the Cenacolo Community was founded on a hilltop in Saluzzo (Cuneo, Italy) on July 16, 1983, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, by Sr. Rita Petrozzi (Mother Elvira). After years of waiting and prayer, she received the keys of an abandoned house, and opened it to welcome and provide lodging for young people who had been wandering in the streets sad, and disillusioned by the false promises of the world. Many were addicted to drugs and disoriented. This “adventure” started without any material security, but with the certainty that God is faithful and with the profound intuition that what those young people were looking for was not something, but Somebody: the face of God the Father. As people looking for help continued to grow, it was necessary to open other houses first in Italy, and then in other countries of the world. This is how an unexpected missionary horizon opened up. Over the years, a group of people from different parts of the world was formed and sustained by the same charism, and they walked together from “darkness to Light”. The first diocesan approval as an association of lay faithful came on Pentecost 1998. On July 16, 2009 the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed the recognition of the Cenacolo Community as an international association of the faithful.
The Cenacolo Community desires to be a living sign of the merciful love of God for young people, families, and people wounded from life, marked by the cross, and often far from God. They do this by showing them Christian life as the only true response to the concerns of the human soul. Cenacolo is not only a place of rehabilitation and social assistance, but a place where people can be educated to freedom and hope. It is a clear proposal of Christian experience, done with the certainty that rediscovering faith in God rewards, gives dignity and beauty to the human being.
The Community members aim for personal sanctification:
by living a spirituality that is Marian and centered on the Eucharist in complete and trusting abandonment to Divine Providence
through sharing, welcoming and helping all those who because of drug live confused and alone. To them the Community proposes a way of community called “school of life”, where through fraternal friendship and prayer, conscience is enlightened, freedom is recovered and availability to service is developed
through witness and missionary work, which is to proclaim that an encounter with the Risen Lord liberates the human being, and makes him or her a witness of light.
The main governing bodies of the association are the General Assembly and the Directors Council comprising the President, the Vice President and the elected members of the Council. The Cenacolo Community is composed of dedicated members and ordinary members. The dedicated members have community life, and commit themselves fulltime to the activities of the community. Their formation period includes discernment and preparation, and lasts five years. Among the dedicated members, the celibate lay men and women, called sisters and brothers, are the core part of the Community. The ordinary members participate in the life of the association and contribute to bringing about the goals of service and Christian witness while living their ordinary life at work, at home, with the family, and in society.
The Cenacolo Community is comprised of 60 fraternities. It is present in 18 countries of the world: Africa (1), Europe (12), North America (1), South America (4).
Working in the world of social disorientation, the Community opened many houses, called “Fraternities” in order to rehabilitate problematic young people addicted to drugs and with other addictions; to welcome and educate street children in South America. Houses of prayer and listening centers were also opened. Family groups help the parents who have to cope with their sons and daughters problems. Prayer groups were started. The Community lives the evangelical proclamation through Gospel musicals and theatre representations performed by young people everywhere; through speech about experiences of life in schools, parishes, and squares using all kinds of media. Marian pilgrimages are organized by the Community for the youth, their families and friends of the association.
Resurrection, quarterly magazine
via San Lorenzo 35 – 12037 Saluzzo (CN)
Tel. [+39]0175.46122 - Fax [+39]0175.476369
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