Simple Lenten Meal with L'Arche Greater Washington, DC

Fri., March 2, 2018 6:30pm ·

We serve in the North Conference Room on the Friday evenings of Lent following the 6pm Stations of the Cross.

The Social Justice Committee invites you to join us for Simple Lenten Meals  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 2, 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 Parish Pastoral Council, for this great opportunity of almsgiving. 

Please visit the L'Arche Greater Washington, DC (and L'Arche USA ) websites from which the following is excerpted and summarized. 

L'Arche (French for “the Ark”) – Founded by Jean Vanier in France in 1964 

L’Arche is an international federation of 147 member communities in 35 countries, whose goal is to create communities that welcome people who have intellectual disabilities.  L’Arche USA communities provide homes and workplaces where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers in inclusive communities of faith and friendship. 

“Our community life is beautiful and intense, a source of life for everyone.  People with a disability experience a real transformation and discover confidence in themselves; ... their capacity to make choices, and … find a certain liberty and above all their dignity as human beings.” – Jean Vanier 

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 while faithful to our founding core values; and explore our diverse cultures by working together toward a more human society. 

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

In our L’Arche community, life focuses on the 16 members who have intellectual disabilities known as “core people.”  St. Matthews has been honored to have L’Arche community members as both parishioners and Social Justice volunteers.  

Since 1983, L’Arche has provided safe housing, compassionate support services, and opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities to integrate into their neighborhoods.  This has been inspired by Jean Vanier’s vision – the best way to foster core members’ gifts and abilities is to create a caring community where they and those assisting them can share their lives.  L’Arche distinguishes its approach to service by facilitating these mutual friendships and providing opportunities to belong.


The L’Arche community meets the fundamental needs of the human heart by helping to create a home, enabling core people to do fulfilling work, and encouraging opportunities to learn, contribute, and have fun.  Our community core persons primarily are low-income area residents of different backgrounds, ages, and cultures.


 About Us – L'Arche Greater Washington, DC – three elements comprise our mission: 

Community - L'Arche Greater Washington, DC is an inter-denominational Christian community that welcomes people of all backgrounds to share their life together.  We encourage members to discover and deepen their spiritual lives according to their own faith and tradition.  Those with no religious affiliation are also welcomed and their freedom of conscience respected.  

Professional Services - Though not medical professionals, L'Arche assistants are trained to administer medication and recognize potential medical conditions.  Disability professionals in health care, law, government service, and advocacy, herald L'Arche as among the best community-based care providers for persons with intellectual disabilities. 

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


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

“The belief in the inner beauty of each and every human being is at the heart of L’Arche … and at the heart of being human …. We do not discover who we are, [or] reach true humanness, in a solitary state; we discover it through mutual dependency, in weakness, in learning through belonging.” – Jean Vanier