On Wednesday 18th January we received the unexpected news of our departure the next day to Italy for a week to spend in celebration for the 81st birthday of the founder of our community Mother Elvira and for the ordination of one of our friends and brother in Christ, Marco, and for his deaconate. We arrived in Italy to see mountains white with snow surrounding us and beautiful sunshine to welcome us. After settling in we started a weekend of feasts, of joy and of encounter.
On the Saturday we attended Marco’s ordination with the friends of our Community, some of our families, and many of our own communities gathered, arriving from all different parts of the world in the Cathedral of Saluzzo. It was a fantastic day that reminded each of us of the true value of life and the importance to give our “yes” each day to the Lord, to the brothers and to the family.
On the Sunday we gathered again for the celebration of Mother Elvira’s birthday in which the joy and the enthusiasm for life through the prayer of the Rosary, the Holy Mass and the unity of friendship enhanced the charism and excitement in the hearts of many.
The Monday was a very different day when we had a football tournament with different teams from the various fraternities of the houses in Europe, won in the end by the Polish fraternity. On Tuesday just the guys, without the girls and friends of community, gathered in the house in Envie for another day of feast, lived in prayer, dancing, different videos from our missions, and charades or shows from some of the guys as a gift for Mother Elvira and the presents being “given” by the various houses of Cenacolo along with explanations and a lot, a lot of life.
There followed a tranquil day to return to normality and at the end of the week we went back to our own fraternity in Kendal filled with a good spirit, more peaceful and with more will in our hearts to move forward together in our community journey and in our lives. One of the most beautiful of these days lived in Italy was the opportunity to gather twice under the balcony of the convent where Mother Elvira lives, today very weak but still smiling and active, to sing a song from our hearts to thank her for the great gift of her life given to raise each one of us from the darkness to the light. We also would like to thank the community of England and all the friends in Kendal who support us and who during these days made it possible for us to have this trip and to return to the heart of the community in Saluzzo.
It was fantastic to relive the value of true friendship and to see again my brothers and friends in Italy. The friendships built with God never break up, never crumble with time, nor with distance. We lived a week of joy, everybody happy to celebrate the birthday of the woman who we love, of the woman who has given her life for us.
This trip was a beautiful opportunity to see the heart of community and especially to meet our Mother Elvira and through her birthday to see the true friendship and the unity between all of us brothers. What touched me most was an environment of joy, peace and full of light, fruit of our prayer guided each day from Our Lord.
Mother Elvira ti vogliamo bene assai.