Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver and On Being radio host Krista Tippett will deliver remarks at L’Arche USA’s public event in Washington, D.C. on May 30. The event will celebrate the culmination of the 50th anniversary year of L’Arche, an organization founded by 2015 Templeton Prize winner Jean Vanier.
L’Arche means the ark in French, and is an international federation of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work, and pray together as peers. More than 300 representatives of L’Arche USA’s 18 communities will come together May 28-30 to celebrate the organization’s anniversary.
Two free events are open to the public (children welcome):
Friday, May 29, 2015, 2-4 p.m.
Sharing Our Gifts: A Public Celebration
American University Friedheim Quad
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
Guests are invited to enjoy music, a mime, games on the lawn, and a photo booth.
Saturday, May 30, 2015, 2 p.m.
Calling for a New Vision of Peace: A Public Forum and Interfaith Prayer Service
National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20016
Join Krista Tippett, radio host of On Being, Tim Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics, and members of L’Arche from across the United States in giving thanks for the gifts of people with disabilities in our world. Ginny, Peter, and Gov. Dick Thornburgh will be named in absentia as the 2015 recipients of the Spirit of L’Arche Award.
The events in D.C. come on the heels of the news that founder Jean Vanier received the Templeton Prize, “one of the world’s largest annual awards given to an individual and honors a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.”
Vanier will accept the award at a in a ceremony at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London on Monday, May 18. Video highlights and a full ceremony video will be available for viewing at www.templetonprize.org by late afternoon Tuesday, May 19.
About L’Arche: For much of recent history, people who have intellectual disabilities have been hidden away, ignored or feared, and abused or neglected. In 1964, a revolutionary movement began when Jean Vanier invited Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux, two men with intellectual disabilities, to move out of an institution to live with him in Trosly, a small village in France. In the 50 years since the founding of the L’Arche movement, people around the world have been drawn to the idea of people with and without disabilities living and working together as peers. Today, the International Federation consists of 147 L’Arche communities in 35 countries. Communities consist of one or more homes and/or daytime programs.
At age 86, Jean Vanier still lives in Trosly, France, as a member of that first L’Arche community. While he rarely travels internationally any more, his beautifully penned writings continue to inspire people worldwide who are seeking to live gently, love fully, and give themselves freely.
Photos available upon request.