L’Arche Boston North (formerly Irenicon)
L’Arche Irenicon was founded in 1983 after several years of preparatory work by a dedicated group of volunteers. At one point the group was planning to open the new community to the south of Boston but when the priests at the LaSalette Shrine in Ipswich offered the use of a house on their grounds for a nominal fee, the decision was made to begin the community there.
In 1997, the LaSalette fathers found it necessary to sell their property. Having already purchased Nazorean House in the Bradford section of Haverhill in 1988, Irenicon decided to consolidate their homes in that area. The Mustard Seed apartment was established. Late in 1998, Peace House was purchased in Haverhill to replace the apartment. In 2003, Irenicon purchased Gandhi home in Haverhill and in 2007 a fourth home was added.
In 2015, Irenicon became Boston North. With 15 core members and 18 assistants (everyone is considered an assistant including the community leader, program coordinator, etc.), several volunteers and countless friends, L’Arche Boston North is a healthy community of people leading simple lives in the L’Arche tradition.
Like all L’Arche communities, Boston North is ecumenical and welcomes people from all faith traditions as well as those who have no particular faith background. Community members take full advantage of their location in lovely New England, where the fall foliage is exquisite, the spring is magnificent, the ocean is not too far away and Boston, 45 minutes away by car or an hour by train, offers endless activities in any season.
Life at L’Arche Boston North is busy and active. At the center of community life are the Thursday night gatherings for prayer and celebrations. Celebrations, shared meals, prayer and relationship-building anchor the community in L’Arche traditions.