About L'Arche Sudbury
by Peggy Keany, Founding Community Leader

Peggy Keaney

When a L’Arche community is being founded and in the early years thereafter, there is a wonderful energy that invades the hearts of those who are involved in building relationships together. L’Arche Sudbury was no exception to this phenomenon. From Roma, who personified hospitality (“do you want a beer?”) to Tim, who couldn’t get your coat off quick enough, Emmaus House was quickly transformed into a home.

The community was blessed with a strong Board of Directors and committed assistants who brought much stability to these new beginnings. Another hallmark that we all depended on was God’s providence. Over and over again we were surprised by the tiny miracles that made the unlikely, possible!

As we grew and welcomed more people into the community we also began to experience the loss of loved ones, when, only six years after joining us, Leslie Ann died. This mixture of joy and sadness is a part of each person’s reality and when shared with another makes life more meaningful and rich. Community life has been a gift for all of us over the years, whether for a short time or over the long haul. So many important values have become the fabric of our lives and gratitude is the common response from which we strive to live from. To discover the gift in another and to rejoice in the expression of it, is to acknowledge that each one’s uniqueness is reason to celebrate.

For over 25 years we have tried to remain faithful to one another and through the good times and the hard times we trust we have become somewhat wiser. We have tried to be a light in our city and to bring joy where hope has waned. We have been so fortunate to have families and friends who have supported us in numerous ways for so long. To them we say a sincere and heartfelt “Thank you”.

There is still more we are called to become in the years ahead. Together we will be attentive to the signs of the times as we are stretched to discover the newness in our mission, all the while remembering the challenge of Audrey, to continue to provide a “happy home” for each one that is invited to belong to L’Arche Sudbury.

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