Hi to everybody. My name is Bruno, I come from Italy and I am 50 years old.

I entered into the Community 3 years ago.  First of all,  I want to say that this new and big family gave me back the smile, the joy, the will to live; through a new faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit I want to tell you a bit about my life.

I was born in a family that we can call “normal”.  I received all the material things that I needed but,  from my childhood,  I missed a lot the love of my parents and I started to feel not accepted by them.  In the years of adolescence,  I was very closed in myself but I never shared with anybody what I kept inside; my loneliness, my sadness.

Just after finishing school,  I started to work and I went to live alone thinking that was the right choice for me.  I quickly got a good career so I had the availability of much money.  In these years,  I was addicted to material things like computers, mobile phones, clothes, holidays etc.  During one of these holidays I had my first experience with cocaine.  At the beginning it seemed to help me find happiness, confidence, new friends; but within in a few years I had started to use more drugs, and not just during the weekends. I encountered crack and this terrible substance made me a slave to the evil of drugs and started to cause me many problems at work and at home.  I contracted a bad illness which caused me to resort to even more use of drugs.  I started to think that death could be the solution to my problem and to consider it as an option: I spent 4 months in 3 different mental hospitals, then I came back to my “normal” life but I relapsed after a few days.

At this point my family asked me to choose between another period in a mental hospital or to enter the Community.  To be honest with you I choose the Community just to avoid another period in a psychiatric hospital.  I arrived in the Community totally destroyed both in my body and in my mind but immediately I felt the love of the Community for me.  They welcomed me without even having met me, and I met many people who welcomed me in a friendly manner but most of all without judging me for my bad life or for my addiction.

Within a few months I had discovered the importance and the value of true friendship and the possibility to trust in my neighbours, to share with them the positive moments but also my difficulties. The most important thing that I lived was my conversion, with prayer I discovered a new faith in God: a merciful father who loves me and forgives me for all my sins.  Slowly, slowly my conscience, this great way which God uses to speak to our hearts, started to shout and I remember that during my first Eucharistic Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament I cried and I asked Jesus for his mercy and his forgiveness: after 17 years of addiction, finally I had the possibility to face my problems, my poverties and not to escape from them with the falsities of the drugs.

Through the sacrament of reconciliation I understood the importance of forgiving others in order to be able to forgive myself.  I also discovered the value and the beauty of a simple life, the importance of work that could give back to me the dignity that I had lost in previous years. Today I’d like to be a witness to the many miracles that I have seen in the Community every day: the gift of the providence, the gift of understanding how important our life is and to respect and to love it, how it is beautiful to love, to serve, and to forgive others, the resurrection of many of us to a new life, finally full of hope.

Today I consider the Cenacolo Community my new family.  I want to say thank you to our Mother Elvira for her faith, her courage, her strength; with all the lives she saved for the Community I can understand every day the love of God for each one of us.