St. Thomas More Medal
The St. Thomas More medal has been established to recognize and honour persons, groups of persons, and organizations which have combined personal qualities of care, integrity and faith with significant contributions to community and public life. The award is named after St. Thomas More whose extraordinary example of faithful virtue and public service remains an inspiration ‘for all seasons.’
|2012 Recipient||Past Recipients|
(Excerpts from the L’Arche Saskatoon web-site: www.larchesaskatoon.ca)
In 1998 a number of people who felt a desire and a call to bring L’Arche to Saskatoon formed a group called “Led by the Spirit”. At the request of L’Arche Canada, they began to hold monthly gatherings for adults with intellectual disabilities and their friends and families. The aim of the gatherings was to create a welcoming social setting where adults with intellectual disabilities could enjoy the company of others, and to support parents with sons or daughters living at home, by providing a place where they could step out of their isolation, share their stories of daily living, and give and receive support from friends.
The gatherings have now grown to have a regular attendance of 60 to 90 people—about half of them men and women with intellectual disabilities. At each gathering—now called “Friends of L’Arche Gatherings”—there is a time at the beginning to socialize with others, followed by a sit-down meal. After the meal, there is a group activity in which everyone is invited to participate, music and singing, a time to remember and pray for those who are ill or in need of support, and then a final song before clean-up and good-byes. A wonderfully vibrant community life has developed at the Friends of L’Arche Gatherings.
Opening the first L’Arche home in Saskatoon
When the Led by the Spirit group first contacted L’Arche Canada to express their desire to open a L’Arche home in Saskatoon, they were asked to begin, not by buying a house, but by building community with people with intellectual disabilities. It is community life—mutual relationships, people sharing life together with other people—that is at heart of all L’Arche communities around the world. A strong community has developed around the Friends of L’Arche Gatherings, and the L’Arche Saskatoon Project is now a reality.
In February, 2007, L’Arche Saskatoon purchased a house in the Lakeview area of Saskatoon that became the first L’Arche home in Saskatoon. This home has since become known as Christopher House.
The L’Arche Saskatoon Project offers residential support to adults with a developmental disability. The staffing model consists primarily of live-in assistants who share their lives with the core members of the community.
The L’Arche Saskatoon Project joins the 27 other communities that make up L’Arche Canada; and it will strengthen its ties with the other L’Arche communities in the Western Canada Region in Comox, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Winnipeg.
L’Arche Saskatoon is an ecumenical Christian community. Each community member is encouraged to deepen in his or her spiritual life according to his or her particular faith tradition. Those who have no religious affiliation are also welcomed. Together, we are working to build a community of hope and love.
1993 - Mr. Justice Emmett Hall
1994 - Mr. Urban Donlevy, Sr.
1994 - Mr. Leslie Dubé
1994 - Sister Irene Poelzer
1994 - Mr. Howard Stensrud
1996 - Congregations of Women Religious of the Saskatoon Diocese
1997 - Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus
1998 - Brazil Missionaries of the Abbacy, Eparchy, and Diocese of Saskatoon
1998 - Mr. Roland Muir
1999 - The Prairie Messenger
1999 - The Basilian Fathers
2000 - The Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan
2001 - Newman Centre
2002 - Brent Gough and Dennis Dorgan
2003 - Dr. John Thompson
2008 - Dr. Ken Smith