- Arche Tecklenburg
L`Arche worldwide – history and present time
The first L’Arche community was founded by Jean Vanier in 1964 in Trosly-Breuill, a small village in France. He invited three people with intellectual disabilities – Philippe, Raphael and Dany – to leave their institution and live with him in a small house, which he named “L’Arche.” The small community grew fast, soon welcoming new people with an intellectual disability and young people from around the world to share their lives. In 2014, L’Arche, with 147 communities in 35 countries on five continents, celebrated its 50th anniversary.
L`Arche Tecklenburg community
The L`Arche Tecklenburg community celebrates in the year 2016 its 30th anniversary and currently includes three houses. The first house was founded in 1986, now it is the home for eight men and women with disabilities and people, who assist them, called assistants. The people with dissabilities are called core-members in l`arche because they are the core (heart) of the community. It is located directly next to the forest and provides an ideal starting point for nice walks to several fish ponds and then over fields and meadows. It has also a large garden with a fireplace, which is a popular evening meeting place of the community in summer.
In 1993 the second house appeared, less than 5 minutes walk from the first house. There are four coremembers living with their assistants.
Since 2007, we have a third house, in the center of Tecklenburg. It is now the home of six coremembers and their assistants.
Tecklenburg is a nice small town surrounded by a great Forest with old half-timbered houses and a castle ruin, which is used for the outdoor events in summer. The nearest villages and larger cities (Osnabrück and Münster) can be easily reached by bus, train or by the Community cars.
Some ex-assistants and friends are associated in the so-called Community Circle (Mandatskreis). They do not live and work in the community, but they are part of the community and accompany the community life, as well as some evangelical pastors and catholic priests, sharing their support and encouraging integration with the neighbours.
Most of our coremembers work in special workshops, such as assembly, packaging, sewing, Café, etc. The work gives them the possibility to earn money, but also the structure in everyday life and relationships outside l`Arche.
For our coremembers, who are already retired, we have a seniors program in the mornings during the week. They pray together, sing, make some handcrafts or go for a walk, cook and eat lunch together.
After work, coremembers and assistants meet to a coffee break, to talk about the day and discuss, what they will do further this day. Before supper, each l`arche house has an evening prayer and each thursday there is praying for all three houses and guests (it could be praying organized by assistants or leaded by evangelical priest or catholic Mess). In the evening there is time for relaxation and being together: we sit together and talk, playing, singing, making handicrafts, listening to music or watching TV.
On Saturday we practice different leisure time activities. Sunday is marked by visits of the church services in the parishes.
We often go to Tecklenburg or go for walks in the beautiful nature that surrounds us or going by car in other cities and interesting places. Hospitality is a very important point in the community. We often have guests, sharing with them our everyday life and special events.