Back to All Stories

Jack’s Life Journey to L’Arche

Meet Jack, a man who lives a life full of music, prayer, art, and adventure despite disability. Born in West Palm Beach, FL in 1955, Jack is the second of eight children and thrives on the love of his family and the L’Arche community.

Jack attended a school for special needs, graduated high school in 1977, and went to work at a local habilitation center where he learned valuable skills and developed a love for gardening. Following the death of his father in 1989, Jack chose to move into a group home in south Florida.

Jack is one who has always enjoyed being on the go — traveling with family, participating in Special Olympics since he was a young boy, and engaging his passion for sports, especially swimming and bowling (he’s an excellent bowler!).

Communicating primarily through sign language, Jack further expresses himself through hobbies like jigsaw puzzles, art, and gardening. His regard for music and spirituality is evident in his classic music collection, love for Christmas carols, participation as an altar server, and attendance at Faith and Sharing Retreats for more than 25 years.

Jack’s journey to L’Arche began long before he moved to Jacksonville. Family pilgrimages to Lourdes and Our Lady of Knock included visits to nearby L’Arche communities in France and Ireland. He was excited to move to Jacksonville in 2014 and now happily resides at Peace House with daily painting and clay experiences at the Rainbow Workshop.

A beloved bear costume made by his mother 30 years ago has become Jack’s signature Halloween disguise. He has worn it every year earning him the affectionate nickname “Jack Bear.” Jack loves balloons and celebrations; his joyful spirit is contagious!