Melanie’s Testimony

My name is Melanie, I was raised Catholic but did not have a relationship with God – and in my teenage years I rejected my faith. I was always insecure and looked for happiness in the wrong place. I tried to fill the ‘God-shaped hole’ in my heart with all the world had to offer.

Thanks to my mother’s prayers, and in my desperation, I eventually turned to God for help. I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in September 2012 and when I heard the testimonies of the Cenacolo boys and heard them speak of the truth, I knew I needed to go to community. Returning home to Ireland I contacted Cenacolo in Dublin and in October 2012 I went to Community Cenacolo in the north of Italy.  

In community I discovered the simple life I had been longing for. Through prayer and the help of my Cenacolo ‘family’ I was able to face the fear, anger and pride that I had always escaped from. I learned that my behaviour was dictated by the wounds from my childhood. I had built a wall around me which kept everybody away, but through daily prayer and learning to open up and trust, my heart began to heal and my relationships improved. 

I was never satisfied in any of the jobs I had, but in community I discovered joy in doing simple housework, gardening, cooking for the others and sewing. Through the opportunities I received in community such as singing in the choir, dancing and acting on stage as well as learning to forgive, to say sorry and to love unconditionally, I learned how to live life in a better way. I discovered the love that God has for each one of us and through that love, I have learned to accept myself, and others. I realised that I was unhappy before because I lived a self-centred life and know now that true happiness comes from following Jesus and giving your life away for others.