Eileen Glass, Vice-International Leader
Eileen Glass is Australian and lives in Canberra. She was educated at Monash University, Melbourne, where she obtained a BA and a Diploma in Education. At the same time she obtained an Associate Diploma in Speech and Drama through external studies with the Trinity College of Music, London.
Eileen taught for three and half years in Secondary Schools in Melbourne and since that time has travelled extensively. After initial visits to Indonesia, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong, she travelled overland from Kathmandu to London in the northern summer of 1973.
In early 1974 she visited L’Arche Trosly for the first time and later that year joined the community of L’Arche Winnipeg in Canada. She became a House Coordinator and the following year (1975) attended the Federation Meeting at Shadow Lake. Since then she has been present at every Federation and General Assembly meeting with the exception of Rome in 1987.
In 1976 Eileen returned to Australia and helped plan the visits of Jean Vanier to Australia in 1977 and 1978, accompanying him to New Zealand in 1977 and Papua New Guinea in 1978. From 1977-1980 Eileen lived in an Archdiocesan House of Prayer, a lay community, from where she worked for the foundation of the first Australian communities of L’Arche and helped establish the Board of L’Arche Australia. She also supported the establishment of Faith and Light in Australia. In 1980 she was invited to join the International Council to provide a link between the new Australian communities and L’Arche International.
In 1981 Eileen moved to Canberra and continues to live there as a member of L’Arche Genesaret. From 1982-1984 she served as Regional Coordinator and from 1983-1987 as Community Leader of L’Arche Genesaret. Following this she was asked to work in Formation, Announcing and Publicity for L’Arche Australia, while living as an assistant in a home.
In 1991, Eileen undertook formation as a Spiritual Director and since that time has worked extensively in leading Retreats and offering Spiritual Direction both within and outside L’Arche. Over the past ten years she has worked in a Masters Program at the Australian Catholic University supervising students in training as Spiritual Directors.
From 1992-2001 Eileen was the Coordinator for the Asia West Pacific Zone, which at that time included India, Japan, the Philippines and Australia and she supported the foundation of L’Arche in New Zealand. As Coordinator she was a member of the International Council and the International Board. Since completing her term as Zone Coordinator she has continued to offer formation and retreats in those countries as well as to diverse groups outside L’Arche, including Clergy, Prison Chaplains, Religious Educators and Mothers of Children with Disabilities.
Eileen is currently a member of the International Reflecting Council and the Chair of the International Working Group on Covenant.
In 1996 Eileen was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), ‘For services to people with disabilities and their families, particularly through L’Arche in Australia.’