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L'Arche Audiovisual Collection Series
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Assistants' Retreats and Meetings

Series consists of 169 audio cassettes and 7 videocassettes made during retreats and meetings given by and for assistants of L'Arche International. The assistants are those individuals that live and work in L'Arche communities and assist the core members. From email from Sr. Sue Mosteller, "L'Arche feels it's important to support those who live and work day in and day out in the homes with the people, so it calls them together for formation sessions, leadership training, and retreats for the spiritual journey. Because l'Arche is Ecumenical and Interfaith, the retreats are very beautiful with recognition of people's individual traditions and an attempt to find meaningful ways to pray and worship together. Often the meeting ends with a celebration of the Washing of the Feet - which symbolizes the serving and being served, the blessing and being blessed of each person in l'Arche."

Federation meetings

Series consists of 40 audio cassettes made during Federation meetings of L'Arche International. The communities of l’Arche belong to the International Federation of l’Arche. This is the umbrella for all l’Arche communities around the world. There is an International l’Arche Board of Directors and International Council of l’Arche that organize, raise funds, and continue to keep the dynamism of all l’Arche communities in the world.

Many meetings happen at the level of the Federation – like International Board Meetings, International Council Meetings, Zone Meetings, International Retreats, and once every six years there is an International Federation Meeting with representatives from each of the 130 communities around the world. Elections for the International Council and Board take place at the Federation Meeting, as well as a celebration of new communities and introduction to the culture where the meeting is held. People with disabilities usually attend this meeting, and find it rich with meaning, lots of celebrations, and interesting learnings.

In 2012, the Federation Meeting will take place in Atlanta, GA, and will host around 300 people from around the world. The last meeting, in 2006, was held in Calcutta, India.

Other events, talks, and speakers

Series consists of 838 audio cassettes and 15 videocassettes made during events or talks other than those designated by other series. Series also includes cassettes with talks by speakers at L'Arche events which are unidentified. These cassettes have been organized, when possible, by event or type of event, or by speaker (when only one speakers is present). There are also several cassettes of music that were likely used during retreats or events, as well as several commercial tapes of music and talks, that were collected by L'Arche Daybreak and kept for use by L'Arche members. <p>Series also includes the Tape Reference binder with a catalogue of cassettes that were kept at l'Arche Daybreak (box 56).

Audio Reels, Film Reels and Documentaries

Series consists of 78 audio reels, 8 film reels and 1 videocassette made during events given by l'Arche International. These reels are arranged chronologically whenever possible. The reels mostly feature Jean Vanier at various events, although other speakers are included. The events at which these were created are unknown, which is the reason these materials have been kept separate from the other series in this Collection.

Covenant Retreats

Series consists of 248 audio cassettes made during Covenant Retreats. L’Arche recognized that the word “Covenant” is close to describing the spirituality of the organization; that God wanted to ‘make a covenant’, a bond and commitment to the people of Israel. For assistants that begin to see l’Arche as a vocation, and want to make a longer term commitment and see themselves being called to be at l’Arche by God, there are retreats that support them in that spirituality. These Covenant Retreats provide a space for those that have announced, or are considering, their Covenant and provide support for those Assistants. The Covenant Retreats happen about once a year in Europe and North America where most of the l’Arche communities are, and happen less frequently in India, Central America, South America, Africa, India, etc.

L'Arche Renewals

Series consists of 242 audio cassettes made during l'Arche Renewal retreats. Renewal Retreats are part of an effort to support assistants that have lived for 10 years or more at l’Arche. These are organized by the l’Arche International Council. The assistants of 10 or more years are invited to come away for 10 weeks of conferences, sharing, a retreat, and an occasion to rest, pray, share, and learn about difference cultures and practices within l’Arche around the world. These events are very spiritual, and provide a great amount of support and enlightenment for those assistants.

Faith and Sharing

Series consists of 103 audio cassettes and 15 videocassettes made during Faith and Sharing events. <p>The Faith and Sharing Federation /Foi et Partage is a bilingual Catholic organization with a mandate to deepen and foster the experience of Christian community through week long retreats. The principal function of the Faith and Sharing Federation is to organize annual retreats however they are also active during the year through local communities.</p> <p>The first Faith and Sharing retreat was held in Marylake, Ontario in 1968 and was led by Jean Vanier, A retreat is usually a five or seven day excursion to a retreat centre or church that consists of time for personal prayer, a presentation based on biblical scripture by one or more animators and group meetings where people can share their experiences. Mediation, relaxation and silence are a primary focus of the retreats; music and song are also considered important and there is often a theme song chosen for a retreat. There are

Head of House and Regional Meetings

Series consists of 68 audio cassettes made during the course of Head of House meetings or Regional meetings of L'Arche International. The Head of House provides support for the Community Leader by taking direct responsibility for the home. The Leader administrates the overall community, but the Heads of Houses take on the responsibilities of the home for the Leader. The Community Leader regularly meets with Heads of Houses to hear details, issues, listen to questions, to make community announcements, and create a supportive community around any situations that may need support.