Our Lady of Walsingham

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We were honoured to be invited to Lancaster to carry the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham into the cathedral when it arrived there as part of the Dowry Exhibition tour of the county which started in 2018 and finishes around the Annunciation this year. This exhibition is to help prepare for the re-dedication of England as the dowry of Mary.

We went on Thursday and Saturday and listened to the homilies of  Mgr Armitage about the importance of entrusting our lives to Our Lady and asking for her intercession and her prayers especially in the world of today.

We want to thank the diocese of Lancaster and especially Bishop Paul for this opportunity to be so involved in this special occasion.

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Mother Elvira’s Birthday 2020

Again this year some of us had the opportunity to participate in Mother Elvira’s birthday organised in Envie from the 19th to 21st of January. The first day welcomed boys, girls and the original friends of our Community; Fr Stefano started the day by remembering the personality of Elvira and showed some old videos and some images of her today; he wanted to transmit her ongoing charisma in this period of sufferance.

The Community proposed three key words for this event: three “musts” which we have to put into practice when we return to our own fraternities:
– Fidati / Trust: following the example of Elvira who from the beginning always trusted and believed in the infinite goodness of God the Father who provided for the needs of the Community. “Fidati” needs to become really an act of trust in Cenacolo, to accept what the Community proposes to us, to follow a walk that, especially at the beginning, can be too difficult and so very different from the world outside.
– Liberati / Free yourself: Elvira has been a free woman, free from false values, free from the mask of the world of today. So we need to live without any mask, to live in the truth, free from sin and compromises, remembering every day that the truth sets us free.
– Scomodati / Choose the uncomfortable: Elvira “consumed” herself by the work, she sacrificed all her life, initially serving her family, then serving the Community, the youth, all of us. So choose the uncomfortable must become our rule of life, to put ourselves aside, to be ready to love our neighbour and to serve our brothers every day.

We lived a lot of moments of prayer, Eucharistic adoration, holy Mass and listened to some testimonies of the original friends of our Community. Everybody was in agreement in recognising the charisma, the faith, the fighting spirit of this great woman.

Monday and Tuesday were dedicated just for the boys. We watched some mimes to do with the three key words, videos from the missions, sang some songs, and also we gave our small help to our Irish brothers singing “Our Lady of Knock”.

We spent the rest of the week in the fraternity “Little Shepherds of Fatima” in Pagno and we participated in the meeting with the parents on Saturday. During it there was a very moving catechism from Fr Stefano about the importance also for the families to “enter” into the Community, to follow a walk of conversion, and to understand that often the problems of addition are born in the original upbringing.

Thank you for the gift to spend some time in the heart of our Community; thank you Mary for the life of Mother Elvira and for all those who have believed in her, in the divine providence and so made possible the project of Cenacolo. We want to put into your hands all the future projects of our Community.

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Nativity Open Days – UK & Ireland

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.

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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.

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International meeting of Cenacolo Community – September 2019

20190923_190727cIn Saluzzo from 20th-22nd September there was an important international meeting of all the European Cenacolo Communities, directed at the Responsibles and at all those parents and friends involved in the welcoming of new guys and girls who want to enter into Community.

The purpose of the meeting was to standardise the forms and documents that we need, but most of all to share our different situations in order to enrich each other from our various experiences.  With many moments of prayer, we listened to the catechisms of the priests of the Community, focused on the importance of being able to listen and to engender trust in all those boys and girls so wounded from a life without hope for the future.  The meeting finished with some moments of sharing, celebrating, and getting to know each other better.

We entrust to you Mary all those we will meet in the next months and also all those who still do not know the Community.  For all of them we ask the gift of the Holy Spirit that he will touch their hearts and transmit the love of God and the hope of a new life.

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Welcome visitors

On Sunday 4th August at Manchester Airport we welcomed Fr. Andrea and the brothers of the Irish House, arriving from Italy.

On the Monday we started an intense day of work with each of the “Irish” Lads working together with a “Kendal” Lad.

We also had the possibility to have confession, or a simple moment of sharing, with Fr. Andrea.  In the afternoon the unmissable football game for most while some brothers made (also unmissable!) pizzas for dinner. Thanks to the good weather we ate in the courtyard in the company of some friends of our fraternity.  The atmosphere was very joyful.

On Tuesday we decided to dedicate most of the day to prayer, starting with Holy Mass in the morning.  We then prayed the walking rosary on Scout Scar and in the evening we lived a deep moment of Eucharistic Adoration on top of the hill behind the house.

Thanks to the Community for this visit, for the possibility to know new and old brothers and to receive new courage for our respective walks.

We entrust to you Mary our desires and our vocations.

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Festival of Life – extra day for English speakers!

On the Monday following the main weekend of the festival those of us who fitted the category of “English speakers” – which included people from England, Ireland, America, Malta, Singapore, Australia…. – were fortunate to have the opportunity of an extra day, hosted by the house at Cherasco.  As befitted an “English” day the weather, having been hot and sunny all weekend, broke and it poured with rain all day! Our hosts coped brilliantly with not only finding they had many more guests than expected, but also having to accommodate us all indoors. We enjoyed fantastic home made pizzas for lunch, and celebrated the 1st anniversary of Don Marco’s ordination as a priest.

We are very grateful to have the gift of this extra time to spend in prayer together and in catching up with family and friends, including several who were previously in our Kendal house and have moved on the other houses and we extend huge thanks, and congratulations, to “Cenacolo Cherasco” for the lovely day we spent there.

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Festival of Life 2019

Once again this year some of us received the gift to participate in the Festival of Life in Saluzzo from 11th-14th July. The event started with a greeting from Fr. Stefano and Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Pino Isoardi. He focused on the importance of testifying to the faith and to prayer, following the example of those who helped people less fortunate and those who lost their way.

During Friday we listened to the testimonies of some of the priests of our Community who testified to the great faith and strength of Mother Elvira and other testimonies of boys and girls in the Community.  During the evening we lived a moving time of Eucharistic Adoration with the personal intentions of some of the responsibles of the houses, of the priests, and members of the families living in the Community.

On Saturday we listened to some testimonies of people from outside the Community about the importance of cultivating our faith and staying close to the prayer for those leaving the Community also. The bishop of Saluzzo confirmed some boys and girls of the Community. The day ended with the recital “Seguimi” (follow me), this year enriched with many choral scenes, a spectacle which became a testimony of faith, hope and prayer as in the motto of this year’s festival – We are Witnesses (Acts 3:15).

Sunday, the tent was packed for Holy Mass in the morning, and then in the afternoon there was the final greeting from Fr. Stefano, with also a lot of songs, dancing…..

Thank you Lord Jesus for the life of Mother Elvira; thank you for this gift. Thank you for your daily guidance on the good path to become witnesses of new life, faith and hope.

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