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August Gathering

Our support for the tea dance in Forrestfield last month was richly rewarded. A special thanks to Carolin Alfreds who nominated L’Arche Perth to receive the proceeds of the raffle and to Justina and Annabelle who put all the prizes together.

A generous donation of 20 bottles of extra virgin olive oil from El’s Oil in the Swan Valley brought the total raised to $1,000.

Organised by Sandra Theseira (seen here with Alison and Chris) this multicultural event was well supported by the Malay/Singapore community; more than two hundred people were there for a good time, dancing to the music of two great bands and eating delicious home cooked food.

Our two tables won an embarrassing number of prizes which hopefully won't get in the way of our being invited back next year.

September Gathering

It’s back to the Dianella house for our next get-together on Sunday 8th, 2-4 pm for a celebration of Spring.

News from the Board

We are sad to report that negotiations between L’Arche Australia and Elaine in London have collapsed and she has made other plans for the near future. A lack of communication and no progress on the visa front resulted in Elaine losing hope and she has taken on a new role in her Community. 

In consultation with the L’Arche Australia Board Chair, the way forward now is to advertise our position for a Community Life Leader with L’Arche International and L’Arche Australia at the beginning of September (to coincide with the end of northern hemisphere holidays). The process for L’Arche Australia to be a sponsor has begun and it is thought that, on past experience, we can still work with the same timeline, ie have someone here for the beginning of 2020. 


Date changes

The date of our AGM has been changed to avoid a clash with the November national board meeting. It will now be held on Sunday 17 November, 2-4 at the Dianella house.

The Christmas party date has also been changed to Friday 6 December at 6pm at the Dianella house.


L’Arche Australia has reminded all communities that in Australia we are committed to support the community in Zimbabwe that receives no Government financial support. Communities are urged to demonstrate their solidarity by finding ways to raise money for Zimbabwe.

The communities of L’Arche Australia have a long tradition of regular giving to support communities of L’Arche in different parts of the Federation. 

Over the years there have been some very creative and community building initiatives which have helped to raise money ‘so that others may have a home in L’Arche’.

Plans are underway to combine a Solidarity event with our October Gathering. (hint: you might want to hunt out some African garments and practise your drumming…) For a video link that gives a glimpse of this community click here.

A new Charter for L'Arche 

L’Arche International has begun the lengthy process of reviewing and updating the Charter of L’Arche with input from every community in the federation. Each community and project is being asked to identify 2 local people to help assist with the facilitation of this process. We are asked to nominate one person with, and one person without a disability. They would be appointed for 3 years on a voluntary basis. 

The current Charter was written in 1993 and expressed what we knew and believed then. It is hoped that this process will assist each of us to connect with our own story and the story of the life of our community and also to know what is important, if not essential, to our life together in community. We will have opportunities to contribute what is good and what is hard for us. We will contribute our thoughts and ideas to L’Arche International so as to assist them with the forming of our new International Charter.

Cindy Treanor and Claire Lawler have been appointed as National Resource People and they will be facilitating formation for all the local Resource People in Canberra from 28th-31st of October. It is hoped that all local Resource People would be able to attend this important formation to prepare them to take on their role. 

If you are interested in participating in this process please contact Vera on 0407 383 085‬ or

National Leader visit

David Treanor has been invited to Perth toward the end of October. It is hoped that he will be able to discern a new Chairperson, participate in a live-in weekend (18-20) and take part in a screening of Summer in the Forest in Albany. Sue Whittaker, whom some of you will know from the core member retreat last year, is hosting a screening there, with proceeds coming to L’Arche Perth.

Community members news 

Brian Tierney has returned from completing the gruelling 500-mile Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage with his son, on a break from Uni. Apart from losing several kilos and suffering shin splints, it was well worth the effort and proved to be a great experience for them both.

Spotlight on... Georgie George

Georgie has been an active member of our community since she attended one of our early Retreats. More recently she has been part of the Heart2Heart program with her good friend Justina. She is a stalwart at our WalkAbility event every year, helping with the set-up and packing away; greeting walkers and handing out the water bottles and sunscreen. She is always thinking of ways to promote L’Arche and is a worthy recipient of our Volunteers Certificate of Appreciation. 

A keen netballer and avid Eagles supporter, she is rarely seen without the club scarf and hat, summer or winter. She’s also got a very quirky garden…

Peter Toohey's funeral

Peter’s sudden passing on 9 July was a shock to us all – his calendar was still full with commitments to the many individuals and groups to whom he gave so generously of his time.

His Requiem Mass on 2 August at St Joseph’s Priory was a wonderful celebration of a life well lived. Known for his humility, he would have been amazed at the number of people who came to farewell him. As a music lover he would have rejoiced in the selection of music, from the entry hymn ‘Here I am, Lord’ to Handel’s Messiah as his coffin was led out: it was impossible to remain dry-eyed.

In his quiet way Peter was an eco and social justice warrior: his coffin was biodegradable, of course - waste not want not, and he lived the simplest of lives. He was drawn to people who are marginalised in society and spent much of his life with prisoners, the indigenous community, people with intellectual and mental health problems, the homeless and refugees. He was also drawn to those, like himself, searching for a genuine response to the Gospel demands for peace and justice.

Born in Sydney, the fourth of six children, Peter entered the Columban Seminary and was ordained in 1963. He spent five years in Korea before returning to Sydney to work with people who were marginalised. His interest in people with intellectual disabilities began when he pastored a group home in Ashfield and this led him to L’Arche. Following a visit to L’Arche communities in Canada, he was inspired to help establish a Community in Burwood, Sydney which thrives today. He remained committed to L’Arche and was a faithful member of the Perth community for 10 years, where his gentle presence and sense of fun will be greatly missed.

From 1986-9 Peter worked in the Columban mission in Chile and became fluent in Spanish. On his return to Australia and following a stint at the Aboriginal Spiritual Centre in the Kimberleys he became chaplain for Aboriginal Ministry, first in Kalgoorlie and later in Perth. From the end of the nineties until he retired in 2014 he was chaplain to three prisons. Retirement didn't slow him down and, apart from being pastor to the St Thomas More College Chapel, he continued to spend his life in the service of others.

 The Prayer of St Francis, read at his funeral, says it all about the way Peter lived his life:

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord, and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, only light, and where there’s sadness, every joy.

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled, as to console.

To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

In giving of ourselves that we receive, and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

If you'd like to consider making a tax-free donation, please see details below:

EFT: WESTPAC Bank Account name: L’Arche Perth Inc

BSB: 036 302  
Account: 383 187 
Please include your name in the transfer details. 

Alternatively you can make one-off donations by: 
Cheque: payable to L’Arche Perth Inc directly into our Westpac Bank account.
Cash: Please make cash payments directly into our Westpac Bank Account, including your name. 
Copyright © 2019 L'Arche Perth, All rights reserved.

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