Mother Elvira’s Birthday

Also this year the Community gave us the possibility to gather in Saluzzo for Mother Elvira’s birthday: a great gift announced the day before by Fr Cassian with a funny word game of which the solution was “tomorrow we are going to Italy”. We arrived in Italy in the afternoon of Friday 18th just in time to admire a beautiful sunset behind the snow covered mountains near Saluzzo.

Saturday: we spent a normal day of work, prayer and sharing with the brothers who we met from other Fraternities.

Sunday: we gathered all together, also with the girls, in Envie for an intense day of prayer, catechism, songs, dancing and in the afternoon a series of videos about missions, the new Fraternities and future projects of our Community. The day ended with a beautiful and moving video about Mother Elvira today: a gift prepared by the sisters who assist her every day to say thank you for everything she has done for each one of us.

The following couple of days we spent just with the other male Fraternities. We talked about the pillars of our Community: prayer, work, friendship and sharing; we listened to many catechisms and testimonies from experienced guys of our Community.

We had also the possibility to do a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snow, through whose intercession many people have been healed: the testimonies of these healings are shown in pictures around the walls of the church.

The meeting closed with the presentation of the gifts prepared by all the Fraternities and with a deep moment of Eucharistic Adoration in thanksgiving to God for the gift of life, a new life finally free from evil, lived in the truth and with a new hope.

We want to say thank you also to the Community for the opportunity to say hello to Mother Elvira through her window, singing happy birthday for her.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the gift of our Mother Elvira, instrument of the Holy Spirit to touch and to heal our hearts, to teach us how to pray, how to love and how to have joy in our lives.


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New Year’s Eve

After the normal duties in the morning we started very early to prepare the dough for the pizzas and each one of us had the possibility to have one hour of Eucharistic adoration to reflect on the past year. In the evening we welcomed our friends and Fr Chris, Fr Hugh and Fr Philip celebrated Holy Mass. In recognition of the feast of Our Lady Mother of God Fr Chris spoke about how we should take Mary as our example in bringing God to others.

We started the meal by pulling our crackers, and then had a nice starter with ham, cheese and chutneys.  This was followed by home made pizzas and some good cakes prepared by our friends.  This year we decided to spend the next time watching the film “The Shack”, a moving story about faith, forgiveness and mercy.

We waited for midnight in front of the Blessed Sacrament, putting into God’s hands our good intentions for the next year. We finished the night with a prayer before burning the papers with our intentions on on a bonfire, and then with some songs and dancing.

We want to say thank you to the Community for everything we received in the past year, thank you to all our friends, our benefactors and our priests for their support and for being close to us through the year, to our families and our loved ones for their prayers.

Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you for your presence in our lives, for your forgiveness and for your mercy. We want to put into your hands our walk and all our good intentions for the New Year.

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Open Day – December 2018

On Thursday we welcomed Fr Michel and Nicky and we immediately involved them in the last rehearsals of the Nativity Play.

On Friday, after the usual commitments, we received a great gift from the Community: an unexpected afternoon of meeting and prayer with our families at the Monastery of Our Lady of Hyning in Warton: many emotions but also a lot of smiles especially from the lads who met with their parents for the first time since entering / coming to Kendal.

Saturday: the last preparation and we started to welcome our guests, who arrived in large numbers. We prayed the Rosary then we lived a deep moment of Eucharistic Adoration. At the end all the priests close to our community celebrated Holy Mass together. Just time for some dancing and then we ate a lovely Italian and English lunch with pizzas, lasagne and shepherd’s pie.

In the afternoon we listened to the testimonies of Louis, Mateusz and his parents, and we involved also some friends of our fraternity who testified how the Cenacolo Community has affected their lives. This confirmed the word of Mother Elvira who asked the families to walk with their sons and daughters.  In the evening we started the Nativity Play and, notwithstanding some technical problems, we were happy to become like children acting out the story of the child Jesus.

Sunday morning we met just with our families for a day dedicated to conversation, reconciliation and sharing about our time spent in Kendal. After the usual moments of prayer we showed our loved ones some videos of Mother Elvira in order to transmit to them her strength and her charisma. A last cup of tea and we said goodbye to everybody in the hope of seeing them again next year.

We want to really say thank you to the Community for this long weekend of meeting, prayers and great emotions.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your mercy, for the strength you give us to forgive and to feel forgiven, and for the possibility to reconcile with our past and to look at the future with faith and hope.

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Retreat day in Birmingham

Last week we lived a full week of appointments in our fraternity; Thursday 18th we spent a lovely day in the Salesian school in Bolton; in front of a lot of students we spoke of the charisma of our community and gave our testimonies.

Saturday 20th we participated at the retreat meeting in Birmingham. After watching a video of  Mother Elvira we divided into small groups to introduce ourselves. Fr Michael celebrated Holy Mass, then we had lunch. After that we came back together for a reading of the Gospel about the road to Emmaus and then shared how we met God in our lives. Thanks to the beautiful weather we prayed the rosary outside and then we listened to some testimonies about how the Cenacolo Community has changed lives. The day ended with some songs and dances.

We want to say thank you to all the friends of our community that we met today, thank you for your support, your prayers, for your testimonies of faith and hope. We returned to our fraternity full of encouragement saying thanks to God for having chosen us in this walk of resurrection.

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Reasons to celebrate

It was a particular pleasure for the Friends of the House yesterday that, as well as enjoying being present for Mass and sharing a meal with the Lads afterwards, we were also able to join in celebrating where they were up to in their respective “walks” with 3 of the Lads.

An early, but nonetheless significant, milestone has been reached by Damian and Liam who have both completed their first month in Community whilst Bruno, the Responsible of the house, has completed 3 years in Community.

The Lads all spoke warmly of how much the friendship and help they have received here has meant to them and Bruno told how, as well as being grateful for all that his time in Community has done for him, he felt it was an especial gift for him to have come to England – not what he probably felt when he arrived here in early December 2015 to be greeted by Storm Desmond!

As is traditional on these occasions, the Lads concerned all sang a song – with accompaniment by Sam and Mateusz on the guitar.

We congratulate them all and wish them all the very best with continuing their walks.

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Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Those who enter the Cenacolo Community encounter the three foundations of friendship, work and prayer. It is here that they learn again the joys of a simple way of living discovering the rhythms of an ordered life where brotherly love and service are key. This simple rhythm is punctuated with organised community events. And so it was, on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady the guys of the Kendal fraternity, after they had celebrated a festive Mass at Our Lady & St Joseph’s, Carlisle and had eaten a light lunch, made their way to Talkin Tarn and there to an adventure on the lake with the parish canoes and a very helpful parishioner instructor. They benefited from working together as a community and had great fun in the process.

This was followed by a period of Eucharistic Adoration at the little old church of Our Lady & St Wilfrid, Warwick Bridge giving thanks for the day and for the feast. And the day was rounded off by a celebratory meal in Carlisle.

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Festival of Life 2018

Tuesday 10th July: after the daily commitments we left for Liverpool where the flight to Milan brought us to Italy for the Festival of Life. Together with our brothers from the Irish House, who we met up with at the airport, we arrived at the Mother House in Saluzzo.

Thursday afternoon the Festival started with the catechism of Fr Stefano about the motto chosen for this year: Seguimi / Follow Me.  He spoke about the capacity to listen to God’s call to each one of us, to trust in His infinite love and to put in practice everything learned during our Community walk and in our relationships.  We celebrated Holy Mass and we listened to some words from our Mother Elvira.  Like every year all these events were full of singing and dancing.

On Friday the day started with the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, a catechism from Mother Elvira and some testimonies from some of the guys, including those out on the missions. A large crowd braved the very hot temperature and after dinner the tent was full of people for the new recital “Seguimi”: the story of St Peter and his relationship with Jesus.

The programme of Saturday was quite similar to Friday but in the afternoon we were happy to listen to the testimony of Tiziano, the previous responsible of the house in Kendal who is going soon to help open the new house in the Philippines. During the mass the homily was about the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

On Sunday the most significant event was the ordination of Fr Marco Lattarullo as a priest.  A beautiful moment of song and dance closed the festival with the guys and the families, emotional but happy after these days together.

Again this year we came back to the Fraternity happy for this experience, feeling energised, closer to our families, and richer from all the talks we had listened to.

The perfect motto of this festival, Seguimi, guided us to understand how it is important to listen to the will of God for each one of us, how it is beautiful to be able to serve, and how satisfying it is to give back some of the love we have received in the Community.

Another thing which astonished us was to see in each moment of the festival how many people are in the queues for confession, how important is this moment of reconciliation with God, with others, with ourselves, and the freedom that His mercy gives us.

We want to say thank you to Mother Elvira and to the Community for this gift and also to all the friends of our Fraternity who looked after everything for us while we were away, especially to the D’Arcy family who welcomed seven new piglets during our absence!

Thank you Mary for your good intentions for each one of us.  We want to put into your hands our Mother Elvira and her health. We thank you for her life, for all the miracles that you have worked through her in the 35 years of the Cenacolo Community.

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