Simple Lenten Meals

Fri., March 4, 2016 6:30pm ·

The Social Justice Committee invites you to participate in the Simple Lenten Meals program which takes place in the North Conference Room on the Friday evenings of Lent following the 6pm Stations of the Cross.

Each Friday we collect donations to benefit a different community-based organization in Washington, DC. On Friday, March 4, the beneficiary will be L'Arche Greater Washington, DC

Consider spending your early Friday evening with St. Matthew's family and friends - come for the 5:30pm Mass, 6pm Stations of the Cross, and end with a shared meal organized by the RCIA Catechumens, for this great opportunity of almsgiving. 

Please visit the L'Arche Greater Washington, DC www.larche-gwdc.org/ (and L'Arche USA  www.larcheusa.org/) websites from which the following is excerpted and summarized. 

L'Arche (French for “the Ark”) 

Founded by Jean Vanier in France in 1964, the goal of L’Arche is to create communities that welcome people who have intellectual disabilities.  L’Arche communities provide homes and workplaces where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers; create inclusive communities of faith and friendship; and transform society through relationships that cross social boundaries.  (L’Arche is an international federation of 149 member communities in 39 countries.) 

L’Arche Greater Washington, DC (two homes each in Adams Morgan and Arlington, VA). 

L’Arche is a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities who share their lives together.  Community life is centered on the 16 members who have intellectual disabilities, known as “core people.” 

Since 1983, L’Arche Greater Washington, DC, has provided safe housing, compassionate support services, and the opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities to become integrated into their neighborhoods.  The organization was inspired by Jean Vanier’s vision – the best way to reveal the gifts and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities is to create a caring community in which people with and without disabilities can share their lives. 

The core people who live in L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C., homes are low-income area residents of different backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities.  Life at L’Arche centers on the mutual relationship between the core people and those assisting them, while providing a home, fulfilling work, and opportunity to learn, participate, contribute, and have fun.

About Us - L'Arche Greater Washington, DC is comprised of three elements: 

Community

L'Arche is an inter-denominational community that welcomes all backgrounds.  Community members are encouraged to discover and deepen their spiritual lives according to their particular faith and tradition.  Those with no religious affiliation are also welcomed and respected for their freedom of conscience. 

Professional Services

L'Arche assistants are not medical professionals but are trained to administer medication and recognize potential medical conditions.  Professionals in the disability field herald L'Arche as one of the best community-based care providers for people with intellectual disabilities. 

Advocacy

People with intellectual disabilities have been ignored, left out, and spoken for.  L'Arche aims to change that by advocating with those having intellectual disabilities for the rights, dignity, and quality of services they deserve, by joining our voices together. 

L'Arche Identity and Mission Statement

We are people with and without intellectual disabilities, sharing life in an international federation of communities.  Mutual relationships and trust in God are the heart of our journey together.  We celebrate every person’s unique value and recognize our need of one another. 

Our mission is to reveal the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities through mutually transforming relationships; foster a community environment that responds to our members’ changing needs and is faithful to our core values; and explore our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human story. 

Spirituality

L’Arche communities are faith communities, rooted in prayer and trust in God.  Our spirituality presumes that each person is unique and has sacred value, and that we experience God’s love through mutual friendships where one’s gifts and weaknesses are recognized and accepted.

Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through their own vulnerability, often have a special gift for touching our hearts.  They invite us into relationships that reveal our humanness.  By creating communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities enjoy such mutual friendships, L’Arche seeks to live the Beatitudes - Jesus’ call in the Sermon on the Mount to be people of simplicity, gentleness, compassion, justice and peace.