Community Video: “L’Arche: It’s All About Love!” (produced by Greg Schlueter).
L’Arche Erie was founded in 1972 by the Reverend George Strohmeyer and Sister Barbara Karsznia, OSB, and is the first and largest L’Arche community in the United States.
Father George and Sister Barbara responded to the vision of Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, and the needs of people with developmental disabilities of Erie County, particularly those in greatest need—those without families, in an institution, or those with profound disabilities. In doing so, they have built a community based on relationship and sharing life together.
Today, L’Arche Erie has eight homes and one apartment where assistants and individuals with intellectual disabilities live and work in an atmosphere of friendship and trust. These homes often share in community life through visits and celebrations. L’Arche provides a family setting that is focused on building growth and security for its core members.
Our core members are active in the Erie community. Many attend work at the Barber National Institute, play sports, participate in theater productions, and attend local church services. On Tuesdays, some members of the community share lunch together and on Friday afternoons everyone gathers for community worship. Sharing in daily life with assistants, core members, volunteers, and friends helps us strengthen the L’Arche family and celebrate the mission of L’Arche.