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Gentleness as Leadership? Jean Vanier Thinks So

August 24, 2009

Last November we brought Jean Vanier to Duke for several days of teaching.  Vanier is the founder of the international L’Arche communities with the disabled and was a mentor to Henri Nouwen.  Through our “Teaching Communities” program at the Center we send divinity students to serve and learn at L’Arche every summer.   Vanier is a towering, striking man who was once a naval officer.  I felt like I was in the presence of a holy man.  Never once in the four days did he change out of his “gas station attendant” clothing — even when he processed in stately Duke Chapel to deliver the Sunday sermon.  Here’s a taste of this living saint’s unique voice.  See also “Vanier, Gentleness, and Power”

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