Looking back on warm memories

Looking back on warm memories

Above: Adrian and Islay pose for a photo with Château Frontenac in the background while on vacation to Quebec in summer 2023.

As I start a new chapter of my life in Europe, I look back on my time as McKim House Leader with fond memories. 

I arrived at McKim House on a chilly New Years Day and am now so grateful to be able to look back and say that my nine months at L’Arche Saint John was an era that will always hold an important place in my heart.

L'Arche Saint John was where I first discovered the spirit of L’Arche for a week before heading to France five years ago, and it was the community that welcomed me back with open arms at a time when I was so in need of a new mission and place to lay my head close to home.

How fateful it seemed to arrive and to discover that at the time McKim house seemed to be just as much in need of me as I was in need of them.

I became quickly enchanted by Stéphane’s friendliness, Krista’s generosity (and sassy sense of humour), of Sarah’s sweetness, Patrick’s never-ending list of talents, and Adrian’s deep loyalty and selflessness.

I am touched by how quickly McKim House welcomed me into their lives and became as dear to me as family.  I was thrilled that it was possible to have my McKim House family meet my partner Vitek and his brother who visited this summer from Prague, that I could introduce the crew to my own family and friends.

Our group vacation to Quebec City is something that will always stay with me, along with my Labor Day weekend in Wolfville with Adrian being major highlights.

I love all of the day trips we were able to do on weekends such as going to the Kingston Market, to the Sussex Air Balloon festival, to Saint Andrews by the Sea, to see L’Arche Fredericton’s Spirit Project Performance, to Moncton to visit friends and family, to Shediac… the list can go on and on. 

I may be onwards to my next big adventures on European soil, but all these adventures with McKim House remain the warmest of memories, sweet as honey.

Sending big hugs and thanks to everyone at L’Arche Saint John who made this such a positive experience, and I’ll look forward to the next time our paths cross again.

Warm wishes,

Islay Purcell
Former McKim House Leader

Leave a comment