We at Joseph House are saddened by the news of Jean Vanier’s death. Our house mourns the loss of this gentle prophet. Jean’s witness was and will continue guiding us as we hope to form a welcoming community for the most marginalized in our community. Jean’s struggle to realize and experience justice through communion with those forgotten is a light for us as we hope to walk with those seeking freedom. We had hoped to visit with Jean this summer in France; now we will rely upon his prayers for us. Jean’s humility to allow the weakest and most forgotten to teach him what it means to be strong and welcomed as a friend of God will guide us in our journey.
Below is a quote a kind friend shared with me that I believe encapsulates Jean’s enduring prophetic witness for those of us at JH.
“To be human is not to be crushed by reality, or to be angry about it or to try to hammer it into what we think it is or should be, but to commit ourselves as individuals, and as a species, to an evolution that will be for the good of all. Each one of us needs to work at searching for truth, not be afraid of it. We need to strive to live in truth, because the truth sets us free, even if it means living in loneliness and anguish at certain moments. Perhaps this search for truth is a process of letting ourselves be enfolded in truth rather than possessing truth, as if it were an object that we could possess, that we could use against others.”Jean Vanier