A Parent's Testimony

To cut a long story short, my son had been on heroin for 10 years, together with Methadone and was heavily dependent on both. We had been to many counselling and treatment centres during this period but nothing seemed to work until we came across a charity called Community Cenacolo, which I was told had a very high success rate.

My son was reluctant to go anywhere but after six months attending meetings in Dublin (much longer than most, his choice as he wasn’t ready), which did actually help him from week to week, he eventually went down to the lads house in Knock. The house in Knock is lovely but much smaller than the other 60 plus houses worldwide. For various reasons it was decided that Sean would be better in the UK house and so having spent two working days in Knock, he flew to Kendal.

As is the programme, we didn’t see Sean until the next family weekend which in his case was 7 months later. I, my husband, his sister and cousin travelled over to visit him and could not believe the change in that short space of time. His head was a lot clearer, he looked well and actually stood up and gave his testimony which is something he would never have done. He was learning Italian to prepare him in case he got transferred, he was playing the guitar, doing building work, looking after animals, cooking and taking part in adoration, etc.

After sixteen months in that house he was transferred to Italy, and as the family weekend was approaching we went over to see him, five weeks after he’d arrived. He was great and speaking fluent Italian, carrying out various commitments and playing the guitar at Mass. Sean stayed in Cenacolo a total of 3½ years and it is 8 years since he left. He is still doing well thank God, got married last April to a lovely girl in the UK and they bought their house a few months ago.

The lovely thing about Community Cenacolo is that there is no time limit, some may not stay as long and some stay much longer – everyone is treated on their own individual merits. There is no cost and they depend on divine providence. If they haven’t got something, they pray for it and the generosity of people is amazing in helping these men and women change their lives. Myself and my family are so grateful for the opportunity and it not only changed our son’s life but the entire family.