“GET INVOLVED” that has become the admonition and slogan of the 2st Century. It is a call for everyone to go out and exercise as well as encouraging involement in pressing social issues.
This can entail an enormous variety of “involvements”; from merely joining a gym to taking part ill-advised – and likely pointless – civil disobendience at the upcoming G20 Conference.
We at the Canadiana Hostel in Toronto decided to organize events that combines both exercise and social involvement at the same time.
So we loaded up a dozen or so backpackers into our fourteen seater van and headed to O’Conner Bowling alley in Toronto where an organization called L’Arche was holding a “tournament” to raise money.
The name “L’Arche” is French for “The Ark”, as in Noah’s Ark. L’Arche is a worldwide organization welcoming people from many different faith traditions, as well as people who have no formal affiliation with any particular religious tradition.
But The people supported by L’Arche have developmental disabilities whom, at one time, were “institutionalized” – out of sight and out of mind. With L’Arche they live together with a small group of volunteers as functioning memebers of society.
L’Arch is the brainchild of Jean Vanier, son of the late Canadian Governor, Major General General Georges Vanier. He is a second generation warrior, scholar and humanitarian who founded L’Arche almost half a century ago.
The international council of L’Arche is now represented by 30 people from 14 countries, and the international council of Faith and Light was represented by 19 people from 17 countries, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, India, Canada, USA, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, Uganda, New Zealand, Philippines, and Italy.
It is a positive irony that Vanier, a second generation veteran of Canada’s wars is now waging a battle against apathy and ignorance. He has taught Canadians, and indeed, the world, that in such battles there are rewards and glory, enough for all.
We will continue to support orgasnizations such as L’Arche in the future.
Jamie, Vera, Masa, Mark and “Muffin” with Hostel Mgr. Sandra, in front.