Our Birth and Development
On July 16, 1983, in memory of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, in an abandoned house left in ruins, on a hill of the community of Saluzzo between branches and ruble, Sr. Elvira Petrozzi began Comunità Cenacolo. A place of welcoming that in the years would become a fountain of hope and rebirth for many youth, the outcasts, lost in the world of darkness, drugs and sadness. In the beginning, Mother Elvira thought to begin only one house, but the projects of God were vast. The youth arrived from all parts asking to be welcomed and to be able to find again the sense of life. And so the houses of Comunità Cenacolo multiplied, first in Italy and then in Europe and other lands. There are currently 61 fraternities of Comunità Cenacolo present in 18 countries… Italy: 21, Austria: 1, Bosnia: 2, Croatia: 8, France: 4; England: 1; Ireland: 1; Poland: 3; Portugal: 1; Slovenia: 1; Slovakia: 1; Spain: 2; Argentina: 2; Brazil: 5; Mexico: 1; Peru: 2; United States: 4; Liberia, Africa: 1.
Mother Elvira often repeats these words: “We are the first testimonies of a miracle of God. I never thought of this program would be on our small table and was surprised this thought would be so much exceeded. For in this we are thankful to have participated. The fraternities of Europe have welcomed thousands of young people. In some of these youths, often between shoulders of deep discomfort, but in their heart, there is the desire to find again the true sense of life. Comunità Cenacolo in Latin American has many missions for “bambino di strada” the babies of the streets… orphaned and abandoned children still in the favor of youth. In Africa we opened our first mission for these babies two years ago. In the course of these years, there have been many generous people collaborating with Mother Elvira and welcomed by the youth of community in her dedication to this work… volunteers in their youth, lay missionaries, families, consecrated brothers and sisters, and priests, that share their lives in total gratitude in a common journey to rediscover the beauty of life and true freedom.
Life in Comunità Cenacolo alternates between time of prayer and work “ora et labora” and is based on rediscovering the true freedom of the value of sincere friendship and the commitment of personal sacrifice in a climate of simple human relation, honesty and friendship. The community desires not only to be a place of recuperation and social assistance, but a “School of Life” a family where the person welcomed can feel at home and find again proper dignity, peace in their heart, a joy to live and a desire to love. We live like in the beginning, abandoned in the trust of divine providence, that is manifested in small and great gestures of the true kindness and generosity of many people that believe in what Community proposes. The youth that ask help of Comunità Cenacolo are welcomed with complete graciousness.
Our Path in the Church
At Pentacost in 1998 Comunita Cenacolo was recognized by the Bishop of Saluzzo, Monsignor Diego Bona, as a “Private Association of the Faithful” The current Bishop of Saluzzo, Monsignor Guiseppe Guerrini, on December 8, 2005 approved and defined Comunità Cenacolo to be as a “Public Association of the Faithful” On July 16, 2009, after the work and acts of Comunità Cenacolo were proven factual and recognized by the Holy See, the Pontifical Council of Laity, Comunità Cenacolo was decreed an “International Association of the Private Faithful of the Pontifical Right”. In a following decree, The religious order for the Missionary Sisters of the Resurrection was then born as a “Public Association of the Faithful of the Pontifical Right”.
"The Festival of Life"
Every year, in gratitude to the Lord for the Birth of Comunità Cenacolo, an international meeting called Festa della Vita – The Festival of Life, takes place on a hill in Saluzzo at the Mother House of Comunità Cenacolo. Four days that alternate in moments of prayer, testimonies, catechisms, sharing, joy, songs, dance and musical productions. This year we celebrate in gratitude of the Lord, the Thirtieth anniversary of the birth of Comunità Cenacolo. Thousands of people will participate… many youth from fraternities scattered throughout the world, their families that often find again the peace through their own conversion, and many friends that have met Comunità Cenacolo benefit from a wake-up call in their lives. There are also Bishops, many priests, friends of our fraternities.
Every year we use a phrase from the Bible to guide our days. This year, the Year of Faith, it will be the words from the Gospel “Blessed are You Who Believe” (LK 1,45).
We wish for this festival to give us gratitude and memories, in particular gratitude to our Blessed Virgin, Mother of Cenacolo, because she remembers us and sustains us with her maternal presence during these years and we invoke her protection and friendship in our present and in our future.
La nostra storia in foto