About us

Who We Are

L’Arche is an international federation of faith communities where people with and without an intellectual disability share life together. L’Arche, a French word for the Ark, seeks to create communities where people live a simple life of work, care, prayer and celebration.

L’Arche was founded in 1964 in a small French village by Jean Vanier who welcomed two men, Raphael Simi and Phillipe Seux, both of whom had an intellectual disability and were living nearby in a large institution. By living with Raphael and Phillipe, Jean discovered a way of the heart and a new way of living the beatitudes of Jesus.

From these simple beginnings L’Arche has grown into an international federation of 138 communities in over 30 countries.

In a world that is so divided and broken we want our communities to be a sign of reconciliation, hope and peace — a sign of God’s love for us.

We are a very diverse group from all walks of life, some of our disabilities are obvious, some are hidden but all of us share in the mission of L’Arche, of changing the world one heart at a time.

This section provides access to information about L’Arche through links to other L’Arche websites.

Click on the following links to