Messages from Fr. Tom and Dr. Battle

Former Board President, Father Tom Gaunt, S.J.

Dear L’Arche GWDC community:

We had recently opened the home on Highland Street in Arlington when I succeeded Mal Young as the L’Arche Board President in 2008 and plans were underway for building the 6th Street home. So much has transpired over the past ten years as the community completed building the 6th Street home, inaugurated the annual Heart of L’Arche breakfast, initiated conversation with Georgetown University on having L’Arche on the campus, and helping to host the L’Arche National Assembly in DC in 2015. And, along the way we have had many transitions among community members, support staff, and community leaders.

Through it all, L’Arche Greater Washington DC has been blessed with God’s grace and the generosity and prayers of community members, friends, and supporters! As President of the L’Arche Board it has been ten years of “grace upon grace,” so thank you for enriching and blessing me!

Board President Dr. Constance Battle

Current Board President, Dr. Constance Battle

Embarking on the journey for the next 35 years!

As your new L’Arche GWDC Board President, I plan to devote my attention and energies to the Executive Team for starters. Our Executive Team faces many demanding tasks as would occur in any transition with many to-dos, including signs and symptoms of a “transition overload.” Numerous changes have occurred over the past three years in leadership, both local and national: staffing, aging and death of our core members, challenges in our jurisdictional arrangements… I could go on and on. So along with the deep joy and camaraderie of our community which is the heart of L’Arche we have experienced some sadness and grief and loss as well as fear of the known and the unknown. At the same time, some serious challenges have required much additional work out of the ordinary as well as some wonderful new opportunities requiring again, extra work!

This commitment on my part to begin my term means that through focusing on the Executive Team, I will commit to support and guide the team so that together we can work on all levels of mutual relationships within L’Arche GWDC and with national and international L’Arche. To that end, I also look forward to a collaborative relationship with Laura Goble and to continuing our role, along with our very own Jerry Bentley  in L’Arche USA’s Diversity Action Plan as it unfolds in early 2019.

I treasure my long-ago service on the board and a second time since 2008, following all those years, John Cook’s tenure and Father Tom Gaunt’s calm, wise board leadership. In September, we will celebrate the first thirty-five years of belonging.