faith and Light, an international organization dedicated to the helping people with developmental disabilities and their families.
We recognize the contribution of Jean Vanier’s life even in our diocese as it is home to several L’Arche, and Faith and Light communities whose members today compassionately serve those who need help the most. I add my voice to that of our Holy Father Pope Francis who wished to, “Thank God for having given us this man with such a great witness.”
May the legacy of Jean Vanier’s life continue to inspire us that filled with the Holy Spirit we all might bring to the world his vision of caring based on the Beatitudes. May the God of All Goodness grant him eternal rest and peace.