An Open Letter To Faith Communities

Faith Foundations

The foundations of L’Arche Chicago began when a small group of prayerful friends began holding Faith and Sharing Retreats in Evanston in the early 1980s. These retreats were animated by the spirit of L'Arche and involve people with and without disabilities. This informal group of friends incorporated as Friends of L'Arche, a not-for-profit corporation in March 1995. Five years later, Angel House was opened and our first group of core members and assistants began sharing life together and we have continued to grow and impact our local community for the better ever since. Throughout this time, the faithful across Chicago have supported our cause through prayers and financial support.

We are not made to be isolated, but to relate, to complement one another, to help each other, to accompany, sustain and support each other,” he went on to note that the presence of people with disabilities “causes everyone to make a community, indeed to be a community...
— Pope Francis

Friends of L’Arche know the joy and excitement that a relationship with our community brings. We’ve laughed, prayed, played, and shared meals with thousands of people. We are forever grateful for every single volunteer, visitor, and benefactor of L’Arche throughout the years and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


We would like to go back to our roots and reconnect with the various faith communities throughout Chicago. We’re looking at you, our friends, to be champions and voices for L’Arche and introduce us to your faith community!

Here are some ways you can engage your faith community with the message of L’Arche:

Introduce us to your pastor or rabbi.
Speak with your pastor or rabbi and set up a time for L’Arche to make a visit. A Core member and community member can come and visit.  

Place some information in your parish bulletin or on your website.
We can design a special ad to place in your bulletin or a post for your website.

Invite us to speak.
We’re available to come and speak on various topics regarding disabilities, community growth, peace, and the history of L’Arche.

Here are some titles from which you can choose:

  • Love is Possible: How L’Arche is Leading the Way for Peace
  • Pope Francis and Reaching out to the Margins
  • From Charity Case to Contribution: Changing the Way the World Sees the Disabilities Community
  • The State of Care for Those with Disabilities
  • Creating a More Compassionate World
  • Creating Spaces of Peace and Reconciliation
  • The Spirit of Community
  • Peace in a Time of Violence
  • What does the Church Say about Disabilities?
  • The History of a New Kind of Community
  • Justice for All? Disabilities in the U.S.

The faith life of the community is very important to us! Here's what the parents of one of our core-members have to say about their son's spiritual development since he's joined L'Arche Chicago.

One of the most wonderful things to us has been Chris’ development of a spiritual life. We believe that this has added a whole new dimension to his life. He has learned about faith, hope, charity, patience and beneficence.
He has begun to understand life as something greater than a universe that revolves around the self. He has begun to think on a different, less concrete plane and shows tremendous compassion and love for others.
L’Arche has given Chris a home, friendship, love and community. It has given our family a sense of peace – peace that comes from knowing that no matter what happens to his father, to me or to the rest of his extended family, Chris will have a place where he is loved and cherished and encouraged to continue to grow both experientially
 and spiritually.

Thank you for taking the time to introduce us to your faith community! We’re very excited to spread the joy and excitement of L’Arche’s mission to every corner of Chicago! If you’re interested, contact Ashley to begin setting up a connection.

Peace and blessings on your faith community!
L'Arche Chicago