Founded in 1983 by a poor Italian nun, Mother Elvira Petrozzi, Comunita Cenacolo began in an abandoned old house in Saluzzo, Italy. Today, with over 2,000 members worldwide, the community is a free, fully residential Catholic program for people seeking to overcome substance abuse.
This is Mother Elvira's story of her community's founding and growth and of the powerful principles that guide its uniquely successful programs. This inspired nun's conviction that hard work, prayer, and the sacraments can heal young people of the deep emotional wounds they have suffered has effectively freed thousands from the cruel chains of addiction and other destructive pastimes.
Now functioning in 71 houses in 20 countries around the world, Cenacolo communities welcome young people from everywhere and help them rise to new life through a regimen of loving service. They offer a profound source of hope and resurrection for souls lost in a world of darkness, sadness, drugs, and desperation.
This is the moving account of the indomitable foundress, her vocation, the arrival of the first young people, the evolution of her teaching methods, the spiritual underpinnings of the community, and the remarkable transformations that her work has produced. Most stirring of all, however, is Mother Elvira's understanding of the compelling demands and the unparalleled joy of love for the less fortunate, which love has motivated her for eight decades now.
Elvira Petrozzi, the foundress of Comunita Cenacolo, was born into a poor family living in Sora of Alessandria, Italy, during the time of World War II. She describes her family life as a life "made of many sacrifices."