Benediktus was founded on October 24, 2000, with the aim of providing assistance to families with children with disabilities, especially in their upbringing, education and integration into society. The founding members were Hanka Jarošová, Blanka Nikodemová and priest František Mráz. Benediktus was founded with the long-term goal of building a house in which healthy and disabled people live together. L’Arche became a model for such a house.
From 2002 to 2007, Benediktus was housed in the building of the Roman Catholic parish of Chotěboř and worked closely with the parish. In 2003 Benediktus began providing a personal assistance social service and in 2005 a relief service for people with disabilities. Since 2004, Benediktus has been organizing festivities, concerts, benefits and other cultural events for the public. In 2006, Benediktus began to renovate a house in the parish area, which the organization first rented and later bought.
In 2007, Benediktus moved to the newly renovated house in Klášterní Street in Chotěboř.
In 2006, Benediktus bought an old parish in a desolate state, with adjacent land, in the village of Modletín in the Železné hory mountains. The initial intention was to easily repair the rectory and clean the land by ourselves for the purpose of summer and weekend stays of people with disabilities and Benediktus’ volunteers. We started looking for subsidies in order to reconstruct the rectory, with the possibility of building a house there, where people with disabilities would live together with their assistants.
In 2008, Benediktus bought the ruin of a former spa adjacent to the rectory.
Thanks to smaller grants and the help of L’Arche community Le Caillou Blanc from Brittany, we managed to renovate the downstairs of the rectory in 2009. We used the old rectory for weekends and summer stays, as well as for visits from other L’Arche communities and for cultural events which we have been organizing regularly in Modletín since 2008.
Since 2011, 3 people with disabilities have been living at the rectory with assistants as part of the residential relief social service, and the first workshops have been established here. The socio-therapeutic workshops had been maintained ever since.
In 2013, thanks to a subsidy from European funds, we were able to put a new roof and make an attic installation; during 2014 and 2015, we equipped the housing.
Since 2014, instead of the relief service, we have been providing a day care center service (in Chotěboř and in Modletín) and sheltered housing in Modletín.
In 2015, we completed the construction of a timbered fruit dryer in the garden and began drying.
Since the autumn of 2015, we have 6 people with intellectual disabilities living with assistants in the sheltered housing. The long-awaited core of the community - the house to live in - lives to the fullest...
Since 2018 we are project member of the international Federation of L’Arche.
Since 2020 we acquired the Quality Label certification and are expecting to host first European Solidarity Corps volunteer in the near future.
History of Benediktus/ facts/dates
2003: first employees and social service welcomed
2003: first visit in L’Arche community
2004: starting workshops in Domeček, close to the parish house
2005: we bought house “Domeček” in Chotěboř
2006: we bought former parish house in Modletín
2007: Benediktus moved completely into reconstructed Domeček (workshop)
2007: start of cooperation with L’Arche Coordinator (Maria Biedrawa)
2008: we bought former spa house in Modletín
2009: regular workshops in Modletín
2009: 1st workcamp with Le Caillou Blanc
2010: 1st floor of former parish house in Modletin reconstructed
2010: 2nd workcamp with Le Caillou Blanc
2010: we bought former bakery house
2010: start of cooperation with Baska Pestka (delegate coordinator of L'Arche)
2010: 2nd visit of Baska Pestka
2011: sheltered living for 3 people with disabilities in Modletín
2011: first stage of reconstructing the spa house (future house for the workshops and live-in assistants)
2011: 3rd workcamp with Le Caillou Blanc
2011: 3rd visit of Baska Pestka
2011: 4th visit of Baska Pestka with Patrick Fontaine
2011: sheltered workshops in Modletín
2012: Benediktus was officially accepted as a project of L´Arche by International Board of L´Arche
2012: 5th visit Baska Pestka - discernment process for mandate for our community 2012-2017
2012: 6th visit of Baska Pestka
2013: request of Benediktus for suspension of project of L´Arche for 2 years
2014: new sheltered living in reconstructed second floor of parish house in Modletín
2014: Benediktus has a Board, new statutes and new community leader
2014: Benediktus visited community of L'Arche Le Caillou Blanc and community La Belle Porte in Bretagne