Victor Vath inspired others with everyday gestures of love


By Kathy Berken

Kathy Berken

Some of the most unlikely people you’ll ever meet are altruistic. Victor Vath was one. When he died Jan. 11, the angel-training camp in heaven welcomed its newest captain. If you congratulated him, he’d smile and say thanks, nothing more. I think that’s a telling sign.
Victor was a “core member” — a resident with disabilities from The Arch, L’Arche in Clinton —where I lived and worked from 1999 to 2009. Four other men, another assistant and I shared a home and a heart full of love with Vic for six of those years. Vic’s life gave L’Arche its meaning as a community that founder Jean Vanier said was “where people . . . reveal their gifts to the world.” You know how it is when you meet someone and you feel as if you’ve always been friends? That was Victor’s gift. Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminded us, “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing” that is most important. Totally Victor.

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