Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of L'Arche Avalon is responsible for ensuring effective and fiscally sound programs and operations. They do this by providing leadership, advice and direction to the members, committees and volunteers of the organization.


Lewis b. andrews, chair

Lewis is a partner with the law firm Stewart McKelvey in St. John's. He and his wife Marilyn, who is also active with L'Arche Avalon, have three sons, Brad, Mark and Todd, and five grandchildren, Maren, Teagan, Ethan, Lily and Kate. Mark, who is 38 years of age, was diagnosed shortly after birth with Tuberous Sclerosis and has profound intellectual disabilities. Lewis and Marilyn want the best care possible for Mark when they are no longer able to care for him. They believe that L'Arche Avalon can provide that care for Mark and others with intellectual disabilities. Lewis attended the L'Arche International Federation Assembly meetings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in June 2017 as delegate on behalf of L'Arche Avalon. Watching the interaction between those with and without disabilities made Lewis even more committed to bringing a L'Arche Community to the St. John's region. Lewis has been on the Board of Directors of L'Arche Avalon since its inception and he has been Chair of the Board for the past two years.


david buckley, vice-chair

David is a physician for children with neurological disorders at the Janeway Hospital in St. John's, and has been working in the area for the last 23 years. He volunteers with Para-Olympics as a classifier at the provincial and national level. He has a son with intellectual disability which has led him to concern for his future.

His wife, Petra, is one of the founders of L'Arche Avalon and has always encouraged him to visit a L'Arche community. At one point, while on business in Toronto, he had the chance to visit L'Arche Daybreak, and was left with a deep impression of the happiness of the residing core members. David has been on the L'Arche Avalon board for two years, and is presently Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Outreach and Education Committee.


lorraine angelopoulos, secretary

Lorraine is a graduate of Memorial University. She is the mother of four sons - John, Gregory, Spiro and Paul. Paul has severe cerebral palsy. She joined L'Arche Avalon in 2013. Like every parent of a child with intellectual disabilities, she constantly carries the worry of what will happen to her son when she can no longer look after him.

Several years ago she saw a program about Jean Vanier and L'Arche and was taken with Vanier's philosophy of caregiving for the intellectually disabled. She has been committed ever since joining L'Arche Avalon to creating a L'Arche Community in this province. She became a Board member in 2015 and serves as Board Secretary. Paul is involved in the L'Arche Avalon community, by attending monthly gatherings, walks, and the jam sessions.


Paul mccarthy, treasurer



marilyn bruce, director

Marilyn Bruce is a graduate of Memorial University. She was a primary school teacher for a number of years. She enjoyed living in Labrador City, Moncton, Halifax and finally moved back to St.John’s. She is married and has three children. She does part time work, sings in a community choir and is part of her church community.

She believes her involvement in L’Arche comes largely from being brought up in a home filled with love and compassion for all, but especially for the marginalized in society. She was introduced to Cornerstone Housing in 2014. Since then she has developed a greater understanding of L’Arche and has become a very active member of this group. She enjoys the monthly walks, jam circles and gatherings. She is chair of the L’Arche Avalon Liaison Committee and is on the Outreach and Education Committee. She has been on the Board of Directors since 2014.


peter barnes, director

Peter is a psychospiritual therapist and manager of bereavement services. He has supported the growth and development of L'Arche Communities and specifically people with development disabilities since he first heard of the movement in the mid-seventies. He had the opportunity to visit a L'Arche home in Trosley, France in 1976, where he met the founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier. He was involved in a church sponsored group home in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the mid-eighties and subsequently worked with the large group of people with developmental disabilities at the Waterford Hospital in the early-nineties.

His interest in the L'Arche movement continued when he moved to Ottawa in 2002, where he was associated with the L'Arche Ottawa community. He believes L'Arche Communities represent: (1) collaboration and community which fosters compassion, mutual care, and interdependence amongst its members, core members, assistants, and others alike; (2) a core value of life that is to appreciate and learn from diverse people in society and L'Arche Communities represent diversity; and (3) L'Arche Communities help people to laugh and enjoy life. Peter is a Director on the Board and Chair of the Community Building Committee.



Sarah is an anthropologist by training and has worked as coordinator for the Francophone Immigration Network of Newfoundland and Labrador since the summer of 2015. Originally from London, Ontario, she has moved around a fair bit for her studies and work. More recently, she was volunteer coordinator in the L'Arche community of "Il Chicco" in Rome, Italy.

Sarah's involvement with L'Arche dates back as far as she can remember. Her parents were involved in founding the L'Arche London community where she grew up. As an adult, she has taken on various roles in L'Arche communities in Montreal, Bologna, and Rome: friend, researcher, community member, translator, assistant volunteer, volunteer coordinator and Board Director with L'Arche Avalon since July 2016.

Upon arriving in St. John's, she sought out the Cornerstone Housing Society (now L'Arche Avalon) and quickly became an active community member, attending gatherings and activities organized in the St. John's area. For Sarah, the mutual relationships that are fostered at L'Arche communities are places of belonging. It is in large part thanks to these relationships that she has come to feel at home in the province. Her involvement with L'Arche Avalon is driven by a belief in the value of community and a desire to live and encourage authentic relationships across difference, relationships she regards as transformative both for people with and without intellectual disabilities.

Sheilah board pic.png

Sheilah Mackinnon Drover, director

The sister of core member Maureen "Tiny" Mackinnon, Sheilah worked as an educator at various levels of the secondary and post secondary education system both teaching and in administration.

Her volunteer time was given to working with women's organizations such as the Provincial Advisory Council of the Status of Women, WISE (Women in Successful Employment), Women's Institute; community organizations, for example, the NL Public Library Board, Queen's College Board, Community Food Banks; and, going back in time, Scouting/Guiding, hockey and ringette when her four children were growing up with her and her husband, John Drover, in Springdale and Grand Falls-Windsor.  

Her involvement with L'Arche has become an important part of her life in addition to the Association for Community Living in Newfoundland and St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia.