L’Arche communities are communities of faith, rooted in prayer and trust in God. The spirituality of L’Arche is grounded in the belief that each person is unique and of sacred value, and that we experience God’s love through mutual friendships in which the gifts and weaknesses of each person are recognized and accepted.

Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through their own vulnerability, can invite others into relationship and show us our shared humanity.

L’Arche International was founded in France in 1964 in the Roman Catholic tradition. Today, the communities of L’Arche around the world have diverse spiritual identities. Many are ecumenical Christian, and some are inter-religious. All L’Arche communities welcome people of any faith or no faith. We respect and support our members in deepening their spiritual lives.

In L’Arche St. Louis, evening prayer is an important part of our daily rhythm. Newcomers are welcome to join us at our monthly Community Night for spiritual reflection and activities. Occasions of welcome and saying goodbye are times for blessing and thanksgiving. We also share a tradition with other L’Arche communities of washing feet during Holy Week. Core members are encouraged to practice and deepen their faith in ways that are meaningful to them. Many choose to attend church on the weekend, participate in a worship service, or sing in a choir.

“Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.” – Henri Nouwen, former Pastor of L’Arche Daybreak