L'Arche leader on a mission for people with disabilities

Dr David Treanor at the L’Arche Welcome House in Perth (Supplied)

“Everyone in this world has something to offer. If only we open our hearts and welcome all relationships, we will be able to be with people rather than for people," says national L'Arche leader David Treanor. Source: The eRecord.

Mr Treanor has dedicated his mission to the creation and growth of L'Arche homes, programs and support networks for people of all ages who have intellectual disabilities.

The organisation’s name, inspired by Noah’s Ark, was founded by Catholic philosopher, theologian and Templeton prize recipient Jean Vanier in 1964. It has grown to be a worldwide federation of over 147 communities in 35 countries.

Mr Treanor told The eRecord that working with L’Arche has not only opened his eyes to see the needs of each community he visits, but has thought him some important life-lessons he will always cherish.

He said a major issue in society today is loneliness. “I think that loneliness in general is a feature of our western society and culture,” he said.

“Society tells you that people living with the experience of disability will be fixed with a funding package but we all know that money does not buy happiness.”

Mr Treanor hopes the L’Arche Welcome Home in Perth, established in August last year, will inspire more locals to spend time at the house on the weekends, even if it is just to share a meal, attend a local community gathering or join in for prayer nights.

The Welcome Home is currently looking for a Committee Leader to live in the house full-time, as well as volunteers to visit on a weekly basis.

Commenting on the push to legalise euthanasia in parts of Australia, Mr Treanor said medical practitioners should not be burdened with the responsibility of making quick decisions under pressure in an over-stretched healthcare system, especially in a matter of life or death.

Mr Treanor, who champions the Church’s anti-euthanasia stance, said this issue is particularly sensitive in the context of a person with disability who is not equipped with the cognitive skills and functional impairment.


People of disabilities are capable of communication and love, David Treanor (The eRecord

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