Back to All Stories

#LarcheImpact – Elise Matich

Impact is a theme in our community this year and who knows about the impact of L’Arche better than people who have been part of our community? So we reached out to current and former community members to hear about their stories and relationships, and how L’Arche GWDC has impacted them. This is the ninth in a series of interviews with current and former community members of L’Arche GWDC titled: #LarcheImpact.

When were you at L’Arche GWDC and what were your role(s)?

I was an assistant at Ontario Road House from August 2006 to August 2007.

What brought you to L’Arche?

A combination of factors brought me to L’Arche. I had worked with people with disabilities in various capacities during college, and had learned of the L’Arche D.C. community through a friend. I had originally planned to do service work abroad following graduation, but decided to apply to L’Arche D.C. after I started dating my now-husband, who is from the D.C. area.

What’s one of your favorite memories at L’Arche?

Spending five minutes with Walton and Jean Vanier.

What encouragement/advice do you have for people who are considering L’Arche?

I would encourage people considering L’Arche not to approach it as a service project or a time of discernment, but as a deep and deliberate experience of family and shared humanity.

How did you grow in your time at L’Arche?

I grew in my faith, and in my understanding of what it means to be human.

How does your time at L’Arche impact you today?

My time at L’Arche serves as a reminder of the challenges and graces of being a member of a family. As I wife and mother, I am grateful to L’Arche for giving me such a loving example of intentional, faithful, family life.

Do you have a favorite picture of your time at L’Arche you could share with us?

“The attached photo was taken at my farewell, and includes Debra Green (whom I accompanied) and Allison McGinley (center), the dear friend who told me about the L’Arche D.C. community,” said Elise Matich.


We invite you to share your own responses to the “#LarcheImpact” questions. Your responses can be emailed to

We are actively seeking new live-in and live-out assistants. Apply today! 

Stay up to date

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

[contact-form-7 id="275" title="Newsletter Sign Up Form"]