The L'Arche approach is unique as it combines "living together", "professionalism" and "spirituality". All these aspects are essential if we hope to create an atmosphere of growth, acceptance and love.
Living together is at the heart of L'Arche, and at the heart of living together are relationships of mutuality and fidelity. Our mission is to create and maintain homes where each person (but especially the core members) will feel that their strengths and their weaknesses are accepted and loved. This way of life is intense and calls us to be particularly attentive to each other. Together, we are called to discover how our community life with its celebrations, friendships, and emphasis on forgiveness and covenants, can help each of us grow towards wholeness.
In L'Arche, professionalism goes hand in hand with commitment. To be professional means to have compassion and respect for others; to be committed to learning and increasing your knowledge and skills, and to be able to support people with intellectual disabilities in their daily lives and in their growth as persons. Being professional means being able to work in a team, have a sense of duty, and to be trustworthy and responsible.
Our faiths inspire us to be more open to people with different intellectual capacities, social origins, religions, races, and cultures. We try to appreciate the spirituality of each human being and to encourage them to visit their local faith communities. Most L'Arche communities are ecumenical Christian communities - that is, they are open to all Christian churches - and they also welcome people of other faiths and people who have no religious affiliations. Spiritual life cannot be reduced to any particular activity within community life, but it inspires and permeates everything we do and are.