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Jean Vanier (1928 - 2019)

“I strongly believe that God is hidden in the heart of the smallest of all, in the weakest of all, and if we commit ourselves to him, we open a new world.” – Jean Vanier

Remembering Jean

In this special program, Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann remembers Jean Vanier with his friends Mary Anne Larcina, Liska Stefko, and Brian Halferty from L'Arche Daybreak in Canada.

Interview - John Guido

Deacon Pedro remembers Jean Vanier with John Guido, Outreach Coordinator for L'Arche Canada. This segment aired on the Salt + Light Radio Hour on May 18, 2019.

Jean Vanier was known as a man of joy and light, a man of relationship, and a follower of Jesus. He dedicated nearly 60 years of his life to serving people with physical and mental disabilities.

He could have had a successful career in the Navy or even in academia as a respected professor of philosophy. But after encountering people with developmental disabilities, his heart ached for more. He wanted to bring peace into the world by loving those on the margins of society and giving them a place where they could belong. He founded the first community of L’Arche in 1964. Vanier believed friendship and communion were forged in daily living with others. Today, there are 154 communities of L’Arche in 38 countries. He later started the Faith and Light community, with a similar goal of assisting people with disabilities and their families.

Jean Vanier

  Timeline of Jean Vanier

Sept 10, 1928born in Geneva, Switzerland, to Governor General Georges Vanier and Madame Pauline Vanier
1942enters the Royal Navy at Dartmouth Naval College
1949transfers to the Royal Canadian Navy
1950resigns from the navy and enrols as a university student in Paris
1962completes his Ph.D. in philosophy at the Institut Catholique de Paris: “Happiness as Principle and End of Aristotelian Ethics”
1963visits Fr. Thomas Philippe in Trosly-Breuil and encounters people with intellectual disabilities at the institution Val Fleuri
1964buys a small house in Trosly-Breuil and invites two men with mental disabilities – Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux – to live there with him. He calls the house L’Arche (The Ark).
1969Daybreak, the first L’Arche community in North America, opens in Richmond Hill, Ontario
1971founds Faith and Light, together with Marie-Hélène Mathieu
1989appointed Companion of the Order of Canada
1997awarded the Paul VI International Prize
2015awarded the Templeton Prize
2016appointed Commander of the French Legion of Honour
May 7, 2019dies in Paris, France

Schedule All times are in EST

  Sunday, May 19

Remembering Jean
Jean Vanier was as an author, teacher and philosopher. He is mostly remembered as being the founder of L'Arche, an international community for adults with intellectual disabilities. He was the recipient of many awards, including being an Officer of the Order of Canada. Most will remember him for his achievements. Many, however, remember him simply as Jean, their friend. Jean Vanier died on May 7, 2019. In this special, Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann remembers Jean Vanier with several of his friends from L'Arche Canada.
All scheduled times are subject to change

More Info:

Best of SLHour: Why are we here, Jean Vanier and other conversations
This week, we speak with social justice advocate, Mary Jo Leddy asks why we are here and we remember Canadian humanitarian, Jean Vanier. ...read more
Watch this special program! Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann remembers Jean Vanier with several of his friends from L'Arche Canada. ...read more
SLHour: Jean Vanier | 1928-2019
Jean Vanier, who has been called a living saint, has died. This week on the SLHour, we remember him. ...read more
Jean Vanier: 8 favourite quotes from his writings
As the world continues to mourn the death of Jean Vanier, read this selection of touching quotes from his well-loved books. ...read more
Jean Vanier: Real ministry is grounded in mutuality
Vanier knew that we cannot be fully alive unless we live in community and that we cannot create community unless we dismantle worldly systems of power and separation. ...read more