The Lord did it again. Our Lent retreat is over, and I am sure that many of you who came for the weekend left with something special in your hearts. Hopefully it is a new beginning for the future. That is our goal for you dear families of Cenacolo. The last few days have been rich with testimonies, tears, words of encouragement, friendship, service to others, and more. This is the reflection of what the Christian life is all about. It was so special for us to see! We are very happy that many of you came and really entered into the retreat with your heart.
Especially for the new families, it can be difficult and hard to understand the invitation of the Community that is so challenging, but you can see the fruit of new life and joy in the old families that persevered and opened their hearts and minds. The Community has been a gift from God to each of them, not just to their sons. You spent a lot of time on your knees so maybe now they are sore, but think about how much time your sons and daughters spend on their knees. We hope and pray that you will treasure what you lived this weekend. Maybe it will be the new beginning of life in changing in small things for the good of your family and your son or daughter who will see that the family is journeying with the Community. There is not a better gift that you can give to them.
It impresses me all the time to see how much the Cenacolo families are bonded together and have become friends. I loved to see the dads in the kitchen washing dishes, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and smiling and happy to do it. For us from inside it is just so nice to see, and we are so grateful that Comunita Cenacolo gives this opportunity for so much goodness and real life!
We were also blessed to have great weather that really gave us the opportunity to have all our outdoor activities, because I was really worry about that. All the previous days that week we had a series of storms that damaged our tent, soaked Our Lady of Hope, but in the last few days the wind dried everything. We were blessed to not have any rain.
One of the moments that is always very touching is when the parents see their son or daughter for the first time. There is a lot of emotion in the air. It is very beautiful to see. In many cases is also a sign of reconciliation. Then, after the guys and girls did their dances, we had a beautiful hour of Adoration led by our guys with a lot of intentions. I think a lot of healing took place!
On Sunday morning we concluded our meeting in Marywood, and we all went to OLOH for our Palm Sunday celebration. We did a presentation of Palm Sunday with our guys dressed like Jesus and the apostles. Then the Mass started. We had at least over a couple hundred people there. After the Mass we had lunch, and finally the families had some good quality time together. It was great to see it. The time passed by quickly. We all did a nice walking rosary together, and it came time to say goodbye, with hugs and kisses and a lot of joyful tears. We had to encourage everyone to go! It was just a very special day.
In a special way we want to thank all of you for fulfilling your commitment to come to Florida for the retreat. God gave you back even more than you could imagine, I am sure. We also want to thank all those who worked very hard, beginning with those parents who prepared, the ones who cooked, served, cleaned, and made sure that everything was in place. A special thanks to the guys and girls for their hard work in preparation for this retreat.
We are now in Holy Week, the most important time of all the year. Bishop Snyder will be here for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. At the vigil, Tom and Lyle will join the Church, and Stefano, Anthony, and Nora will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please keep them in your prayer.
Keep in mind that on Wednesday, April 8, at 8pm Eastern Time, the interview with Mother Elvira will be shown on Fr. Pacwa’s show.
There was a powerful earthquake in Central Italy today, which killed many people and did a lot of damage. I called our Community in Italy to see if we had been affected by it and, thank God, everything is fine. The closest Community house is Loreto, but the earthquake did not affect the city of Loreto in any way!
We wish all of you and very blessed Easter.
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