The time is flying by, and we are almost at the end of February, a very short month that has passed by quickly. It has been pretty cold here in Florida, and I can only imagine how it has been up north, so we do not want to complain about it. Life in our community is going well with ups and down, with joy and disappointments, but I can see more and more that those who are choosing to be faithful to what the Community is teaching, especially in choosing to pray and live for God, definitely seem more happy than the others.
At OLOH we are focusing on preparing for our April retreat that will take place on the weekend of Palm Sunday, April 3-5, at Marywood and Camp St. John, the same site we had the retreat last October. Please feel free to book your rooms directly at Marywood. You can get info at www.marywoodcenter.org. We really invite everyone to come to the weekend. It is important to participate and to see your son or daughter. For those that have their children somewhere else, it is still very important to learn more about Comunita Cenacolo and try to have the experience of the retreat. It is a spiritual refreshment and also a great preparation for Easter, so please come. Let your Regional Contact know how many of your family are coming, so that we can prepare food and everything else.
Nick G. came back from Europe. He plays the guitar very well and brought back a lot of experience with music that he learned overseas. The guys sound pretty good and are learning a lot of songs.
At M I they are working a lot in the two buildings and clearing the woods, especially where we will have the soccer field. We are trying to work with a friend of the Community to clear the upper part of the property and to make the road that will fulfill all the regulations from the fire department. I am afraid that will be very expensive, but we hope not!
Roberto (MX) and Michael (IL) just left last week, transferred to Ireland, and they were very happy to go. Also on the same day Tom G. (NY) got back from his verifica. He is at MI. Sadly, last week Richard A. left. We were sorry to see him go. Like all the others who leave early, we know we will get a desperate call in time. What a waste. Also we sent out a couple of our guys that were in community just putting in time, and we are got tired of it. We encouraged David R. and Maximo to go for good, and they did. We have so many people that are knocking at our door, and then sometimes we have guys that are just on stand by and also are making life difficult for the others who are really trying to embrace the journey of the Community, so we arrived at this conclusion. It is never an easy decision.
At St. MG, the girls are very busy with so many work projects. The little work area is very functional and they girls are making baby items, quilts, and crafts. Also they are turning the house into their home more and more. They painted the house on the inside different shades of yellow. Now the latest project is the chapel that has just been painted the colors of the Blessed Mary, light blues and ivory cream and a fresco will be painted in a few weeks.
Lauren just left for her verifica in LA. During her time home she will have an interview on Radio Maria. We have 13 girls there now. Sandrina is here visiting from the mission of Mexico. She is from Italy and this upcoming Tuesday she will celebrate 10 years of Community. We are very proud of her and of her service and dedication to others. For the last 2 ½ years she has been taking care of children in our mission of Cenacolo de Guadalupe, Mexico, sharing her room with 4 children ages 3 and 4. She has had no break, no days off, seven days a week for the last 2 ½ years. She and many others make their own life a service to others. Now the Community sent her here to be able to slow down her pace a little. It is very nice for the other girls here to listen to her experiences and all the sacrifice of the missions given with so much joy.
Many people are asking about the Festival of Life in July in Saluzzo, Italy. The dates are 16-20. The closest airport is Turin, an hour away. Milan airport is 2.5 hours away. To book a motel room, ask the hotel Griselda www.hotelgriselda.it. Very important: please, if you are single or only one person, share the room with someone else. Don’t insist on your comfort of your own private room. The rooms are very limited there, and there are many, many American families that want to go! If you son is in Europe, but not in Italy, he will probably be coming to Italy for the Festival. The only exception to this is if he is giving problems at that time.
It is the beginning of Lent, an important time in Community and for the Church. It is a time of fasting, penance, and extra prayer. We believe we need this to fortify ourselves, our journey in faith, and our future. In Community the guys are making extra sacrifices, renunciations, and lots of extra prayer. Please join us with your own sacrifices and times of Adoration. This will connect you with your son or daughter in the most important way.
On Wednesday, we will take a trip to Birmingham for our interview an EWTN, “Life on the Rock” at 8 pm eastern standard time. Please be with us with prayers and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten those that will be speaking. I am taking a group of 15 guys. For sure, it will also be a lot of fun!
Our most exciting news is the wedding of one of our Cenacolo sons, Ernesto, to a lovely young woman Michelle. Ernesto knew he wanted a good Catholic woman, and the Lord blessed him with the fulfillment of this good desire. Please pray for them as they begin their new life as husband and wife.
Please keep helping us because our Cenacolo family keep on growing. Keep us in your prayers.
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