Hi, my name is Theresa, I’m 33 and from County Derry.
Many people think that Cenacolo Community is only for people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, and I too was of this belief, until I actually went to one of their festivals.
I was in my early twenties and desperately searching for ‘fulfilment’. I was even doing ‘good things’, but to no avail – as it was all an exterior search.
I had done a degree in Theology in an attempt to get to know God, I started a nursing degree, I travelled across continents, yet all of this was making me feel increasingly desperate. I felt an emptiness so profound that nothing could fill. I thought I was destined to be a ‘nomad’.
On entering Community (thinking ‘I’ll do a month and be sorted’), I found myself with nothing to grasp onto, all of my securities taken away.
Cenacolo proposes a time of Adoration each day, so I threw myself at the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Prayer, fellowship and work are the three pillars of Community life, and in time, I started to truly come alive through the time spent with the Lord. Everything started to take on a new meaning and I gained a sense of purpose.
I started to work with joy and I had more peace and fulfilment than I had ever had, even just doing menial tasks like brushing the floor.
Through Mother Elvira’s decision to rely solely on ‘Divine Providence’ I experienced first hand God’s fatherly love.
I had begun a true relationship with God as my Father and Our Lady as my mother.
While I had entered into community in Italy, after a year and a half, I was transferred to Medugorje, and from there I was sent to Brazil to the missions with street children for a few years.
Community taught me order and discipline, and that order applies to my life as a whole – first knowing the Lord and His love for me personally, before I can truly love and serve Him.
My return to Ireland (which is now true Mission Territory) has shown me how much Community has done for me – leading a simple, ‘ordinary’ life, I’ve never felt more ‘on mission’!