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St. Thomas University News Release

Office of University Advancement
St. Thomas University
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5G3
Tel (506) 452-0522, Fax (506) 460-0335

March 18, 2003

Public Lectures

Social workers and others in the helping professions are invited to hear about the spirituality of Jean Vanier and its personal and professional application at workshops and lectures being held at various locations throughout New Brunswick from March 25 - 28, 2003.

Jean Vanier, the son of the late Governor General of Canada Georges Vanier, is the founder of L’Arche, an international network of faith-based communities creating homes and day programmes for people with developmental disabilities. The name L'Arche or The Ark is the biblical symbol of deliverance, and it is a world-wide organization welcoming people from many different faith traditions.

The mission of L’Arche Canada is to inspire a more compassionate Canadian society. This perspective centres on the importance of belonging, community and spirituality and emphasizes that we become whole in relationship with others.

Jean Vanier has published several books including Becoming Human, a text used by the Social Work Department at St. Thomas University.

The lectures and workshop will be presented by Mr. Eric Crowther, MSW, RSW a Child and Family Therapist, with special interests in social welfare and the church, and the spiritual aspects of social work. He has taught part-time at Nipissing University, Canadore College, and the Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology. Profoundly influenced by Jean Vanier, Eric recently had the opportunity to work with Vanier and his colleagues on a television project, Knowing Eternity.

The following sessions are being held by the Department of Social Work and the Chair in Catholic Theology at St. Thomas University. There is no charge for admission.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 – Public Lecture, "Integrating Spirituality: The Model of Jean Vanier" at 7:00 pm at the Villa Madonna Retreat House, Renforth, NB.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003 – Public Lecture, "Integrating Spirituality: The Model of Jean Vanier", 7:00 pm at St. Mary’s Church, Chaplain Island Road, Newcastle, NB.

Thursday, March 27, 2003 – Public Lecture, "Integrating Spirituality: The Model of Jean Vanier", 7:00 pm at Monsignor Boyd Family Centre, Regent Street, Fredericton, NB

Friday, March 28, 2003 – Workshop, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at Rigby Hall, Forest Hill Road, Fredericton, NB. "Jean Vanier’s Spirituality and the Helping Professional". Pre-registration required. Contact: Jeananne Knox, Departmental Assistant, Social Work Department (506) 452-0540,

Media contact:

Mary McIntosh
Director of Communications and Media Relations
St. Thomas University
(506) 452-0522