Choose to love…. my joy becomes a mission of love

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Today I can say with certainty that for me two things are really important in life: the first is to love God and to love our neighbour; the second is to understand why God has given me the gift of life. After many years lived in darkness, searching for true freedom through the “wrong things”, the Lord and Our Lady, without me deserving it, called me to be part of the Cenacolo family. During my journey, I realised that true peace, true joy, true love and faith come from holiness. This is not something which I sought but is a journey of faith proposed to me by the Cenacolo Community. When you live in love and you give your own life for others, as Jesus has done for us, your heart fills with love.

It took me a long time to forgive myself for my past, to accept and to love the person I am, to have self esteem and self control; sometimes I still have small worries for my future but I face up to them in a different way. I live a life of faith, sometimes small, but which with the help of prayer slowly, slowly increases. After a few years “from the darkness to the light” I felt in my heart the desire to leave the Community, but the love that the Lord had had for me and that which He had put in my heart for others brought me to choose to stay in Community. After having received so much life I decided to give myself and to stay longer to make the Cenacolo Community known to others and to welcome them. In doing this I received much more than what I received during the previous years of my “walk” and in this way I understood why following the commandment that Jesus left us to love God and to love one another is so important .

These last months I prayed a lot to the Lord that he would show me the right choice. I had no idea what the Lord wanted to tell me or what was the next step to take. I was conflicted between the desire for finding a new job and having a family and continuing to help guys who are lost in the world of addiction. I shared all this with the priests of our Community but also in a special way I prayed: “Lord this is what I am choosing but what do You think?” After just a few days, while I was working in the garden, I received a phone call from Fr Adrian, a priest who helped our Community in Knock, Ireland, in the missions of Peru and Liberia, Africa: he told me about his recent stay in the Philippines searching for a house in which the Community could open a new Fraternity: his enthusiasm for the places he had visited and the people who he had met really struck me: and during the phone call I wondered: “why is he speaking to me about the Philippines?” Then he continued saying that he was in Saluzzo and that the priests of the Community had asked him to look for some guys because Cenacolo was ready to respond to God’s call in that country, in Asia, and that I was one of those guys who the Lord was choosing for this mission. I felt at once a great joy but I said to him that I needed a few days to pray before giving an answer. I sought in the hands of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit the help to make the right decision according to the will of God. In those days I continued to feel joy and peace within me and I said: “Lord I want to follow you.” Today I am free and happy to leave the door of my heart always open to God.

I want to thank first of all the Community for its trust in me; Mother Elvira who with her “yes” to God has permitted me to say my own “yes” to good. Then to all the brothers I have met throughout my journey, and to the friends of the Fraternity in Kendal and to all the priests who have helped me spiritually, in a particular way from the bottom of my heart to Fr Chris.

Tiziano

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13th Anniversary Open Day

An intense Friday of work completed the final preparation for the feast of our Fraternity. We gathered in front of the house to welcome Don Massimo and Paul who came from Saluzzo: a great gift from the Community which makes us feel its affection despite the distance between us. Also this year lovely sunshine welcomed our parents for a Family Day: many smiles and a lot of emotions, especially from the brothers who were seeing them for the first time, welcomed their loved ones here in Kendal. A song of welcome and we gathered all together in the barn, transformed into a church, for the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass. At the end another beautiful gift prepared by the Missionary Sisters of the Resurrection: a video of Mother Elvira with some talks directed at the parents and with other moments of her life today. We ate a joyful and typical English lunch together, prepared by some of the friends of our Fraternity followed by magic tricks from our magician, Don Massimo, which lifted everybody’s spirit. At the end finally we had some free time during which we could speak, share and open our hearts with our families. After the Divine Mercy Chaplet we listened to different testimonies, particularly touching the one from Fr Chris, who shared with us how his knowledge of our Community has been a grace and how the healing of many young people that he has known throughout these years has been an even stronger motivation for his conversion. The first day of our weekend closed with a tea break.

Sunday morning we were all involved with moving all the necessary items down to the courtyard in order to create an outdoor chapel and very soon we started to welcome all the friends of our Community. Also today we had the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass celebrated by our new Bishop, Paul Swarbrick: simple sermon, but profoundly based on his motto “holiness before peace” and on the necessity, sometimes, to renounce something which is beautiful because this sacrifice may bear fruit. We were reminded by this about many Community teachings in giving ourselves for love. It was then time for lunch, lasagne, shepherd’s pie and beautiful tiramisú, and we gathered again for a moment of prayer and testimonies of some of the brothers. The day ended with dancing and songs and farewells to our guests and parents with the hope of seeing everybody again for the Nativity Play in December.

We want to thank the Community for all the beautiful moments we have lived and especially for the presence of Don Massimo and Bishop Paul.

Thank you Mary because also this year with your intercession we had a moment of joy, hope, forgiveness and healing.

Thank you Father for the gift of life, for the gift of Community that guides us each day to a new life in freedom.

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Feast of the English Martyrs – 4th May

The gift of Holy Mass celebrated on the Feast of the English Martyrs
at the Cenacolo Fraternity of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs.

English Martyrs Mass 1

Don Massimo, Paul and the Lads under the protection of Our Lady.

English Martyrs Mass 2

We give thanks for this providence as we prepare for the Family Day tomorrow and Open Day on Sunday.

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Change of time for Kendal meetings

From Thursday 19th April the time of the Kendal meeting will change to:
10:00-11:00am for Adoration/prayers, with the meeting following at 11:00-12:00.

The venue remains the same.

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Snowy Spring!

Here, as elsewhere around the Kendal area, March started off very snowy….

…. and we took the opportunity to play, not just to work!, in the snow.

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Kendal Pilgrimage, 5th March 2018

After having done our usual morning duties we received the good news of the gift to go for a walk on the mountainside of the Lake District guided by Fr Philip and his inseparable dog, Bosco.

We started our walk in a beautiful place in the middle of rocks that are used for slate and with ice “waterfalls” around; going uphill we lived a moment of sharing and of prayer, reciting the Holy Rosary. The mist and the snow made our walk harder but the stop for lunch with hot tea and the precious compass of Fr Philip enabled us to return on the right path.

The surprise hadn’t finished as we were then welcomed by a family, friends and benefactors of our Fraternity. When we reached the farm where they live we celebrated Holy Mass in a very tiny chapel next to the main house. What really struck us is the faith of this family, testified by this corner of the house dedicated to God. Three generations of farmers welcomed us for dinner and what touched us again is the interest that they have in our lives, in our history and in the testimonies of our journey: also here the charisma of our Community reached the place.

Thank you to the Community for this gift and especially to Fr Philip for his availability and for staying so close to us.

We want to entrust to Our Lady all those people who support us and pray for us.

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Experienced Guys Meeting “Servi per amore” Ars, France 10-17 February 2017

The experienced guys meeting takes place annually in our Community.  After about two and a half years of our journey in Community, we gather from all the different Cenacolo houses around the world in a place of pilgrimage, like Lourdes or Medjugorje, for a retreat based on true prayer, silence, and listening to the catechism.  Here we can reflect and dig deeper within ourselves and see what level of our walk we are at.  It enables us to return to our own fraternities more at peace and refreshed.  It is also a school that teaches us why we do certain things in Community and enables us to return to our own fraternity more aware of our rule of being a guide to the less experienced guys in Community.

From Bruno

After a flight from Manchester to Lyon, journey to the middle of the French/Italian Alps, and through different dialogue with the brothers from the fraternity of Bari we arrived at Ars where the annual meeting of the experienced brothers was taking place. The theme chosen by the community was “The Encounter”, the same encounter as when the Cure d’Ars met the young shepherd where he indicated to him the road to the village where he had developed in holiness his ministry. The purpose of these days is to look inside ourselves and our souls and hearts so that we can understand our encounter with the community, with God, with ourselves, with our brothers and with the people “of the world”.

At this time different catechisms from Mother Elvira were chosen and were commented about by some of the priests and consecrated brothers of our community followed by moments of prayer, Eucharistic adoration, songs and dancing. During the meals and the free time we lived in silence in order to continue to think about what we had heard and in order to answer the many questions that in our past made us run away and hide ourselves in the false reality of our addiction. I particularly dug deep to understand my will to live, my awareness of my re-birth into a new life, to understand which are the doors still closed to the mercy and love of God, what is the quality of my prayer, of my charity and of my forgiveness ……….. briefly it was as though I saw myself reflected back, inside out and completely turned around. I can say that I have lived some beautiful moments, sometimes sorrowful and painful because I was weighed down inevitably by bad memories but at the end, thanks to a profound confession, I returned to my fraternity in Kendal aware of how much the rediscovery of faith has changed and saved me and finally helps me to look inside me without fear.

I thank the community once more for all it is enabling me to live and I thank God for the gift of a profound and consoling conversion.

From Samuele

I want to start by thanking the community for the opportunity to attend the experienced brothers meeting. It is marvellous to rediscover again and again how true it is that the community is a family. To meet again with joy the brothers with whom I spent the earlier part of my journey in community and to confirm that friendships built with God remain firm. It was a full week with many catechisms from our priests and guys who had chosen to live in community permanently. The thing that touched me the most was the prayer: a simple and poor prayer but that when prayed with heart makes us feel better, makes us more aware of the situation we are in and makes us better people. Throughout this week I could live everything closely thanks to the several, intense times of prayer. I am always astonished when I visit places like Ars, places of prayer, because they make me think of the people who left a big sign on history with their passage like the Cure d’Ars. People who don’t follow the world, who don’t try to do all that the world proposes only want to be remembered. Instead simple people poor and good who know how to love and for this receive so much back will be always remembered.

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