We just finished our trip to the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec. It is difficult to express what we lived there. It was so beautiful and, at the same time, very intense because of what we were trying to do. Let’s begin first with how great it was to have Father Andrea, Sister Susan, and Sister Rosangela with us for a few days in Florida and then all the time we had in Quebec. What a wave of joy and enthusiasm they brought to all our houses in Florida! The guys we moved by the Mass celebrated from Father Andrea and also by seeing the joy and freedom that the sisters expressed and showed in front of them by their singing, dancing and “gesties.” They had all the guys doing “gesties” after dinner at the Community. It was just a great moment of pure fun in the simplicity of the Community.
After the rush to prepare everything and get everyone to New Hampshire, we started our trip we a great lunch hosted by the local families there. It gave them an opportunity to do something special for the Community, and we could all see that it was a joy for them. It was a way also for more people to get to know Comunita Cenacolo. It was our jump start and the beginning of the participation by the families on this trip.
We finally drove to the city of Quebec. All the Cenacolo friends were there to wait for us—and so was the rain that pretty much accompanied us for the whole trip. But it did not stop us in anything we had to do. Brett, Brendan, and David C.’s parents came, too, and that made the group even bigger. All together, including our Quebecoise friends, we around 40 because Vincenzo, Kim, theirs kids and Jonathan and Jenny joined us there.
The Congress had already started when we got there. We spent the first few days attending some of the morning events and then in the afternoon we were rehearsing for our show, dances, and songs. We were busy all day. The first day we were able to see part of the city with a nice boat ride along the bay. It was also the only day that we sunshine and not rain.
Our presentation was Friday afternoon, and we were prepared and excited to do it. Father Andrea really helped us to push in our practice and the sisters really helped with their enthusiasm and joy. Our guys were ready and, for sure, scared and tired because we were up very early and asleep late, but we felt ready! Already it was good that we were moved from a site that held 500 people to a new site with much better equipment and with a capacity of 4000 people. That was a big gift. Another one was the sound system that was incredible. We were projected on a big screen, and the crowd really joined us immediately doing the “gesties” and the dancing. Then we did an intro, followed by a slide show. Then the guys did the dances of the play “From the Darkness to the Light,” testimonies, and more songs. Father Andrea and our sisters spoke too. It was just outstanding. Everyone did a great job and spoke from the heart. That’s what is important. We had two hours, and they went by very fast. Our Canadians, Sarah and Joaquin, spoke very beautifully, one in English and the other in French. There were probably more than 2000 people there who heard and saw our message of hope and new life that we shared in so many different ways! Later that same evening we led hour of Adoration in a building that was transformed into a chapel.
The next day was spent pretty much rehearsing and waiting for the evening because we were leading some of the Adoration for the vigil with the youth. There was a big group of young adults who led praise and worship for three hours before the Adoration. They came from all parts of Canada and were excellent musicians and sang really well. It was good for our guys to see so many youth in their 20’s and 30’s who were trying to live for God in the world because they want to, not because they have to. They gave good testimonies and shared their experiences of walking across Canada in preparation for the Eucharisitic Congress. Also it was good for our guys to see thousands of young adults who came to the Congress on their own because this is how they try to live.
Then we led the Adoration. It included the scene of the Last Supper that you have seen the guys do in the show. We were nervous because the audience was big and there were Cardinals and Bishops. We had to include three dads and me in the Last Supper scene because we were short of guys since they were playing music. We ended up with a lot of compliments, but that is not what is important. The most important was that we did it for Jesus and in front of Him in the Blessed Sacrament!
The Congress ended on Sunday with the final Mass outdoors. It was televised in Rome so the Pope could see us, and we could see the Pope as he spoke to us! The day started with a little bit of sunshine, but soon it started to rain. It just kept on going during the whole Mass. It was pouring like crazy. For sure, the Lord wanted to shower us with all His blessings, and we received so many.
Then Michael, David, Sara, and I said our good-byes, and we thanked everybody in the Quebec group. We were off to the airport on our way to Calgary where more testimonies were waiting for us. The rest of our Florida group was coming back on the next day. Our priest and sisters were flying back from Canada to Italy directly. In Calgary we stayed with Sara’s family. It was very busy with an interview at a local TV studio and then visits to two local detention centers. The next day we went to a retreat center that is interested in having Cenacolo there, and we gave a nice presentation to a group of people in Calgary. Finally we had a very nice surprise trip to see the Canadians Rockies Mountains. We went on a great hike to see and touch the snow!
For sure we want to thank all those that provided for us during this trip. We thank the Quebec group for their attention and kindness. They always wanted to make sure we were ok, cooked all the dinners, and helped in every way they could. The Cenacolo parents jumped in to help in many different ways including transportation. We thank all the friends of Alberta, too, that made us feel so much at home. We hope that our presence in the beautiful land of Canada was able to plant a seed of life and hope for many Canadians friend of Cenacolo who have a great desire to have Comunita Cenacolo there. We pray for God to show us His will.
Merci boque Quebecoise and thank you very much Canada!
Now next it will be the festival in July in Italy and trip to Lourdes please follow the directions from Mr. Waller!