When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. — Henri Nouwen
Many pilgrims on the spiritual journey have been drawn to the life, faith, and writings of Henri Nouwen.
Known for books such as The Wounded Healer: Ministry In Contemporary Society and Gracias: A Latin American Journal, Henri Nouwen, was a priest and professor who spent the last 11 years of his life in the L’Arche communities in Trosly-Breuil, France, and near Toronto, Canada.
Born in Holland in 1932, Nouwen was an ordained priest who also studied psychology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He taught at the University of Notre Dame and the Divinity Schools of Yale and Harvard.
In 1986, one year after Nouwen was invited and accepted an opportunity to visit L’Arche Trosly-Breuil, he chose to make his permanent home at L’Arche Daybreak near Toronto, Canada. Ten years later, he died suddenly in Holland and was buried near the Daybreak community.
Several of Nouwen’s books were inspired by the life he shared with people with intellectual and physical disabilities in L’Arche. The journal of his year at L’Arche Trosly is captured in The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey. Additionally, Nouwen wrote Adam, God’s Beloved, a beautiful and inspiring account of how his life was transformed through friendship with a core member in the Daybreak community.
To learn more about the life, work, and spirituality of Henri Nouwen, visit the Henri Nouwen Society website.