In 1999 Kathy Berken left Green Bay, Wisconsin, for her new home as a live-in assistant in a L'Arche community in Clinton, Iowa. Although the life she left was not necessarily one of balmy beaches, she could never have predicted the storms that lay ahead. She found that her new home was not an ark of refuge. However, she also found that God was with her and the members of her house, shaping and guiding them. The story of her journey is told here with verve and honesty. It is a story of breast cancer, of forging relationships, of violence and the struggle to forgive. It is the story of a heart turned to God and changed by love of others. It is ultimately the story of all of our Christian lives, no matter where or with whom we live.
Jesus is truly living in the hearts of those who have been pushed aside. He is not just in gentle and prayerful liturgies but also in the mess of dailiness and of difficult relationships. The crucified Jesus leads to crucified people. The resurrection of Jesus leads us to discover the seeds of resurrection in all the pain of our world and in all the hidden pain in each of us. It leads us to celebration and to laughter. It is a place of healing for us all. Yes, you have well described life in L'Arche home. 'From the Foreword by Jean Vanier
To learn more about Kathy Berken and L'Arche Books, please visit the website: www.faithjourneyhope.com
Kathleen Berken is house coordinator for one of three homes in L 'Arche community in Clinton, Iowa, where she lives with five men with developmental disabilities. She was a high school and college math teacher prior to joining the staff of The Compass, the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. Berken joined the L 'Arche community in 1999. Her roles of mother, teacher, caregiver, and friend all give dimension to her role as L 'Arche assistant.