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L’Arche Kapiti History

December 3, 2013

Our L’Arche Kapiti story began with a visit from Jean Vanier. Having visited in the 1970’s Jean came again at the invitation of Faith and Light New Zealand, to give a retreat in Christchurch in January of 1993. During the retreat Jean was invited to attend a meeting of about 30 people who wished to ask of him some direction that might help the establishment of a L’Arche Community in New Zealand. He reminded us then that L’Arche does not begin with having a board or a trust or a building or even any amount of money. No, L’Arche begins when there are people who are prepared to share their lives with other people who have intellectual disabilities.

Located North of Wellington in the town of Paraparaumu, our Community began in 1998 in a house. Angela Capes, our founding Community Leader was aided by many, but for spiritual guidance, Father Roderick Milne became our community’s first Pastoral Minister. These founders sowed the seeds that have since sprouted and grown. The community expanded to its present size to include another house and an Activity Centre.

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I was immediately impressed with the warm welcome and accepting atmosphere of the community.

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