Andrew Noethe
 Andrew Noethe
Andrew Noethe becomes community leader and executive director of L'Arche Portland on June 17.

At L’Arche Portland, people with and without intellectual disabilities work together to create home and build community.

Noethe’s training and extensive experience in nonprofit administration and pastoral leadership will support L’Arche as the community moves into a period of growth, L’Arche leaders say.

“Andy brings a wealth of gifts professionally,” said board President Monica Ranaghan. “He excels at creating communities of honesty, integrity, and non-violence with people marginalized by society.”

Noethe also has a proven track record in cultivating key relationships through his work as director of programs at St. Andre Bessette Church, Ranaghan added.

Noethe understands the importance of spreading the message that people with intellectual disabilities can thrive when living in community with other people — people with and without intellectual disabilities. “L’Arche Portland not only shifts perceptions, but changes the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families and people throughout our broader communities,” says Noethe. “I am thrilled to join a life-changing organization that truly is a sign of hope to the world.”

Noethe has two degrees from the University of Notre Dame, including a master’s degree of nonprofit administration. At St. Andre Bessette, he directed outreach and programs for people afflicted by addiction, poverty, mental illness, and who were experiencing homelessness. In 2009, he received the Spirit of Holy Cross Award by the Congregation of Holy Cross.

"Although leaving the community at St. Andre Bessette is difficult, it feels more like the parish is sending me to L'Arche, having prepared me for what L'Arche Portland needs at this time," Noethe said. "The process of mutual discernment with the Selection Committee, Board of Directors, and entire L'Arche community has been incredible."
The Portland L’Arche community is part of an international federation, with 140 communities in 40 countries. L’Arche International, founded in 1964 in France, is a global leader in engaging, honoring, and celebrating people with intellectual disabilities. L’Arche differs from conventional group homes in that caregivers live as family with adults with intellectual disabilities. The arrangement creates a culture of equality, founded on a belief in the unique value of every person.