News

Accidental Friends: Stories from My Life in Community

Posted 2019-04-08

This book by Beth Porter, long-time member of L’Arche Daybreak, will be available soon in North America.

“Beth has particular gifts in writing, and her love for L’Arche and its people shines through this book. These stories can invite us into reflection on our own interactions and experiences.”
– From the Foreword by Jean Vanier

As the L’Arche Daybreak Community celebrates its 50th anniversary, this beautifully-written memoir tells the inside story of daily life shared by a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities. It’s full of touching, sometimes amusing, but always life-affirming stories, and formational moments from the lives not only of author Beth Porter, who has been a part of the Daybreak community across four decades, but also of many others with whom she lived and worked.

Beth had been teaching university students when she visited a L’Arche home in 1980. At that time, Daybreak, the first L’Arche community in North America, was eleven years old. As she was leaving, one of the residents, Michael, said, “Come back!” And she did. She later bonded with Mike, when they were stranded overnight in a Georgian Bay snowstorm. Now, they are “wold friends,” as Mike likes to tell people.

Fast forward and Beth has lived in L’Arche for forty years. Accidental Friends is her story, starting out with her looking for a more integrated lifestyle and something meaningful to do with others. It is about discovering the many gifts of the so-called disabled people who welcomed her and urged her to stay and join in the rich life they shared with other assistants from various countries who had come to experience community life. Indeed, the book gives a vivid picture of the people in the homes who helped shape the community’s tone and life together, of inspiring people such as Mike and Ellen and George who became her good friends, and, along the way, of the growth of L’Arche Daybreak.

Accidental Friends Book Launches

  • April 30, 2019, 7:00 pm at L’Arche Toronto Gathering Place, 186 Floyd Ave, Toronto, ON
  • May 3, 2019, 7:30 pm at L’Arche Daybreak Dayspring, 11339 Yonge Street Richmond Hill, ON (Within the context of a community worship service)
  • June 4, 2019, 7:00 pm at McNally Robinson, Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg, MB
  • June 10, 2019, 7:00 pm at McNally Robinson, Saskatoon, SK

Beth Porter is a long-time member of L’Arche Daybreak where she was an assistant and held other roles. For 16 years, until September 2016, she worked on Communications, Educational Initiatives, and Publications for the L’Arche Canada Foundation and then for L’Arche Canada. Besides her work for L’Arche, she has written articles, reflections, and reviews for various publications. In 2001, Beth was the lead editor of an anthology of essays published by Doubleday: “Befriending Life: Encounters with Henri Nouwen.”

 


November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (#IDAM2023)

Indigenous peoples of Canada experience a disability rate significantly higher than that of the general population.

Zoel Breau, interim community leader at L'Arche Montréal

L’Arche Montreal would like to announce the appointment of Zoël Breau as interim community leader.

New National Director of Philanthropy

We are pleased to announce that Sarah Kreplin will be joining our team as the National Director of Philanthropy on August 28th. Sarah has been working in the field of philanthropy since 2007, most recently as Director of Planned and Major Giving for Mission Inclusion. She recently obtained her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

A New Community Leader at L'Arche Le Printemps

L'Arche Le Printemps annonce la nomination de Marianne Bolduc Lacasse en tant que responsable de communauté.

Update on allegations of historic abuse

L'Arche is committed to receive, act on and learn from any new information that comes to light, so that L'Arche today is as safe and healthy as possible.

New Community Leader for L'Arche Arnprior

We are happy to introduce the next Community Leader for L'Arche Arnprior, Pernell Goodyear.

New Translation and Interpretation Coordinator at L'Arche Canada

L'Arche Canada is pleased to announce Jennifer Couëlle as the new Translation and Interpretation Coordinator.

New Director of Communications at L'Arche Canada

L’Arche Canada is pleased to announce Warren Pot as the new Director of Communications.

Teegan Arthur joins us as the new Payroll and Database Technician

L’Arche Canada is pleased to have Teegan Arthur join us as the new Payroll and Database Technician.

L'Arche Emergency Fund in support of our friends in Ukraine

People living with intellectual disabilities often suffer more in disasters and are forgotten by efforts to help.