E-mail us your testimony and a photo | Katica Kisicek | Branka Majdancic | Katarina Tutic | Zoran Stojanovic | Aide Monsell | Cenacolo community | John Darwish | Majda Borec | Katarina Celarevic

CENACOLO COMMUNITY:
LIFE IN THE DARK IS A HISTORY

It's hard to believe that, especially today when our hearts are hardened a bit, ears silent at cries of lost and desparate youth, there is a person who dedicated her life to such people lost in the hell of drugs. Sister Elvira Petrozzi, a person who wanted to be the light for darknes, a sign of hope, God inspired to tirelessly open doors of her Cenacolo communities around the world and teach the young the simple way of life, with friendship and work, with the faith in Jesus, to straighten their paths with love.

Medjugorje, as a special place of mercy that gives the young strength in search for the truth, was an ideal location for opening the new community. In 1991 Sr. Elvira opened the house for guys and called it "The field of life", and the house for girls "The field of joy" eight years ago.

I visited "The field of joy" with a great curiosity and was pleasantly surprised. While I was admiring flowers, stones and garden bathed in sunrays giving it a heavenly look, a girl with a smile on her face approached me and asked me to wait for Sandra I was having an interview with. While we were relaxing in tree shadows, Natasa Abramovic from Tuzla told me her story of coming to the community she's living in for two years now.

- It was hard at the beginning. I've come from one world into an another, completely different, where I was given an opportunity to look within and actually meet myself. I needed a year to get to know how to live in the community, and then I started seeing it as my home. I was very weak and community gave me opportunity to get stronger, find prayer and Jesus. Each day, I'm asking on my knees for the strength to continue my journey.

My life before arriving in the community came to the point of no return. I've started losing hope and the will to live and I've had to decide if I'd be going crazy or survive. When I came to Medjugorje, I was introduced to girls from the community Cenacolo. Seeing how much joy radiated from their eyes, I just knew I'd be staying here. Living in community, I've come to realize that drugs were not my problem, because I was clean for five months. The problem was in me. Unsatisfaction with life, many childhood wounds and fears just pushed me into drugs that enabled me to have courage to look someone into face and say what I think. In the community my life has completely changed. I'm still here to help the others and I believe I'll be working in missions for neglected and abandoned children in the South America.

Sandra Usseglio Gros from Torino joined our conversation. She also came to the community to solve her problems with drugs. She carried fear of coping with life. Everything and everywhere was difficult for her, from school to the family. She started to reject everything and to suffer.

- Running away form fear to take the cross and suffer, which life gives to all of us, I was seduced by heroin. Thanks to the community and people who accepted me when I was angry and furious, when I wasn't a good company, I found my way. I started to fight, to believe there is a hope, that nothing is accidental and that I'll never be alone, because God and Mother Mary are always with me. I was fifteen when I started using drugs and that was almost every day. Every week I was buying new pair of shoes, I was changing my hair color and style, I was wearing provocative clothes, but all this time I was hiding under different "masks" of life. I had to be strong, I couldn't let others to see how weak I was. I was acting the untouchable person strong from the outside, but the weakness prevailed inside. I was no longer capable to face life. I couldn't recognize myself.

Every day is filled with work, prayer, learning and group Rosary prayer in the chapel. We don't have much spare time, but when we do, we spend it in conversation and play. In our community everything is based on prayer and work. Work is very important in community because we are trying to work with love. In this way we are becoming better friends and closer too each other.

Girls from different countries stayed in this house and right now here are girls from Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, America and Italy. Older girls used to come before, but now they are younger, even fifteen year old girls are arriving. We all have the same problem, drugs, caused by the lack of healthy family. In the beginning, neither of us didn't have a will for anything, but now we are happy because there is always someone who will push us and help us when hard time come. We who freed ourselves from evil of drugs, now help others.

When I've entered into the community, I thought that three months would be sufficient to recover and be myself again. But, I've stayed to help the others and I'm here now for five years. I couldn't believe that I'll have such a need for the community. It helped me open my eyes and walk into better future, it helped me find God and find permanent things in life, and that is friendship, hope and trust. Life in the dark is a history for me, Sandra concluded in her short story of life.

This is one of those stories that have no ending. All of us are witnesses of Mary's love and bring our wounded hearts overloaded with disappointments, illnesses, restlessness... I'm sure that God and Our Lady leave no one out of Medjugorje without a gift, and the largest gift is a humble path toward God with widely open heart.