Jean Vanier, founded the L'Arche Federation in the village in 1964, the same year the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award was created. . L'Arche is an international community of people with and without disability sharing life across cultural religious and human diversity.
The award was presented to Vanier by Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport. This is the first time since its foundation in 1964 that the award has been presented outside the United States.
The Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award was created by the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council. An Award is presented by the Diocese in collaboration with other organization to honor a person for their achievements in peace and justice, not only in their country but in the world.
The web site of the Diocese of Davenport includes a page dedicated to the award. It lists previous recipients including names that have instant recognition such as John F. Kennedy 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. 1965, Dorothy Day 1972,Archbishop Desmond Tutu 1987 and Sister Helen Prejeans 1998.
The International media coverage of the award to Vanier includes inspiring stories of those who have been challenged by their experience of living in L'Arche:
The Catholic Herald (UK)
St Louis Review (USA)
The Catholic Messenger (USA)
The Quad City Times (USA)
The Australian connection with Jean Vanier goes back to a few years after the foundation of L'Arche. His visit in 1984 has been documented online by Sr Mary Noonan, In 2004 Kate Mannix wrote of Vanier's final visit to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation of L'Arche in Australia. In 2010 Jean Vanier recorded a telephone interview for ABC Encounter.