L’Arche 60 years on

  In the last week of May, people came from all over the world to Ste Anne d’Auray in Brittany in France to mark the 60th anniversary of L’Arche. It all began in a very small way. The vision of Jean Vanier was that the new community he founded in the village of Trosly would […]

L’Arche Cork Retreats- Community as a Quality of the Heart!

“Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own.” Henri Nouwen It is no secret within L’Arche that balancing regulations and community life is an ongoing, ever evolving challenge.  In L’Arche Cork, we have been all too familiar with this challenge. In response to it, we […]

Sunshine on Leith

I was delighted to be asked to sing a particular song on a L’Arche retreat, and it was a common thread linking together my first year at L’Arche, the recent retirement party of my wife, and my various encounters over the years with Maria who was leading the retreat. The central message of the song […]

Musical Memories from Montreal (and other places)

We had been invited by Declan in our final time of morning prayer at the L’Arche International Extended Leadership meeting in Montreal to recall our first encounter with L’Arche and how it had touched our heart. My first contact with L’Arche was a visit to the community in Liverpool in 1985. After the warm welcome, […]

Prayer in Kilkenny and Ukraine

Lent for me this year has been enriched beyond measure by two L’Arche prayer services: one in Kilkenny; the other, via Zoom, in Ukraine. I was pleased to hear at the start of Lent that ‘The Golden Girls’ would be having a daily prayer at 11 a.m. Every day, that is, except for Tuesday which […]

If Jesus had a Smartphone in the Desert

One of many things I’ve had to get used in my new job at L’Arche Ireland is having two phones! To its credit, my Irish phone doesn’t give me constant notifications of the latest emails or WhatsApp messages or remind me of what I was doing on this day five years ago! My UK phone […]

Living Lent in L’Arche!

“Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved.” Henri Nouwen. Lent is traditionally a time where we ‘give up something’ we enjoy. Most of us remember giving up sweets and chocolates as children- Over the last few years it has become more popular […]

Signs of New Life

One of the great joys of living in the same house for twenty-five years was growing a garden and, at this time of year in particular, I would be revelling in the signs of new life. The snowdrops are usually the first ones to peep out from the apparently barren ground. I had them arranged […]

Breaking the Rules

In this, the week of Martin Luther King Day, I was invited to give a radio reflection on the theme of ‘breaking the rules.’ I have to admit, I’m not a big rule breaker but I do admire people who do break the rules, if it’s for a just cause. Like the suffragettes who chained […]

The Best Medicine

January can be a tough time. The holidays have been and gone, the decorations are down, it’s cold and dark in the morning. And it’s back to work or back to school. The third Monday in January has even been named ‘Blue Monday,’ and is said to be the day in the year when we […]