On Thursday 28th we welcomed Fr Massimo and Brother Konrad who once again came to represent the Italian community at our Open Day. During Friday we worked on the final preparations and on Saturday morning we welcomed our parents, friends and other guests who joined us at Dodding Green for the feast of the house. We gathered in the barn to pray the Rosary, then we had Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass celebrated by Fr Massimo, Fr Chris and Fr Hugh. We finished with a bit of music and dancing before serving lunch with lasagne, cottage pie, pizza and some cakes.
We restarted our program in the afternoon with some testimonies from guys currently in community, one from a guy who was previously in Community but has now moved on in his life and Konrad, a consecrated brother of our Community. Despite a lot of preparation and rehearsal we had a few problems with the soundtrack for our Nativity Play but we nevertheless lived a beautiful expression of friendship and prayer with a lot of friends who helped us in acting out our play.
Sunday was a day dedicated to the families of the guys in the house; we lived some moments of sharing and reconciliation, with some tears but also a lot of hugs and smiles. In the afternoon we watched some videos about the story of our Community, and one which is a musical about the life of Mother Elvira made by the guys and girls of the American Community. The day ended with a lovely meal of pizzas all together.
This year the Open Day led us into a big surprise because we received the gift to go and participate in the 20th anniversary of the opening of the fraternity in Ireland and so on Friday morning we all went to Knock, together with a lot of friends of our community. In the afternoon we welcomed Bishop Michael who celebrated holy mass remembering all the miracles that Cenacolo also in this country experienced. In the evening we had the Nativity Play, also here with a lot of joy and serenity.
On Saturday we gathered in the oratory of the Basilica of Knock where we celebrated holy mass and in the afternoon we listened to some testimonies of guys who were in, or involved with setting up, the community here and from Sister Susan. In the evening we lived a great moment of Eucharistic adoration in the Apparition Chapel in thanksgiving for all the miracles, graces, and blessings received from God in these last 20 years. We spent Sunday visiting the museum of the apparition and with holy mass in the basilica.
We want to really say thank you to the community for this great gift which, also on this occasion, allowed us to feel the love of the community for each one of us and a renewed sense of family between the two houses. Thanks also to all the friends and benefactors who we met in these days. Thank you Mary for your presence in this blessed location, thank you for your apparitions, for your love, for your prayers and your intercessions. We want to ask your help for all those who are less fortunate than us, for all those who are still suffering from addiction and all those who are preparing to enter our community, especially in the UK and in Ireland.