Above, from left: Sarah and Allie pause to smile as they walk to the beach for an afternoon in the sun. Allie was one of our 2022 summer students and an asset to our community.
L’Arche breaks the traditional definition of what family can be. While family typically refers to a collection of people who share a blood relation, L’Arche expands this definition to include mutual respect, love and a whole lot of laughter. These qualities are the foundation of this unique and exceptional family.
At the beginning of the summer, I was immediately and warmly welcomed into the L’Arche family. Within my first few hours at L’Arche I came to understand just how special the connections are in this community.
When introduced to L’Arche the concept of family dinners stood out. I was delighted to hear of this tradition within McKim House. I hold the idea of family dinners remarkably close to my heart because I drew parallels between my own family and L’Arche. Within my personal family, we would take time out of our active schedules to have a daily sit-down meal at the dining room table, being present in the moment.
In today’s society, a family dinner is incredibly beautiful yet so rare. At McKim House, these dinners create open space for both meaningful conversations and everyday chatter. During this time there was also space designated for either prayer or sharing one's gratitude. Sitting around the dinner table at McKim House, I learned and grew from each person I had the opportunity to share this special time with. By experiencing the daily family dinners and creating and witnessing meaningful friendships, L’Arche built strong roots in my heart.
In friendships, a strong sense of family can be difficult to achieve. At L’Arche, friendship is something that builds our family’s foundation.
I am honored to have been welcomed into the L’Arche family. Throughout the summer I have built friendships with each core member, establishing a stronger connection to the L’Arche community. Whether it was chatting with Pat about our shared love for Mamma Mia; laughing with Stéphane about my daily ‘comedy act;’ watching and commentating on the TV show NCIS with Krista; going on walks at Irving Nature Park with Sarah or playing an intense game of UNO with Adrian. As days passed, each friendship grew stronger.
As the summer ends, I look back on my time at L’Arche reminiscing on all the love and laughter that has filled my soul. As I leave to return to my studies, a little piece of me is left with my friends and new family at McKim House.