For people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions – and the families affected – there is a Catholic community in Liverpool offering a fresh source of hope.
Cenacolo is an organisation with a worldwide network of homes for young people stricken by addictions and which also provides support and prayer groups for worried parents and youngsters seeking advice. Here in Liverpool, the Cenacolo support group meets at the Blessed Sacrament Shrine on Dawson Street each Tuesday evening (7–9pm) under the guidance of Father Michael McCormack, the spiritual director.
This weekly gathering presents an opportunity for families of children receiving support from Cenacolo, or parents burdened with questions, to come together in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a period of prayer, followed by a meeting.
Cenacolo also organises a Holy Hour each Sunday evening from 7–8pm at Holy Family Church in Cronton, Widnes while on the final weekend of February, the Liverpool Archdiocese group held a retreat at Boarbank Hall in the Lake District (see photo).
Cenacolo was founded in Italy in 1983 by Mother Elvira, a religious Sister from Saluzzo in northern Italy. She saw the need to help young people afflicted by through drug or alcohol addiction. After receiving the donation of a derelict house, she had it rebuilt and this became the first of what today is a community of 69 homes around the world for young men and women. There are houses in Lourdes, Knock, Fatima and Medjugorje – and also Dodding Green in Cumbria, where the home caters for young men. The Bishop of Lancaster, Michael Campbell, will be celebrating a Mass there for Cenacolo's English community on 1 May.
Deacon John McClure works with Cenacolo in the Liverpool Archdiocese and says: "We have an ethos built on spirituality, love and God's providence. In this Year of Mercy, Cenacolo really puts this into effect with the work they do and the help they have given to thousands of young people."
For further information, contact:
• Father Michael McCormack 0151 424 2129
• Margaret Stanley 0151 342 1043
• Jean McGuiness 01928 795326
• Deacon John McClure 01925 723146