Christ The King Parish
Serving Parishioners of the Comox Valley

L’Arche Communities


In 1964, three men set up a house together in the small French village of Trosley-Breuil. Two of the men, Raphael and Phillippe had developmental disabilities. The third was Canadian, Jean Vanier.

Vanier bought the small house because he was appalled by the conditions and environment of isolation in which Raphael and Philippe had spent most of their lives. He named the house L'Arche (French for the ark, a biblical story of refuge) and gradually welcomed not only those who had been shut out of life for so long, but many others who would came to live, work and share their lives with them.

From that small beginning, L'Arche has grown into an international federation of over 147 communities in about 36 countries on six continents. All these communities are part of the International Federation of L'Arche Communities.


L'Arche communities are communities of faith, rooted in prayer and trust in God. They seek to be guided by God, and by their weakest members through whom God's presence is revealed.

L'Arche communities are centres of family life for small groups of three to eight people. Life in community focuses on the activities of daily living, as well as the family experience of sharing good times and hard times, celebration, forgiveness and prayer. It is in the small demands of daily life that community becomes a reality: learning to listen to the needs of those around us, the discovery of our own gifts and the deepening of our relationships.

A community house includes core people - those with disabilities, and assistants - those who live, work and share their lives with them. Assistants in L'Arche come from various walks of life. They are different ages, some having professional qualifications and others having no formal training. The choice to live in community with people with developmental disabilities comes from a desire to live out the values of the gospels, resulting in a deep personal and spiritual commitment.


Based on the Beatitudes of Jesus, who taught that those who are poor are also rich in some way, L’Arche recognizes that people with developmental disabilities  often have a capacity to welcome and accept others and to call people together around them. In L’Arche, this reality is experienced through relationships lived out in daily life.

L’Arche communities are ecumenical, respectful and welcoming of people of faiths all faiths. In Canada, Jewish and Muslim members are encouraged to live their faith and attend their own synagogues or mosques. L’Arche also welcomes people with no religious affiliation.

Communities of L'Arche in Canada

There are 26 L'Arche communities in Canada. Three in the Atlantic region, seven in Quebec, nine in Ontario, four in the Western Prairies, and three in the Pacific region.

Solidarity with L'Arche Communities in Developing Countries

We are sensitive to the needs of L'Arche in countries where no government funding exists. L’Arche Canada is twinned with communities in the southern hemisphere (Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Brazil) to foster mutual support and friendship. Donations designed for the solidarity fund as well as for individual communities and/or L'Arche Canada are welcome and tax deductible.

L'Arche Comox Valley

L'Arche Comox Valley established a home in the Comox Valley called Jubilee House in 2000. It is home to four core people and four assistants. L’Arche also runs the I Belong Centre, a community hub with creative arts and wellness programming, connected to the Vanier Suites, a six unit affordable housing project for adults with disabilities.

If you would like more information or if you are interested in volunteering, please visit or contact the L’Arche office.

I Belong Centre                      

1465 Grieve Avenue                        250.334.8320

Courtenay  BC

Date last updated: 7 May 2018

Site maintained by Terry Penney   

Click here for link to L’Arche Canada
Click here for link to L’Arche Comox Valley