Jean Vanier RIP

As I was told of the death, at the age of 90, of Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, there immediately came to mind my favourite story connected with the great man: an important story for me, and one which I discovered years later from Jean I’d actually misheard!

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A Small and Wonderful World

My friend Richard and I first met when we were part of the group of new assistants at L’Arche Kent at the end of the 1980s, a group which included L’Arche UK’s first ever Korean, Yim Soon, the woman who was to become my wife. Richard was a member of the music group at our wedding, which also had in it Lucy Winkett of St James’ Piccadilly.

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The Best Medicine

When coming away from my regular visit to one of our Irish Chaplaincy Seniors I was reflecting on how uplifted I felt and how it had to do, in part, by how much we had laughed during the visit. This particular lady is only in her 70s but has fairly advanced dementia, and her sister moved over from Ireland to stay in the 1-bedroom flat as a live-in carer. It’s a challenging situation but we always regale one another with funny stories, and we hoot with laughter.

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