Letter from Director Regarding Jean Vanier

Letter from Director Regarding Jean Vanier
Posted on 02/24/2020

February 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

You may have heard some very disturbing news that was released over the weekend regarding Jean Vanier, much beloved Canadian humanitarian, founder of L’Arche (a global network of communities that supports adults with intellectual disabilities) and the namesake of our Catholic high school in Collingwood.

Through an internal investigation conducted by L’Arche International in France, it has been revealed that Jean Vanier sexually assaulted at least six women (none with intellectual disabilities) over the course of several decades. Although he passed away last May, L’Arche proceeded with an investigation in response to suspicions and allegations levelled against Jean Vanier’s behaviour while involved with their organization. The findings of this investigation are both shocking and tragic. 

I have provided a link to L’Arche Canada’s website so that you can view the details surrounding the troubling nature of Jean Vanier’s actions and the impact this will have on our community and beyond. 


As a Board and parent community, we are praying for the women who were betrayed and victimized by Jean Vanier’s actions. We honour their courage and thank them for standing up and speaking out. We also pray for the staff and students in our community who have known and admired Jean Vanier for his humanitarian work. 

Our Board is resolute in its stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment, regardless of when the incident happened or who was involved. We must fight against intolerance, injustice, and abuse wherever we find it. 

We know that some people may have difficulty coping with this news, especially the disturbing way in which he used spirituality and his position of power to perpetrate his abuses. Please know we have support in place to help any students or staff who may need it. We also ask for your prayers, for the Jean Vanier Catholic High School community in Collingwood as we work to assist them on a path forward. 

Yours in Faith,

Brian Beal
Director Education