The gift of togetherness

The gift of togetherness

Above, from left: Kevin Ferguson of O'Leary's Pub smiles with Stéphane Bastarache and Zoël Breau of L'Arche Saint John in March at the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in support of L'Arche. It was a beautiful morning together with many of you, our friends and supporters.

A sense of togetherness is an important part of what L’Arche is all about. Recently, two community events reminded me of how special it is to be together.

Earlier in March, O’Leary’s Pub hosted its 33rd annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, and for the eighth consecutive year, all proceeds supported L’Arche Saint John. The pub was filled with many of you – friends and volunteers, old couples and young families. Live music courtesy of Comhaltas Saint John filled the space with the joy of music. It was a beautiful time of togetherness.

Our deep thanks to the Ferguson family, owners of O’Leary’s Pub, for continuing this special tradition. 

Then, at the end of March, L’Arche communities from across the Atlantic Region gathered in Truro, Nova Scotia for a special day together. It was our first time together as a region in three years.

The highlight of the day for me was witnessing the wisdom and insight of people with intellectual disabilities in equal dialogue with new assistants and some of us long-time leaders in L’Arche. It was a joy to reconnect and have this time together to share learning and experience living in community amidst so much change around us. 

Last month, I announced my departure from L’Arche Saint John after five wonderful years of being in this community. Today, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new leader, Rachel Vander Vennen, who is no stranger to L’Arche Saint John. 

While I will miss the community in Saint John, I am confident that L’Arche will flourish and stand for a better future for adults with intellectual disabilities in New Brunswick.

Thanks to Rachel for taking on this new commitment, and to each of you for your continued support of L’Arche Saint John. It truly means the world to us. 

With gratitude,

Zoël Breau
Outgoing Community Leader/Executive Director


Zoel, we never did have that coffee just to have chat.. but maybe before you turn around and head to Montreal we could do it.. " I always say " When God closes a door another opens "and indeed you greatly missed but let’s try and have this coffee real soon.. Thank you for serving this community five great years.. Rachel is going to fill big shoes.. but I am sure she will fit in very nicely.

Jannette Jarvis

Zoel, thank you on behalf of the Simmons family. You played a large part in the success of L’Arche Saont John and I know you will be missed. I will miss your great smile and friendly welcome at events. Good Luck on the next part of your journey🙂

Debbie Searle

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