Fall 2014 - L`Arche Antigonish


Fall 2014 - L`Arche Antigonish
October 2014 - Issue 2
O 44
“It’s not about the place that
matters; it’s the people that make
the moment unforgettable” Anonymous
FALL 2014
More Than Just a Job
By Florence Riley
Christian heads off to Cleve’s every Tuesday
morning. He is greeted by the friendly staff
with a bit of teasing and small talk. He then
gathers up the accumulated recycling and
heads over to the compacter in Collie’s truck.
The two of them take care of all the
recycling. On their return Christian empties
the garbage cans and cleans the windows
with great pride.
Men’s Basketball Team. Collie and Brian
always attend our regional Special Olympics
to watch Christian and many other local
athletes compete. This year there was a
parade for the special Olympians who went
to B.C. to partake in Nationals. Collie and
Brian were there to watch as Christian and
friends proudly displayed their medals. It is a
great source of pride to Christian that the
guys want to keep track of his successes, and
that they value his friendship.
Even though Christian communicates only
through sign language it is impressive how
the folks at Cleves manage to keep up to
what is going on in his life. Christian has
become so independent in his work that he is
now without a job coach most of the time
and we are very proud of him.
This is more than just a job; Christian is a
natural athlete, so Cleve’s is a perfect fit with
his interests. Even more important, he has a
great friendship with Brian and Collie, the
manager and assistant manager of Cleve’s.
They keep track of Christian’s
accomplishments in Special Olympics as well
as his involvement working with the St. FX
International Prayer for L’Arche
Join us on Saturday 4th October for a prayer service at
Bethany Chapel at 11am. All L’Arche communities from
around the world will commemorate the 50th celebration
and be united in praying at 11am their local time.
Gus Leuschner’s Retirement Party
Join us and celebrate Gus’s retirement on Saturday 13th
December. Drop in any time from 2pm-4pm at the
conference rooms at the Keating Millennium Centre.
Happy Retirement Nancy
We wish longtime assistant Nancy MacDonald all the
best on her retirement!
Mariya Pavlyukevych
Michael and I had an amazing
opportunity to participate in this year’s
Faith & Sharing Retreat in Yarmouth. It
was a privilage to celebrate its 40
Anniversary in the Atlantic Region. The
theme of this year’s gathering was “A
The main elements of the Retreat were
the Word of God, Prayer, the Eucharist,
Sharing Groups and Celebration. Liz
Bonnar was the animator of the Retreat.
She has lived at L’Arche for 26 years and
shared very touching experience of her
life in community. This retreat was a
rewarding experience, it deeply
nourished our spirituality and presented
us with the opportunity to rest, listen
and share.
Give thanks with a grateful
heart, Give thanks to the Holy
One. Give thanks because He's
given Jesus Christ, His Son.
And now let the weak say, "I am
strong", Let the poor say "I am
rich" because of what the Lord
has done for us.
A Word from the director
By Gus Leuschner
Jean Vanier recently celebrated his
eighty-sixth birthday. As the founder of
LÁrche, he has written many books and
given innumerable talks and retreats on
the beauty of people and the
importance of each person regardless of
ability, race, faith or culture. “To love
someone is to reveal their beauty.” To
live with this attitude requires us to
reflect on our interactions with each
other and become aware of our blocks
and biases. Those that know Jean
personally know he shares the same
struggles as you and I. We are all invited
to grow in greater compassion and truth
and like Jean will bring life to each other
and ourselves. Perhaps a naive dream
when we see our own struggles and the
poor in our world. However, living
together with Joe, Carol Anne and
others has encouraged me to trust in the
goodness and gift of each person.
Today, we are aware of so many needs
in our ‘global village’ and this requires us
to be more and more convinced in
believing that we can make a difference
together and make our world a little
Our fall newsletter shares a little of our
life at L’Arche with you and all that we
are discovering in our daily activities.
Thank you for your continued
encouragement and support.
Greetings and blessings to you and your
4 liter gallon containers with lids,
Musical instruments,
Food processor, Bread maker,
Sewing machine,
Snow blower,
Recumbent bicycle,
Glue gun, Yarn,
rug hooking kits (even if they are partially
Shepherd’s Pie
By Pauline MacKinnon
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 1 ½ qt. Casserole.
2 large onions, diced.
1 lb. (pound) ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
¼ cup ketchup
1 (14 oz.) can creamed corn
2 cups mashed potatoes
Sauté the onions in oil, then add
beef & brown.
Drain fat; add mixed veg., ketchup
& seasoning.
Layer in casserole as follows meat
mixture; creamed corn; mashed
Bake 30 minutes or until bubbling
and browned.
(serves 6-7)
Loving God, you called us into being
and gave us our mission.
Thank you for the gift of one
Thank you for our journey together
in L’Arche from the beginning till
Help us continue to grow in our
response to you,
Listening to your voice within us,
seeing you around us,
Delighting in our gifts, forgiving one
another for our failings,
Trusting in you, and welcoming
In Faith, Hope and Love
My Experience in L’Arche
By Keegan
After living one year as a live-in assistant
at L’Arche Antigonish, and discovering
an organization that is so full of kindness
and warmth, I wanted to continue this
wonderful way of living elsewhere. I
applied to L’Arche in Australia, and
ended up in Hobart, Tasmania in the
community titled Benni-Abbes.
Originally a little off-put by not being
mainland Australia, I discovered the
beauty of the island and the beautiful
people that I would be sharing a house
with. My house consisted of three core
members and one other assistant.
Traditions, policies, schedules and that
comfort I had established at Dixie House
were different here. Coming from a
house that I felt very sure of myself, and
then entering a home where I had to
learn to adapt to a new sense of
community was originally a bit
confusing. As time passed I learned that
homes come in many different forms
and I found my place at the table. The
relationships that I originally struggled
with became some of my strongest
friendships and that spirit of L’Arche I
felt at home was found again.
One particular core member I bonded
with in my house was Hannah, who had
a gift of honesty and great values.
Through her laughter and her hugs she
reminded me that happiness doesn’t
have to be as complicated as we often
make it. Experiencing L’Arche elsewhere
made me realize that it’s so incredibly
unifying to know that people all over the
world are feeling this incredible sense of
home. L’Arche takes a basic approach to
equality that starts over holding hands
around the dinner table, and has allowed
this tradition to grow to countries all
over the world. The L’Arche houses
around the globe are connected by their
sense of welcome and acceptance,
amazingly led by a group of people that
were so marginalized not long ago. It is a
wonderful example of the humanity that
binds us all together. I’ll be helping out
at the houses in Antigonish while I finish
my studies, and I am happy to know that
every meal I share with the folks here,
will also on some level be felt all the way
in Australia.
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emailing us at:
[email protected]
October 2014 - Issue 2
O 44
L’Arche Summer Camp
Debbie Leuschner
in town, such as the Highland Games street
fair, the activities at the library, colour wars,
Christmas in July, cake bake off, sleep over
night, and kitten day just to name a few.
The L’Arche summer camp is a group of
youth of varying abilities who gather in the
summer to enjoy fun friendship and
activities. You may have seen us about town
as we enjoy the summer in Antigonish. The
day camp program is based at the John Paul
Center during July and August. The program
welcomes youth who have a developmental
disability and five or six students with
summer grant funding. The focus of our days
is fun and friendship. We provide a place of
belonging and foster an environment where
each is valued and encouraged to participate
to the best of their ability.
A few facts about our summer camp: we are
part of L’Arche Antigonish, at the request of
a group of parents we started the camp
program in 2000 to provide respite for
families and a meaningful summer
experience for youth with a developmental
disability; we have welcomed an average of
20 participants to the camp each summer;
we do not receive government funding for
the program and fundraise the operating
costs; each participant pays a small fee to
attend the camp. L’Arche Antigonish and all
the families and participants wish to extend a
big thank you to the Knights of Columbus
who have made the Jean Paul Center
available to us each summer.
Each week offers different adventures:
traveling to Victoria Park in Truro for a hike
swim and a picnic, a fun day enjoying a
friend’s back yard pool, our day at Magic
Mountain, enjoying Shubenacadie Wildlife
Park, beach days, picnic at Cape George
lighthouse, and enjoying the local activities
Many members participated in the ASL bucket
challenge! There was a movie made of this trio
that made it to the L’Arche International
facebook page
9 Core members attended Camp Reachability and
had an amazing time.
L’Arche Antigonish won an award at the GoArt
exhibition in recognition of their contribution to
John Andrew moved into an independent
apartment at the start of the Summer! John
Andrew worked really hard to achieve this goal
and we wish him all the best!
We said good bye to Yeshua house and had “The
Last Supper”.
Christian Gero, Alex Dearden and RJ Pitts, all set
to go to Special Olympics in Vancouver, All three
men won multiple medals at the games this
Community Vacations
Halifax & Home group
“Can’t wait” that’s Mary Anne Mackinnon’s
words for 2 weeks before community
vacation. We had a blast with great
company, beautiful scenery and kind hearted
people – the Gilberts. During the first week
the group went to St Margaret’s Bay in
Halifax. We stayed in a 5 star like
accommodation, the Gilberts - treated us like
we’re part of the family! Everybody enjoyed
it and had fun with company of friendly Stan,
their son, Stan’s father Steve, who’s always
funny and Nancy who’s always been lovely.
We did lots of activities, mostly outdoors. We
went to a farm, drove to neighboring towns,
went shopping, and visited Mary Anne’s
sister. Our second week was also splendid.
Mary Kathleen joined the gang and we
stayed in Covenant house. Like the week
before, we did trips and lots of driving as
well. We went to PEI and did horseback
riding, it was fantastic. We drove through
beautiful scenery to the beach and checked
out their artistic souvenir shops. To conclude,
the group enjoyed our marvelous trip. Very
grateful to people who did their best to make
this year’s community vacation as awesome
as it can be. And we are very looking forward
and can’t wait for the next year’s vacation.
John Tinio
Hamilton and London
Kris has been an assistant at L’Arche London
for 6 years and was very happy to introduce
us to this community. We were warmly
welcomed at three beautiful houses. Beach
day was a great gathering of three
communities: Antigonish, London and Amos.
Karaoke night was an entertaining musical
event loved by everyone. In Fanshawe
Pioneer Village we explored the History of
London. L’Arche Hamilton welcomed us for
the second part of our trip. Everyone enjoyed
a great variety of delicious food at a
Mandarin restaurant. Elizabeth’s sister
Colleen visited us together with her talented
family presenting us with beautiful songs.
African Lion Safari, Niagara Falls, Butterfly
Conservatory as well as Ripley’s Aquarium
were the breathtaking highlights of our stay
in Hamilton. Amazing Quebec City, one of
the oldest European settlements in North
America, hosted us on the way to Ontario
and back to Nova Scotia.
Mariya Pavlyukevech
Home Group
The home group of this year’s vacation was
looking forward to it for a while. This year our
group was built by Joe white, Tom Gilfoy,
Jeff Murray and Tommy Landry. The first
week of our vacation, our folks were still
going to the day programs and went on some
nice trips with them. Some people went
watching or went to some parks to enjoy the
nice weather. We also invited some other
L’Arche groups for a BBQ at Dixie house and
met a lot of people and had a lot of fun. Due
to the stage of aging of some of our group
members we weren't able to do as much as
other groups but we still had a lot of fun and
spent time outdoors. Tommy and Jeff also
had the chance to go to Halifax for a night
and they experienced a little vacation outside
of their home. All in all, we had a nice stay
home vacation , had lots of fun and had a
change from the daily routines of our lives.
Jochen Reubener
Toronto group
What a great trip we had! We enjoyed
beautiful scenery and got to know many
different people while driving through
several provinces. Our group spent a
wonderful time at the Cedars, an oasis of
silence and prayer at L’Arche Daybreak. It
was a real adventure to visit African Lion
Safari and Toronto Zoo with majestic lions,
giraffes, cheetahs, rhinos. We immersed
ourselves in a world of aquatic animals and
discover underwater adventure at Ripley’s
Aquarium. We were fascinated by the beauty
of Toronto from the bird’s eye view at the CN
Tower. Our group had a great chance to
watch a Blue Jays baseball game and admire
the gorgeous Niagara Falls. Everybody was
happy to spend time with each other in
laughter and joy.
Olha Pavlyukevech
Our group was graciously welcomed into
Jenn Powers parent’s cottage located in the
scenic area of Calvert. We visited many
tourist hotspots, some of the highlights were
Signal Hill and the Colonly of Avolon – we
walked the trail to the top of the hill where
the mountains, river and the cool breath was
very relaxing. We did a long trip to see Cape
St Mary’s Ecological Reserve where we saw
many different species in their natural
habitat. We had the privilege of going to the
Regatta Kayak Boats racing festival and we
visited the lively city of St John’s many times.
We bumped into a previous assistant Paddy
Thompson who invited us to his parents’
home for a wonderful supper. We saw a lot
of moose on the trip and got to spend lots of
time in the beautiful country.
Innocent Kabaale
work in exhibitions every year and participate
in community art events. Light also
organized photo workshops for L'Arche
Assistants and friends
“Light”, the photography program of Hearts
and Hands, began in February 2011 with five
participants, Lisa, Mary Anne, Matthew,
Michael and Stan. There has been a lot of
change of people and activities over the
years; however our concentration on
photography as a human experience has not
diminished as witnessed by our recent
Over the past three years Light has evolved
into a shared opportunity for us to 'see and
experience' the universe, its environment and
all its people, including each other, in a more
personal, perceptive and sensitive manner.
Photography is our method, our telescope,
even our 'excuse' for opening our eyes, our
minds and our hearts. We are a fellowship of
avid photographers out there in a great big
world. We happily go about our craft,
delighting in each other’s company... learning
photography as we go.
Wellness Tips
Avoiding the
common cold & flu
By Carl MacDonald
We often say that community is about
sharing. Unfortunately, that means germs
are also readily passed around. According
to WebMD, the top “natural” tips to avoid
sharing the viruses that cause the
common cold are;
1 Wash Your Hands. Most cold and flu
viruses are spread by direct contact, and
most direct contact is by hand.
2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs
with Your Hands. (See #1). Use a tissue,
if possible. If none are available, cover
your mouth with the inside of your elbow.
Photo Michael Boddy
Getting out into the community and the
countryside is an essential to widening our
individual horizons. Nothing is too small to
escape our attention! The emphasis is on
seeing people and things - natural,
manufactured or constructed - in our own
personal way. That is how we develop a
growing intimacy with the details of our
environment, our lives and the people who
share them. Hopefully our photos reflect
those insights.
Over the years we have photographed
people, flowers, trees, statues, cars, boats,
lakes and sea shores, stores, staircases, and
even dust bunnies. We visit galleries of
photography and other visual arts, show our
3 Don't Touch Your Face. Cold and flu
viruses enter your body through the eyes,
nose, or mouth.
4 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly.
Exercise helps increase the body's natural
virus-killing cells.
5 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals.
Mom always said to eat your vegetables.
They are valuable in boosting your
immunity, especially dark green, red, and
yellow vegetables and fruits.
6 Don't Smoke. Even being around
smoke profoundly zaps the immune
7 Cut Alcohol consumption. Heavy
alcohol use suppresses the immune
system in a variety of ways.
8 Relax. There's evidence that when you
put your relaxation skills into action, your
Currently Light includes Alex, Christian,
Eileen, Kelly, Steffi, Glen, Tina, and Stan.
Together we will soon explore new directions
and opportunities for photography in the
L'Arche community. In doing so we invite
community members and friends to share
their ideas and suggestions with us.
Stan Mizgala
[email protected]
Photo by Kelly Farrell
interleukins -- leaders in the immune
system response against cold and flu
viruses -- increase in the bloodstream.
Train yourself to picture an image you find
pleasant or calming. Try this 30 minutes a
day for several months. Keep in mind,
relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not
doing anything.
Following these tips will reduce the
likelihood of sharing the viruses that
cause the common cold and flu, but will
not guarantee they aren’t spread. A flu
shot helps provide immunity to fight the
most prevalent strains of influenza
viruses. It does not, however, provide
significant protection against the
common cold. In either case, the best way
to avoid spreading these infections is to
avoid contact when you are sick. Stay
home from work, avoid public places and
take care of the symptoms with rest,
plenty of fluids, and medical advice when
necessary. Let’s all do our best to keep
our community healthy
If you would like to learn more about L’Arche Antigonish or support our homes and day programs please contact us at 902 863 5000 or visit
4 West St, Antigonish, NS, B2G 1R8.
If you wish to make a contribution please make cheques payable to L’Arche Antigonish Foundation

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