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The On Being Project

L'Arche: A Community of Brokenness and Beauty

Jean Vanier & Jo Anne Horstmann

L'Arche: A Community of Brokenness and Beauty

Forty years ago in France, philosopher Jean Vanier founded an international movement, L'Arche. The L'Arche community in Clinton, Iowa is part of this movement — people of faith living and worshipping alongside developmentally handicapped adults. There are now over 120 L'Arche communities in 18 countries. The community in Clinton is one of the oldest and most rural of the 14 American communities. In this "radio pilgrimage," we take listeners into a radically different faith community that confronts our assumptions about service and diversity, and the worth of individuals.

Share Your Reflection


  • Jean Vanier

    Jean Vanier

    is a philosopher and the founder of L'Arche. He lives full-time in the original community in Trosly-Breuil, France. He's also the recipient of the 2015 Templeton Prize. His books include Befriending the StrangerThe Story of L’Arche, and Signs of the Times.

  • Jo Anne Horstmann

    Jo Anne Horstmann

    serves as regional coordinator of the L'Arche Federation for the central U.S.