The joy of building community

The joy of building community

Above: L'Arche member Adrian Morgan (left) and Zoël Breau (right), Executive Director of L'Arche Saint John, share the podium at our sold-out gala event, Building Community on Sept. 20. 

I come from a large family of 10 kids. When we all get together, it is a big, joyful reunion.  

On September 20, we hosted our sold-out Building Community gala event at the Delta Hotel with special guest Marcel LeBrun and emcee Mel Norton.

At the event, I had this same feeling of reunion and belonging.

Being relatively new to Saint John, I don’t take this feeling for granted. Having a sense of belonging is paramount for each person to blossom into the fullness of their own self and contribute to community.

Our Building Community event was an opportunity to hear Marcel speak about his amazing initiative with the 12 Neighbours Community and for us to launch our new Supported Independent Living program.

During the fireside chat with Marcel LeBrun and Dave Stonehouse, President of L’Arche Saint John, Marcel eloquently spoke to his own transformation in entering relationship with residents of the 12 Neighbours Community.

This story of transformation deeply resonates with L’Arche. When we enter into and deepen meaningful, mutual relationships with others in our daily lives, something extraordinary takes place.

We were excited to announce our new Supported Independent Living program. I was delighted to share the announcement on stage with some of our program partners, Minister Dorothy Shephard of the Department of Social Development and Lisa Keenan, past president of Saint John Non Profit Housing.

In spring 2023, we will welcome four adults with intellectual disabilities to live in apartments of their own in The Wellington, a new development by Saint John Non Profit Housing in the heart of uptown Saint John. To learn more about this exciting next step we’re taking, click here to read the press release.

In launching this program, my joy is knowing that we will be able to enter new relationships that will bring new life, learning, and meaning into our community, while building a more inclusive community in uptown Saint John.

I don’t know how to fully express my gratitude for the way that Saint John embraces L’Arche, which was so clearly demonstrated on September 20.

With your continued embrace, love and support, we are building a brighter future with adults with intellectual disabilities and their families.

With thanks,

Zoël's handwritten name

Zoël Breau
Community Leader/Executive Director

1 comment

I enjoyed your remarks Zoel You definitely came from a “boomer era” family. When I lived at the Air Force Base in Saint James, Manitoba as a child, the family across the street had 8 children in a 4 bedroom house. This number of kids in one household blew me away. You having a family of 10 sounds even more challenging.

I am interested in helping where I can with the upcoming move of 4 residents into their own apartments in the Spring. Best wishes to you. I applaud this wonderful development.


richard larder

Leave a comment