BY A STAFF REPORTER
JEAN VANIER, the founder of the L'Arche community, is to make a whistle-stop tour of the country later on this month.
The 67-year-old will be holding public talks in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee in the last week of June.
The writer, a former professor of moral philosophy, left behind his career in 1964 to set up a home with two men from a mental institution in France. From small roots, he built up the L'Arche community, which is now an international family with over 100 communities where people with learning disabilities and their assistants share life together in small houses and workshops.
The community Faith and Light was founded in 1971 in response to the difficulty of living at home with a child or family member with a disability. A spokesman for L'Arche, John Peet, told the Herald that Jean Vanier was a
"prophetic figure in the sense that he says: if we put people at the heart of the community, we will discover their humanities.
"Jean inspires us to bridge religious or cultural divides and find a universal message of peace and unity, where people with learning disabilities are at the centre of our lives," he added.
Last month, Mr Vanier received an award from Pope John Paul II in Rome for his "contribution to religious culture".