The time for our family retreat is coming up quickly, and there is a lot of excitement for those who will see their parents for the first time since they entered Community. It is nice to see what is happening in these young men on their journey to embrace a new way of life, with struggles, but also with a new joy and determination. We see every day that with the help of God everything is possible. We hope and pray that many of the families will come because it is important for the journey of your son in Community.
There are families who have not kept their word. When they brought their sons for orientation in desperation, they said they would definitely do everything the Community asked of them. They were told specifically that we expect them to come to all the 1st Saturday meetings, no matter how long the drive to get there, and to come to all the retreats. They agreed, assuring us that they would journey with their son in the ways the Community asks. They have not kept their word. Now that the Community has accepted their sons, they are not doing as they agreed to do. How can you expect your son to keep his word, when you do not?
The weather in days in Florida is great and it will be a great break for all the people coming from up north being here! The guys and girls are working to make sure that everything will be well prepared. We want to have our Community houses in the best shape we can to welcome all those who will come through the houses.
Yesterday I met will all the guys under a year in Community for a time of sharing their struggles, victories, and hopes. It was a great meeting that lasted several hours where I heard a lot of sharing from the heart with a lot of truth and honesty. It really gave a me a lot of joy to hear what is going with them. We did it at the house of Mary Immaculate, and we ended the meeting with the Stations of the Cross. I heard many intentions to God, asking forgiveness for everything that they had done in the past and for how much they had hurt those who love them.
Some of our girls will be this weekend at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tampa for a sale of items that they made here in Community like rosaries, bracelets, arts and craft woodwork, quilts, and baby clothes. Pray for them because the benefits will go to the Cenacolo missions! They are committed and putting their heart in all they do.
Also we have few guys home on verifica. After staying home a long time because he had to take care of medical problems, Luke will go back after Palm Sunday to Italy. Blake will come back in Florida for a short time, and then he will go back to Europe. Jonathan L. just got home, and he will go back to Lourdes just before the retreat. Tim C. got back from Peru with his parents, and we will see him back at the retreat. He can share with us about the mission experience!
About the retreat, in answer to all those that are asking what they can bring and what their son needs, we suggest you focus on bringing any kind of groceries, cleaning products, and the normal paper products everybody needs in a family every day. Please focus on the community not on one person. Also you are very welcome to visit our Community houses. You can drop off Providence at any house. Just DO NOT GO TO THE HOUSE WHERE YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER IS. Remember our Cenacolo family is growing, and we can use everything.
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