Mic reflects on the history of L'Arche Chicago, its members, and its traditions as we move forward with exciting plans for the future.

The changing color of the leaves on the other side of my window remind me that we are entering into a new season; a season of celebrations, a season of special meaning, and a season of remembering.

Tim leads a discussion about a core member in L'Arche Bethany, Bethlehem

Tim leads a discussion about a core member in L'Arche Bethany, Bethlehem

Many of us in our community have traditions that we look forward to around this time of year. Actually, many of us have traditions we look forward to all year round. Some of us make homemade pizza every Saturday night with a special radio show playing in the background, some of us say a certain prayer after every evening meal, and some of us go to a certain camp for a week each summer.

Keeping Traditions While Growing

Last Saturday, as we ate the deliciously traditional homemade pizza at Peace House, we wondered why we kept the traditions we do. Some shared that it reminds me of someone special, it makes me think of a good memory, and it assures me that I don’t need to worry about anything.

As our community is growing here in Chicago, along with the culture we’re in, we have taken time to reflect on the way that tradition is present in L’Arche. Our mission statement calls us to foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while being faithful to the core values of our founding story. 

L'Arche Chicago's Place in L'Arche International

Our Community Coordinator Luca Badetti has been helping us reflect on what it means to be faithful to the core values of our founding story, learning to recognize the difference between projects and core values. We can do things differently but still be united in our common identity and mission of being a community celebrating relationships of belonging.

A recent formation from a longtime friend of L’Arche Brenda Herman helped us understand the cultural influences that we carry with us–both from our broader American cultural context as well as our more local L’Arche Chicago cultural context. We remembered our founding story here in Chicago, our shared history the last fifteen years, and our hopes and dreams for the future. 

Our gratitude for our relationships–with you and with each other–continues to be a common thread in all these conversations. Your presence and faithfulness to our community has brought–and is bringing–us into being. We couldn’t be more grateful for the ways you hold us!

(This article was in our Fall 2015 issue of Two by Two, our twice a year publication highlighting the L'Arche Life in Chicago. Don't get theTwo by TwoSubscribe today to have it delivered right to your door twice a year.)