Tribute to David Holgate

The Cenacolo Family, especially in Britain, wish to record our appreciation for the life of David Holgate who died on July 6th and was born into eternal life. David was a strong supporter of Cenacolo since his family benefitted personally from the Community. David worked tirelessly in many ways to offer help and assistance to the Community and to those seeking entry to Cenacolo. On many occasions David accompanied young men to one of the Houses of the Community in various parts of Europe. He was associated with the Liverpool Prayer Group and Listening Point. Together with his wife, Mary, he fielded phone enquiries from those seeking information about the Community. Also, for many years he was a trustee of the Cenacolo Charity in Britain. His calm approach to matters and his wise guidance were his hallmark. 

We pray for him and his family at this time and are reassured by the words in the Gospel, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.’ (Mt. 25:23) 

May he rest in peace. 

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CENACOLO COMMUNITY – KENDAL HOUSE

The Priest leaders of the world-wide Cenacolo Community called the members of the British House to join the House in Ireland for a period of reflection and renewal. The lads travelled to Knock last September. This was seen as a temporary measure but then ‘Covid’ intervened and therefore, for the time being, the House in Kendal will not be accepting new entrants.

However, this should not deter those wishing to know more about the Community and possibly entering, from making enquiries. The Community is still open to welcome those who feel that they would benefit from a time of friendship, work and prayer in Cenacolo.

Initial contact could be via email: cenacolouk@gmail.com or through a phone call: 01539 736222. The Listening Points, as listed on this website (under Supporters), are still operational and will welcome enquiries.

Our Lady Mother of Cenacolo and Queen of Martyrs – Pray for us.

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Update from Cenacolo House Our Lady Queen of Martyrs

On first impressions there appears to be little change. This is true when asked for factual updates and time line for ‘our house’ at Dodding Green.  Paolo, Giancarlo and Ed left Kendal in September 2020 and continue to live with the lads at the house in Knock.

I know the family that moved into the house on 1.12.20 are very happy to be there. Certainly with 3 teenage children being home schooled and an active labrador the space has been a blessing to them. They will be ready to welcome ‘the Friends of the Community’ for the first Wednesday Mass once numbers of Covid infections reduce and along with Fr Hugh we make the decision it is right to do so. I still occasionally visit to collect mail for the Charity. During these visits it is clear there i change and reasons to be optimistic.

Many of you will see this when you are out for a walk or in your own garden. Despite the cold weather and Storms Christophe & Darcey new life is already coming. For those of you familiar with the house you will remember the snowdrops.  Daffodils are already emerging along with the crocus’ and once we are into Spring the woodland will be its usual carpet of blue. It is reassuring to know that God’s hand and the beauty of Creation is still at work

What is also true is the Cenacolo Community as an International Community continues to inspire, provide hope and grow.  As with our personnel lives and work lives much has gone ‘online’, just as it has in our own parish thanks to gifts of Christine and Ken and Fr Hugh. The ‘heart of the Community’ in Saluzzo, Italy has really embraced technology and the use of YouTube so we can stay connected. There have been many opportunities to join Italy and other houses around the world in prayer including the Advent Novena, Christmas Celebrations which included a Nativity Play from the house in Liberia and most recently the celebrations on 24.1.21. The community gathered virtually to give thanks for Mother Elvira on her 84th birthday, for her ‘yes’ and the work that Mary and the Holy Spirit have accomplished through the lives of those that encounter the Community. This includes those who have entered broken through life’s difficulties including addiction, the families who have experienced healing and conversion through God’s mercy and the work and fidelity to prayer of the many friends of the community, in the UK and around the world.

This gathering also gave thanks for the Sisters and Priests of the community, in particular Don Stefano. He has walked with Elvira from the early days of the community and was the first of one of I think 8 men who have been ordained and serve Cenacolo. Don Stefano celebrated the gift of his 20th Anniversary of Priesthood.

I would just like to share a couple of thoughts that stayed with me from Don Stefano’s homily. He shared “our life is a gift from God, it is not a mistake. Christ paid a great price for our life, His life. We need to fall in love with the beauty of life as Elvira did”.

Mother Elvira is unwell but Don Stefano and the Sisters that care for her are very clear “that this time of the cross is more fertile, when she is called from the cross is when Mother Elvira will start her work for us in Heaven”.

At this time it is right to give thanks for the life and  ‘yes’ of Bishop Patrick. It is thanks to his ‘yes’  and welcome to the Diocese of Lancaster that the Cenacolo House was opened after many years of prayer by friends up and down the UK that were asking and praying for a house to save lives in the UK. Other people have much more knowledge than I have about this. Many in the parish supported the opening of the house and went to went to the Public Enquiry in 2004. Fr Chris Loughran is going to write about Bishop Patrick and Cenacolo for the Cenacolo Newsletter and Bryan Ingleby is sharing his reflections of Bishop Patrick and his support of Cenacolo for an article that will be in the next issue of The Voice.

Please can I add my request to those of Mother Elvira and the priests in Italy for the your continued providence of prayer for  work of the Cenacolo Community throughout the world and for those living with drug or alcohol problems who may need the support of the Community. At the moment everything needs to be seen through the ‘lens of Covid’. This said, the Community is still ‘open’.  Meetings with men and women are taking place by phone or ‘zoom’ to prepare for a welcome in Ireland or direct to Italy as and when travel and restrictions allow.

I would like to draw your attention to the book “The EMBRACE of GOD’S MERCY Mother Elvira and the Story of Community Cenacolo”. The book has recently been translated into English. If anyone would like a copy for themselves or to buy as a gift for someone else I will ask Pam and Fr Hugh if we can leave some in the parish shop. Details are also on this website (www.cenacolouk.org) or you could email me via the Cenacolo email cenacolouk@gmail.com . A donation of £10 will help to cover the cost of publishing.

It is unclear exactly what the time line and plans are for the re opening of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs at Dodding Green. There are questions still posed by the corona virus and the further complications of Brexit that are unclear, but a motto of the Mother Elvira and the Community is “…..nothing is impossible for God”.

What will be in the future I trust and we will discover”

Mary Mother of Cenacolo Pray for Us

Thanks Chris

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Christmas Meeting – livestream

On Sunday 20th December there will be the classic Christmas meeting for the Community. This will be online from 8:00am (9:00 Italian time) and will be streamed in different languages both from the Italian website www.comunitacenacolo.it and from the Community’s youtube channel https://www.comunitacenacolo.it/live/

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“The Embrace of God’s Mercy”

The book “The EMBRACE of GOD’S MERCY: Mother Elvira and the Story of Community Cenacolo” has recently been translated into English and copies are now available if anyone would like to buy one for themselves, or as a gift for someone else.

Once the church is able to reopen after lockdown we hope to have copies available through the Holy Trinity & St George (Kendal) parish shop. They are also available “mail order” by emailing the Cenacolo email cenacolouk@gmail.com . Please include your name, the address to which it/they should be sent and the number of copies required. 

We suggest a donation of £10 per book to help cover the cost of publishing, plus £2 P&P.  Payment can be made by cheque, made out to Cenacolo Community UK, or by online payment to:
Account name: Cenacolo Community UK
Sort code: 16-20-18   Account number: 10052673
If making an online payment please let us know this in the email also so we can match the payment up with the order. Many thanks.

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Update from Cenacolo House Our Lady Queen of Martyrs

It is a good time to write a brief update about our Cenacolo House and the Cenacolo Community.

Mother Elvira has an unshakeable love and complete trust in God, God’s Providence and God’s timing. The date, the first Sunday of Advent is the weekend over the years that family and friends have gathered at the house at Dodding Green to celebrate the Open Day. Many of you will remember either watching or taking part in one way or another the first Nativity Play that Frederico and Nicola coordinated with support from John Selby. The baby Jesus at this first Dodding Green Nativity being played by my youngest Ben. He’s now 12! Caroline played Mary and Rynar from Austria was Joseph. Rynar and his wife Delphine celebrated the birth of their first child in July.

In September the lads that were at Dodding Green joined the lads at the Community House in Knock, Ireland. Lock down restrictions allowing they will be having a quiet Nativity and Open Day next weekend – 6th and 7th December. We remember them in our prayers and wish them well.

Don Stefano and Don Andrea along with others in Saluzzo are ministering to the needs of the lads and girls in the houses throughout the world. The initial 2 to 3 months temporary closure has come and gone.  It is against this backdrop that we remain united in prayer with Saluzzo and ‘wait’. A good attitude to practice in Advent. This is again one of the charisms that Mother Elvira lived so well. Not to ask, only to trust and to pray and to remain in silence and wait for God’s plan to be revealed.

Whilst we wait for the plans and reopening of our house in Kendal in partnership with Saluzzo and the Holy Spirit we have a family that will temporarily move into the house to  ‘care take’ the property from 1.12.20 for 6 months whilst Don Stefano and Don Andrea discern how best and who should restart the Community at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. In line with National and local guidance Fr Hugh will continue to celebrate Mass, usually the first Wednesday of the Month in the Chapel or barn.

Please can I take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your prayers and wish you a Happy Advent and Christmas.

Mary Mother of Cenacolo Pray for Us

Thanks Chris

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Ascension Day walk on Scout Scar

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Family Visitors

Finally, after the easing of many restrictions, we got the opportunity to hold a family meeting, at least for the UK lads.

Edward and Damian met their families:

Edward said: “It was a big surprise for me. I was in the chapel preparing for the reading I was going to read at Holy Mass and I was more nervous than usual as Damian’s Family was coming. Then Damian surprised me as my mum and my two sisters and my nephew arrived. It was wonderful to see everyone and to give my mum a big hug. It was good to show them around the place and to show my nephew Connor the animals. We had Holy Mass and then we walked the rosary together. It was a good experience for me to pray the rosary with my mum and sisters and turned out to be a beautiful day and  great gift from the community”.

Damian said: “The first thing I would like is to thank the community for this gift of seeing my parents and my son especially with the difficult situation outside, I appreciate this thank you. It was a beautiful moment to see my son Evan and how much he is changed since the last time that I have seen him in May Last Open Day. He was very emotional but at the same time he gave me a great joy and happiness to spend time together. Also I was happy to see my parents looking healthy and in peace. We managed to catch up on a lot of family things and also to hear that everyone back home is supporting and encouraging me which I was not expecting. It gave me a huge lift and a boost to keep me going in my walk. We celebrated the Holy Mass together with Edward’s family and friends of the house. This made the day even more special as it felt like a big happy family. Thank you.”

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Translating for the Festival of Life

Being back at Cenacolo during the Festival of Life was a true gift from God. As an ex of Cenacolo it always amazes me how the atmosphere once I step into the Cenacolo premises changes for me and I almost immediately feel relieved and uplifted. Despite the world being run down and preoccupied with the coronavirus situation, almost everyone in Cenacolo was full of big smiles and carrying on with life in a joyful manner. This year taking part in the translation process was highly significant as, due to the whole festival being online through streaming, Father Stefano gave us a speech to encourage and remind us of how important our service is and that we are the voice of the Community to thousands of people all over the world. What touched me was when he said that this year due to the festival being available via streaming, a drug addict may be lying on their bed in despair and in that moment have the words of the festival playing (through us translators) which may in turn make a mark on them.

All the boys and girls were placed together in the smaller tent in Saluzzo and despite smaller numbers and less crowd, the joy of the festival was alive and pumping. The gift of the community once again manifested when all the different houses across the world were able to send their greetings through video connections and seeing so many familiar faces in different parts of the world doing God’s mission is a miracle itself. Indeed, that was a theme which was repeated more than once ‘we are miracles’ and we truly are. The overall theme of the festival of life this year was ‘I tell you, Rise’. No matter how many times we fall, we must rise and never stay down. This is what Mother Elvira shows us every day through her actions and how she affronts her illness. This was another blessing – to be able to see all the videos of Mother Elvira during the festival and hear how she herself is amazed and perplexed at how the community became so big, by the grace of God.

The musical this year was slightly different and was not shown all at once in the evening, as it usually is, but in small clips throughout the four days. This itself showed how the community adapts to improvisations and still makes the best of it. The video clips were very professional yet moving and came from our boys and girls house in Medjugorje. The testimonies of the girls who played the roles highlighted again how in them they have seen God pass and heal them from their various wounds – drugs, food, guilt, depression, fear, insecurities. The days were concluded with the holy mass and various talks bringing back the community spirit and binding us in faith. Of course, no one could forget the incredible dances from our nuns and from our dancers who never failed to bring us joy and energy. I really thank God for this gift and opportunity to have gone back to Cenacolo and it certainly filled up my spiritual batteries and helped me also get back up and rise in my day to day life back at home.

Dina

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The Festival of Life has started!

… why not join us online for some, or all, of the next three days.

Festival of Life Livestream

Day 2:

Day 3:

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