My son was a drug addict for 11 years from the age of 14. Through all that time we have tried many different things to get him off drugs but to no avail. We tried ‘tough love’, putting out of the house many times. We tried ‘soft love’, taking him on holiday. We sent him away to South Africa for 3 months, to Italy and to England. But every time he came back home and started taking drugs again. As you can imagine, this reaped havoc with the whole family and almost every family occasion was spoiled over those years. We had family fallouts and disagreements and I cannot begin to tell you the horror of those years.
When we came to our first Cenacolo meeting, we were without hope. I had heard about Cenacolo before, and I had looked it up on the internet and read about it. However, I just could not see how my son would ever be interested in community. My husband and I started to attend meetings in Carfin and eventually we persuaded our son to come along with us as we just wanted that little seed planted in his mind. He did attend the meetings for several months and even visited the Kendal meetings on a couple of occasions. But when he would not start cutting down on his methadone, he was asked not to come back until he was ready to change. We made the decision to tell him he could no longer come to our house for food, or to have his clothes washed or anything else. Someone from Cenacolo came to our home to speak to my relatives to get them to understand about Cenacolo and the support we needed them to give us.
For a period of 6 weeks we did not hear from or speak to our son. This was an extremely difficult time for us. Many times we agonised should we contact him. I think it was the strength we got from the meetings that helped us see this through.
Then one Sunday, my son was found in his flat in a much disoriented state by my young niece and was taken to hospital. When we were contacted, we only agreed to have our son home if he would consider going into community. We spent the next 8 days detoxing him at home, which was a nightmare experience for him and us. Throughout this time we were in contact with Cenacolo in Scotland who in turn were were in contact with the boys in Kendal.
Finally, the time for our son’s 3 working days arrived and even right up to the night before he said he was not going. When we arrived at Kendal, we were greeted by the boys and Sean, who was to be his guardian angel, showed us around. Our son actually came out and said it was a beautiful place. That evening he was very upbeat and by the second evening he actually said to me that he was looking forward to going. He also spoke on the phone to his sister and grandmother with an enthusiasm in his voice none of us had heard for many years.
Six weeks later and we have had a number of positive, in fact, incredible reports about how he is doing. Words used have been ‘ fantastic, astonishing, great, very happy, settled and that he has taken to the community like a duck to water!’.
Truly a miracle. The result of prayer and the Holy Spirit.
(by permission of Mary McNally)