posted on Oct. 17: Jean Vanier to lead one-day retreat


Jean Vanier, well-known Canadian philosopher and founder of the L'Arche community living experience for those with disabilities, is visiting McMaster on Saturday, Oct. 28 to lead a day of reflection entitled “Signs of Hope for a New Millennium.”

Vanier will be giving two talks, each of which will be followed by a period of reflection and discussion in small groups. Members of the Hamilton L'Arche community will be attending, as well as the Spirit Movers liturgical dance troupe from the Daybreak community in Toronto.

“This retreat is geared primarily to McMaster students and faculty,” says Eileen Schuller, professor of religious studies. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling ext. 24207. Always interested in bringing together a wide diversity of people who might not typically have contact with each other, Vanier “speaks simply, from the heart”, Schuller says.

Since 1964, Jean Vanier, 72, has been sharing his home with individuals with developmental disabilities and the assistants who live and work with them, in Trosly-Breuil, France. The community includes people with different intellectual capacity, social origins, religions and cultures. Today L'Arche is an international federation of more than 120 communities in 30 countries. The Hamilton community was established in 1978.

A writer and teacher, Vanier, who has a PhD in philosophy, speaks at conferences and leads retreats around the world. Sponsored by the McMaster Campus Ministries Council, the day-long event runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in HSC-1A1.