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festival of life 2009

Greeting of mother Elvira  |  Thursday 16  |  Friday 17  |  Saturday 18  |  Sunday 19  | 

The joy of a new life  

Four days ' feast to life, of life filled St.Lawrence hill with thousands of friends and acquaintances of the Cenacolo from many countries. What's important is not the number of people up there, but what was lived.



The Archibishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Shonborn, father Francesco Peyron from the Consolata Missionaries, father Pierino Ghi, Jesuit from Cuneo and the Bishop of Saluzzo Mons.Giuseppe Guerini were the announcers of the Grace that touched  many people.

Mons. Antal Majneck Bishop of the diocese of Mukacheve in Ukraine and one of his deacons were there: they had got in touch with the Community in the Austrian fraternity where they had spent some time and also the journalist and writer Maria Pia Bonanate, Mario Trematore, the fireman who had the grace to rescue the Holy Shroud during the fire in Torino cathedral, were present.

But the true miracle of the meeting with God's Mercy is the Community itself represented by the faces of these youth who have found again the joy to live, love, who have found discipline, work and beauty. A new taste for reality.

This is what a Christian means with the word announcement:not only speeches, homilies, catecheses, but coming across a different humanity, something that comes before anything else, causes amazement, wonder and makes us ask questions.

I saw bright faces of people not belonging to the Community unable to explain to themselves the reasons of the joy that had flooded  them in these days.

But it was clear that they had opened their hearts to this experience in the Community.

Mother Elvira has been able to give birth to this life which is infectious,it catches us because everywhere there is Someone greater than us, there is Jesus Christ, His Spirit.

The Cardinal of Vienna spoke about mercy, Bishop Guerrini as well but Christ's mercy has the faces of the people of this Community, there it becomes flesh and can be encountered.

If we don't experience such a changed humanity even the Word of the Gospel runs the risk to  be abstract.

On the contrary what the youth from the Cenacolo have witnessed,as  true and simple as they are, is what they live and this shows the concreteness of God's presence. The undeserved joy which lies in their hearts allows them to go farther and farther. The Cenacolo Missions represent one of these results:it's impossible to choke Jesus'joy, His mercy; we must cry it out to the whole world.

This kind of life is permeated by the Presence of Christ who saves people, gives meaning to our humanity, making us part of God's Kingdom.

This is what the Cenacolo lives everyday and these days of feast have been made possible thanks to the humble and patient work done over a whole year.

The wonderful recital ”Credo” with its amazing scenography, ballets, music and words that have moved many people are the result of a committing Community life and of intense prayer. That's why the recital was true announcement, God's Word lived and incarnated.

The organization of the days was really perfect: from the welcoming, to the stalls, the multilingual translations, the restaurant, the playing area for kids, the really beautiful Liturgy, the polyphonic chorus,the numerous everyday Confessons, the lively South American dances, the Gospel performances acted by children: all of this was joyful and serious in the meantime.

The four days were filled with prayer: Eucharistic Adoration, catecheses, the Rosary in the afternoon.

But the truest feast, the one that deserves to be called a miracle, is undoubtfully the one celebrated in the heart of those who have found  again reasons to live and hope, who have found  consolation, a new fit of love, the wish to smile again, to forgive themselves, who have realized that it's possible to  love  because Jesus Christ is the  meaning of everything.

Donated lives give birth to to other lives. This is the miracle that is called Church, historical and tangible continuity of the Risen Jesus.

During the last Mass, on Sunday, father Stefano was able to announce how much the Mother Church  

has looked over and taken care of the Cenacolo Community.

On Whitsunday in 1998 the Bishop Mons.Diego Bona had approved the Community as private Associaton of believers  of diocesan right.Then it became public Association of believers of diocesan right.

But since the Community continued to be more and more actively present  in many countries all over the world it has been necessary to find a new appellation so the Holy See has approved the Cenacolo San Lorenzo as international Association of believers of papal right, responding straight to the Papal Council of the Laymen, an organ of the Holy See, that is to say of the Pope.

A long clapping of hands has welcomed this announcement which promises a greater and greater commitment of loyalty and love to the Church and to the Pope. Next October the representatives of the Community will go to the Vatican to receive from the Church the papers that define this new state.

The feast of life, on occasion of its 26th anniversary, couldn't have had a better end, leaving amazement, peace and longing in thousand of hearts.   


Father Alberto Girello

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