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.


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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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Festival of Life 2020: Novena in preparation

Festa della Vita 2020 novenaThere will be a novena to prepare for the Festival of Life starting from 7th of July.

This will be streamed live from Saluzzo at 8:00pm (21:00 Italian time) and will have an English translation.

Each day of the novena there will be the novena prayers and then a brief sharing / testimony on the passage of the gospel and / or on the text of the pope for that day of the novena.

To access the livestream click here or on the image.

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Festival of Life 2020: Registration now open!


Registrations for the Festival of Life are officially open!

Here is the link to do so… Festival of Life Registration

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Festival of Life 2020: the Logo

The logo of the Festival of Life 2020 is circular and features the Words of Jesus: “I say to you, get up!” (Luke 7:14) which is the theme of this year’s Festival.

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In Christian art, the circle symbolises eternal life, the goal of our Christian journey, the infinite horizon that widens and illuminates our gaze.

The letter T of the word VITA (LIFE) highlights the cross. The Cross is a reality that belongs in everyone’s life, and it is through the Cross and through suffering that many of us, like Nain’s widow, have encountered in Jesus, Life and Resurrection!

The theme of the Resurrection is taken up again through the drawing of two stylised hands that meet: the hand of Jesus and that of the dead young man. I am the Light and the darkness, the Life and the death.

The young man’s arm is dark, dark, as if it came from the underworld, and his hand is “dead”, lifeless. The hand of Jesus is instead luminous, it descends from above and offers itself to us to tear us away from death and give us back Life.

The message of the logo is to portray this: in a time of uncertainty and death, we need security and Life … we need Jesus!

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Festa della Vita 2020

Festa della Vita picture

It is still necessary this year to register online for the Festival of Life 2020, you will receive via email a badge and material to help you follow the direct broadcast.

Communication:  “Festival of Life 2020”

Saluzzo (Italy), May 8, 2020

Dear everyone, parents and friends of the “extended family” of Comunità Cenacolo in the world,

Upon the many of your requests regarding the Festival of Life 2020, we wish to inform you first of all that we have decided to confirm the dates from Thursday the 16th to Sunday the 19th of July, 2020.

However, given the general uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus and not knowing what the situation will be like in July; given the current bans on travel from one country to another and numerous gatherings; given that all major events have been suspended or postponed, for the moment we think it best that the physical presence at the Festival this year will be only for the men, women and members who live internally in our communities, whose participation will be to the extent possible indicated by regulations.

If in this time leading up to the Festival there should be any significant changes and/or news of possible openings, we will notify you as soon as possible.

We know that for many of you it will be a great sacrifice not being able to “physically” come to the Festival, which is always a long-awaited and greatly desired moment… it will be a great sacrifice for us as well, not being able to see and meet with you all… but we won’t allow this to stop us: The Festival of Life will come to you!

We are already working to allow for all of you to “participate” from your homes in our four days of prayer, praise, testimony, catechism, song and dance… so that each one of you can feel loved by God and by us. We will try our best to “offer you” the possibility of making you present here on the hill of Saluzzo with us, in communion of hearts and faith.

Very soon you will find the program of the Festival of Life 2020 online with its chosen theme.

We are certain of your understanding and grateful for your closeness during this time, we ask the Holy Virgin, Mary, Mother of Cenacolo, to bring you all our best and to continue to protect each of you under Her mantle.

Comunità Cenacolo

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Theme of the Festival:

Death, tears, pain… compassion, drawing near, Resurrection!

The theme of the Festival of Life 2020 is the phrase spoken by Jesus “… I tell you, arise!” (Lk 7:14), taken from the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus sees the excruciating pain of a mother, feels compassion for that woman, approaches her dead son, touches the coffin and restores the boy’s life, returning him to his mother alive.

It is the miracle that has happened in the lives of many of us who were welcomed to the Cenacolo: the pain of parents and friends in seeing the “death” that we had in our hearts moved the heart of Christ with compassion and He drew near to us; He held out his hand to us and offered us this path of Resurrection.

But the struggle between death and Life is a daily battle: each of us has a piece of death in our heart that must be revived today.

He will look us in the eyes, hold out his hand, lift us up and He will resurrect us to a new life!

Resurrected children who restore joy to their parents’ hearts!

Resurrected parents who restore joy to their childrens’ hearts!

A resurrected people who praise and glorify the God of Life together!

We are waiting for you, we are waiting for each one of you so that we can experience the joy of being a part of this family… of the resurrected!

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Hadrian’s Wall & Talkin Tarn

Lock down now having being eased, the lads in the Kendal Cenacolo House ventured out. At the request of Fr Chris they called in at Warwick Bridge and he then guided them to a little section of Hadrian’s Wall to the interest of all of them and especially the Italian guys.

Then, for a bit more fresh air and exercise, they went to Talkin Tarn where, after a circular walk around the tarn, and keeping their social distance from others, they enjoyed a picnic before heading back to Cenacolo, praying the rosary as they went.

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Repairs required – update!

Unfortunately (we don’t know quite what happened, but…) our sign at the bottom of the drive got damaged necessitating some repair work…

Fortunately the actual signboard with the carved lettering was alright but one of the posts was broken and so the frame needs replacing…

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the house, the kitchen handover continues…

June 11th:  There is still a bit of “finishing off” to be done at ground level but the sign has now been restored….

June 14th:  Sign now fully restored

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Commitments within the Community

All the various tasks within the household and the garden etc. are shared between us with each person taking responsibility for different ones for a certain period of time.  Some commitments take longer than others to learn and so need to be taken on for a longer time.  A couple of the longer term ones are the kitchen and the liturgy both of which are normally for 6 months.

The person who has been doing the commitment will teach and help the new person who is taking it over. Giancarlo has had the kitchen commitment and is now is handing it over to Damian and so is teaching him about making the meals and will himself take over the Pantry commitment. This entails managing the stores, planning the menus (depending on what providence is available) and ensuring the kitchen is well managed.

Ed is taking over the Liturgy commitment from Paolo. This includes planning the programme, in conjunction with the Responsible, determining the beginning and end times of work, taking into account any extra activities taking place, setting up the chapel  for mass, organising the schedule for adoration, teaching the prayers (especially to new Lads) and setting an example with respect to things like respecting the rules.

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How things are going, and in particular growing, here…

Despite the restrictions of lockdown, we have been enjoying the amazingly good weather we have had recently and everything is growing well.  Here is a look at what’s going on..

Looking much further ahead, our wood stores are nice and full for the winter with wood from the fallen tree which we have now finished cutting up

And a day off from our normal work – enjoying some relaxed time in the sunshine on Ascension Day


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