In 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.
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.
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.
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.
On Trinity Sunday we had the opportunity to meet the Bishop of Lancaster Diocese, Bishop Paul Swarbrick, in the splendid cathedral in Lancaster. One of the brothers was invited to sponsor the son of friends of the Community at his Confirmation.
Bishop Paul took great care to talk to the young people and to explain the importance of this day. He emphasised the great gift they were being given from the Holy Spirit. At the end of the ceremony the usual photographs were taken and he promised to visit our community soon.
This year our weekend started on Friday again with a meeting of prayer in the Monastery of Our Lady of Hyning with our families, and with Fr Massimo Rigoni and Brother Konrad from Saluzzo.
On Saturday we welcomed our loved ones and also some close friends of our Community for the Family Day: Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass for the feast of the English Martyrs. We met for lunch in a joyful atmosphere especially thanks to the magic tricks of Fr Massimo. We spent the afternoon with some free time and after the Divine Mercy chaplet we listened to some testimonies relating to this feast day. Our get-together ended with a very Italian meal of pizza.
Finally arrived Sunday with the actual Open Day. We welcomed our guests with the essential refreshments and then we gathered in the barn to recite the Holy Rosary: as a small gift we had made a video of the walking rosary with our thanksgiving intentions for this new life. After a deep and moving Eucharistic Adoration we had a moment of songs and dance and then we ate lunch: lasagne and chilli con carne.
In the afternoon the Divine Mercy chaplet, some very touching testimonies from Damian, Martin, Patryk and one of our friends Clare.
A tea break finished the day in which we said goodbye to our brothers Mateusz , transferred to Poland, and Louis who was leaving the Community after ending his walk.
We want to say thank you to all the people who participated in the Open Day, thanks for your affection…. to all the friends and benefactors, the priests close to our Community, the nuns of Hyning Convent and all those who helped to make the Open Day happen.
Thank you to the Community because they again confirmed their commitment to us by sending Fr Massimo and Bro Konrad to be with us. A special prayer for all the Martyrs past and present on this their feast day, for all those who lost their lives to defend their faith in the risen Jesus, and for all those persecuted for their faith; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs intercede for them and for each one of us.
… with Fr Chris.
We now look forward to seeing our families tomorrow, and to welcoming all our family & friends at our Open Day on Sunday (5th May).