Girls' Testimonies

I am a twenty-eight year old girl from Co. Louth. I am happy to be a part of the family of Cenacolo. I entered in Community two years ago in Italy because of my drug problem.

As a child I was timid and shy and had many fears of being different from the others. As the years passed, the shyness and closure grew and the fears to the world. Many times I felt powerless in the situations that were happening in my life and instead of facing them, I started to escape.

At the age of fifteen, I started smoking hash and taking other light drugs, then one day arrived Heroin. With the drug I was overcoming my fears, filling the emptiness, numbing my sufferance and escaping from reality. Slowly, slowly I was becoming blind, falling deeper and deeper into the world of darkness, sadness, dishonesty and losing the will to live. I was desperate.

Then a priest that I know helped me to get in contact with Cenacolo. I attended some meetings and with the help and support of the persons beside me I overcame my difficulties and entered. Today, I can honestly say that it was the best decision I have ever made. It hasn’t been easy but with the help of the others, I am getting to know myself as the person I was created to be. Thanks be to God, he is helping open my heart every day and I feel the forgiveness and love of him through my sisters and, most importantly, feel accepted for whom I am.

The prayer, true friendship, love and respect for one another and many other simple values is what the Lord is offering me today and I am happy to choose them. The Community has helped me, not only to see my shortcomings and poverties, but also to discover many beautiful gifts I have inside to share them with others and as the time is passing I feel more peace, joy, happiness and when the difficult moments arrive I don’t feel alone because with the strength and will of the Lord, he is helping me carry my cross forward and to be more mature. He is healing the wounds inside me. I am finding my happiness in giving to the others.

Now I’m in the house in Medjugorje and I know in my heart more miracles wait for me here. I give thanks every day for the presence of Mother Elvira in my life for her courage and love for us.

I want to thank my mam for the life she gave me, for never losing hope. The greatest thanks goes to the Lord who saved me and gave me the possibility to start living again with faith and many good desires in my heart.

Hello, my name is Anne. I am 29 years of age and have recently left Community Cenacolo.

I struggled with drugs since around the age of 13, starting with smoking weed and escalating to ecstasy, speed and other drugs. My preferred drug was cocaine. I thought it was normal to go out at the weekend and take these drugs. I had my own house, a job, nice clothes and a nice car and I wasn’t harming anyone.

Slowly it got out of hand and I was taking the drugs nearly every day. My life was falling down around me and around my 3 year old daughter. I didn’t care. I had no will to live and finally ended up in a psychiatric unit.

My dad, in a desperate attempt to help, asked a friend since childhood - a priest - for help and advice, and the option of Community Cenacolo came up.

I didn’t like the idea of prayer but I wanted to live. I wanted a better life for me and my daughter and found the last bit of life inside me to give it a go.

Entering without a faith is difficult, but, for the first time in a long time I felt the friendship, people in the same situation helping one another. Yes, you get up early, work hard, pray and yes, you wear a longish skirt, but, you want a life and this is the way to do it. We have to believe that someone is helping us and its true, but you have to experience it first-hand. I found my faith. I had asked for help from God in a desperate attempt to save something. He listened!

I was baptised along with my daughter and had precious time getting to know myself - the good and the bad.

I am now in Ireland and its difficult. I face the same problems, there are drugs around, there is money and all the material things I like, but I know now that I need to make sacrifices to make a difference. I am enrolled in University to study, and my daughter is going to school and socialising with good people. I smile when I’m feeling down and I speak about how I’m feeling to the people around me. It is hard, but so is life. I believe the Community have helped me to be a stronger person and to have the freedom to be able to say NO.