St. Mary’s University is saddened to learn of the death of Jean Vanier, a respected Canadian and founder of L’Arche, the international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. He passed away on May 7 at the age of 90.

Jean Vanier has left an extraordinary legacy. L’Arche now encompasses 149 residential communities operating in 38 countries and more than 1,500 Faith and Light support groups in over 80 countries that urge solidarity among people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and their friends. We mourn the loss of Jean Vanier, a man whose spirit of generosity, empathy, and loving kindness has inspired millions, and whose life’s work provides a shining example of the true meaning of philanthropy – the deep, boundless love of humanity.

We join with many around the globe who mourn the loss of Jean Vanier, and yet we also celebrate his inspirational vision because it will live on in L’Arche communities throughout the world.