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Letter from Stephan Ponser, our International Leader

 

Dear Friends,

Sometimes we are tempted to look back and regret the good old days as if “before it was better”! I have often thought that the best way to pay tribute to our founders, to those to whom we owe our presence today, is not to copy them, but to be inspired by their vision and willingness to create something new. In short, not to copy the past, but to transform the present, to make it flourish.

On your 40th anniversary, the 40th anniversary of L’Arche in Australia, it is this energy that I hope you will find in your history to project yourself into your future.

Founding L’Arche was a magnificent challenge. I believe that yours today, which is also ours throughout the International Federation, is even greater: that of etching L’Arche for the long term, a duration that goes beyond the time of the founding generation. This challenge is that of fidelity and maturity: a time to hold together, and with lucidity, the reality we live in and the ideal that animates us.

When I was a child, and because it was explained to me that the earth is round, I thought you people in Australia were walking upside down. I visited you a few years ago and saw that this was not true!! It takes a lifetime to heal from this lack of perspective. Like Australia as seen from Europe, L’Arche is a very good place to discover that what we thought was upside down is at the right place.

May God bless you all,

Stephan