The May Bank Holiday weekend was special for everyone connected with Cenacolo – three days of celebrations for the world-wide community, and the families and supporters of the young men in community at the Dodding Green House. The event to which everyone was invited took place at Kirkbie Kendal School, where there is ample, safe parking and a large hall to accommodate lots of people and a big stage for the performance of The Prodigal Son. It took several hours to construct the set but everyone enjoyed taking part.
Bishop Patrick celebrated Mass, during which he thanked all our parishioners for their commitment and support. Afterwards there were stories – testimonies – including from someone who has not only left Community but married. He brought his young daughter (and his wife, of course) to the celebration. He is not the only person to have been able to build his own family after living in Community.
Mother Elvira asked the UK House to perform The Prodigal Son, which reduced to tears many in the audience. Since the songs are all in Italian, English words were projected on to a large TV screen – although the actions spoke for themselves. Rehearsals took place over three weeks, and as one of our parishioners played the part of the father and could not attend all rehearsals because of his work commitments, the prodigal also had the chance to stand in as the father during rehearsals – a profound experience for him.
A great deal of time went into building the scenery, and the staging for the event was a combination of Kirkbie Kendal School’s own, and Dean Gibson’s. We are very grateful to both schools for all their help. It is always extraordinary to see how the Cenacolo discipline of work, prayer and friendship enables people to turn their lives around so completely. Watching this performance of The Prodigal Son, with so many families of the actors present in the audience, was a wonderful experience.