Faith and Sharing and Faith and Light, are sisters of L’Arche. Many L’Arche communities began in North America, following a Faith and Sharing Retreat.
L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill ON, the first L’Arche community in Canada and L’Arche Comox Valley, our own community, are examples of l’Arche communities rooted in the Faith and Sharing retreat movement. During their annual 5 day summer retreat, Faith and Sharing Vancouver Island celebrated their 40th anniversary, this summer, at BRC.
Twenty five years ago, Sister Jill Aigner , the first Retreat Director of BRC, phoned Fran Larmand, the ‘elder’ and grandmother of F & S, who was also at that first F & S Retreat 40 years ago, and said, “We’ve got a decent place for Faith and Sharing now. You can come here from now on.”
Apparently Jill had been a presenter at an earlier F & S Advent Retreat and was appalled by the rustic conditions, at the camp, where the F & S team was trying to give their retreat which always includes people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
In contrast, I’m sure the team would say that coming ‘home’ to BRC was like coming to the Hotel Vancouver. Beds with mattresses, showers and tubs, everything under a roof, great food, and such a beautiful setting!
There is great angst in our Faith and Sharing community that we may not be able to come to BRC again.
Andre and I are committed to personally supporting the work of the Friends of BRC Society who are trying very hard to keep BRC continue as a retreat centre. We are encouraging other long term members of Faith and Sharing to do the same.
We pray diligently for the success of the work of the Society.
Mary Catherine and Andre Ruel, Coordinators of Faith and Sharing Vancouver Island