About Us

Sr Elvira 1The Cenacolo Community was founded by Mother Elvira Petrozzi, an Italian nun, in 1983. What would a nun know about addictions? Mother Elvira experienced, first hand, the trauma and anxieties that come from addiction because her father was addicted to alcohol. She came from a very poor family, is one of seven children who saw the chaos and suffering caused through addiction and how it affects not only the addicts but their loved ones. For years she had been concerned by the destruction she had seen among young people through drug and alcohol abuse and had longed to help them. Eventually she was allowed to leave her Order and start to help addicts directly in the town of Saluzzo in northern Italy. She learned from them how disillusioned with life they had become, even material things left them feeling empty.

Sr Elvira 2


Mother Elvira regards Cenacolo as a ‘School of Life’ which teaches girls and boys how to close the door on their past by healing old wounds and building towards a brighter future. Cenacolo gives hope and an opportunity to live an addiction-free life. It offers help to those who have lost direction and enables them to go forward with new strength to face the challenges of everyday. Cenacolo should not be confused with Drug Rehabilitation Units. It is so much more!

Cenacolo now has some 60 houses worldwide.