Mass dedicated to the late Jean Vanier in Amman

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Mass dedicated to the late Jean Vanier in Amman

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

Holy Mass was celebrated on Sunday May 19 in Jordan particularly in the presence of the “Faith and Light” members in Jordan for the late Jean Vanier who passed away in Paris on May 7 in Paris at the age of 90.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Salim Sayegh at the Latin Vicariate in Amman in the presence of Ms. Huda Turk, chairperson of the board of directors of “Faith and Light” in the world, and nuns. During the Mass prayers were said thanking the Almighty God for Jean Vanier’s life that was marked with encounters and prayers devoted to the most vulnerable.

Born in Geneva on Sept. 10, 1928, Vanier was the son of Canadian Maj. Gen. Georges Vanier, a war hero and diplomat who became governor general of Canada in the 1960s. He grew up in Europe, where, at the end of World War II, he assisted survivors of Nazi concentration camps with his mother. The experience had a decisive impact on his conception of human dignity.

But his permanent vocation to help those on the margins blossomed in 1964, thanks to French Dominican Father Thomas Philippe, his spiritual director, who was the chaplain of Val Fleuri, a center that welcomed people with intellectual disorders in Trosly-Breuil, a village in the Picardy region of northern France.

There, Vanier met Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux, two young men with mental disabilities. Their distress moved him to offer them the opportunity to leave the institution where they resided and live with him in a house he bought in Trosly-Breuil. He called the house “L’Arche” — “the Ark.”

Half a century later, this local humanitarian experience — based on Vanier’s vision of persons with disabilities and those who choose to care for them living together in community, with equal dignity and a mutual sharing of their respective gifts — has grown into the international L’Arche federation that welcomes people with intellectual disabilities, currently numbering 154 L’Arche communities in 38 different countries on five continents.

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 11:51
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