A LIVING TRIBUTE TO MONSIGNOR GEMMELL: Archbishop Leo Cushley recently paid a special visit to L’Arche community in Edinburgh’s Restalrig which is dedicated to the memory of Monsignor David Gemmell, the former Administrator of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, who died in 2008. “Here at Monsignor David’s House we have assistants and ‘core members’, that’s people with learning disabilities, living together, sharing life, prayer and community,” explained Community Leader, Mike Noonan, 21 December.
“Sometimes this is a place of enormous fun and sometime, just as with any group who try to live together, whether it be a family or a religious community, there can be hard times – but fundamentally it’s a place of great friendship.”
L’Arche is an international federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs and support networks for people with learning difficulties. An ecumenical movement, it was founded in 1964 by Canadian Catholic layman Jean Vanier. It has since spread to 35 countries.
The Restalrig hub opened in February 2014 with a particular remit of caring for older people with disabilities. It was founded with the help of a significant donation from the living memorial fund created in honour of Monsignor David Gemmell (1953-2008).
As it happens, Archbishop Cushley and Monsignor Gemmell are related, sharing the same great-grandparents and thus making the festive visit to Monsignor David’s House all the more poignant for the Archbishop.
To find out more about L'Arche go to: www.larche.org