Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: magik314 ()
Date: April 19, 2009 12:08AM

Jay I consider "Community Cenacolo" to be something NEGATIVE and that's why I follow this board closely. Your statement:

"I live with a family that is blind to God and believes in hate. For all of Cenacolo's difficulties, there is no comparison between the things that went on there and the absolute insanity that exists here."

In addition to casting judgment on me you cast serious judgment on your parents. Your parents will never see the world through your eyes and why should they. They apparently are more capable of taking care of your ass than you are. If I'm wrong than why not avoid the conflict and move away! This type of thinking suggests that you still live in a world of extreme black and white. Apparently you are in the right place because this is how the Catholic Church and Community in particular markets itself. I would never detract from the reality of friendships which develop in a cultist environment (whether OLH or the military). This is one of the primary symptoms of a cult. I speak to this board because I feel strongly that OLH falsely presents itself as recovery program. I can speak to this matter because I was sent there, experienced and witnessed abuses (both psychological and physical), and then found an alternative solution. I continue to see people who spent years in community post to this or other boards after a relapse. This saddens me because I don't know that I could recover after that amount of sacrifice, pain and loneliness only to find that my efforts were for nothing. I've found that the world is not this evil place which is simply too much for me. There are many happy people quietly living an open existence without the need for OLH or other controlling group. Jay I know that your problem is not with drugs so all I can do is wish you the best and my hope that you find your place.



Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: Jay ()
Date: April 19, 2009 11:18AM


OK, whoa here. First of all I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself thank you. As for my parents, God bless them but one of them has been dead since 1992 and the other spends too much time in anger and hatred towards people.

I am sorry if you feel that I cast judgment on you but how else could your post be interpreted?

I am very tempted to say a lot of things here about my experience and Mike's experience, which I witnessed, and your own, which humbly of course I didn't. But I'm not going to take the bait. This isn't a combative message board, or at least it shouldn't be. This is a site where some people might seek information for important personal reasons and I don't want to appear combative. I do that a lot on political message boards as a game, but this is not a game.

I will say this though. Mike went through over 11 months at OLOH before he left. That's more than either you or I did. He's now living in a French chateau known as Our Lady of Divine Providence on a hill at the base of the Pyrenees overlooking the town of Lourdes. It's got to have been cold as the Arctic there this past winter, but I bet it was as beautiful as when I was there in the summer. There is nothing I wouldn't give to be in his place.

I'm going to write to show you why Community experience was so special to me. Please tell me if you find anything "negative" in this.

I'm a history teacher by background. I've been to a lot of historical places around the world. I've flown on a World War II B-17 bomber. I've passed through the gates of the Forbidden City in China. I've walked the roads of ancient Pompeii in Italy. I've ridden a horse along the Mongolian plain. All of these things I owe to God as gifts. But nothing was going to prepare me for the tremendous gift of history God gave me in Cenacolo.

In January 2008 I was ready to call it quits in Cenacolo. A mere four months and I couldn't take it anymore. But a curious character aspect of me is that I hate quitting and despise quitters. Sometimes this isn't good, but when faced with a challenge I go after it until I conquer it. Sometimes this got me in trouble in Community as a matter of pride. But every man has his limits and so I decided I would stay on until the spring festival and the leave. For three hours in January I felt like I had totally failed, until saying an extra rosary privately gave me strength. Of course, two months later I had changed my mind.

Later that summer I was informed I was to return home, that the Community was not for me as a religious. Though mildly disappointed, I accepted this immediately because I had always said I would not walk out the gates on my own. But if someone in authority called me out, I would consider it the will of the Holy Spirit. This was confirmed in the Mass a few days later when the reading was of Paul's famous words closing his ministry: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith". I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that that was the confirmation that my time in Community was over.

But there was one more thing coming. I was invited to conclude my experience by going to the Festival of Life in Italy and be a part of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Now I knew that 2008 was the 150th anniversary of Lourdes, and I knew in the back of my mind (but had forgotten) that the apparitions at Lourdes had been from February to July. On seveal occasions before the invitation I was working in the garden at OLOH and thought about being in Lourdes for the 150th anniversary celebrations but felt the chance slipping between my fingers. But what happened on our pilgrimage I was unprepared for.

During the festival I was a jumble of emotions. Sad when I looked back at the previous 10 1/2 months, wondering if all the suffering had been for nought. Worried about going back home amid all the conflicts and problems there. Hopeful that I was to experience the peace of the Resurrection at Lourdes.

We traveled by bus from Saluzzo to Lourdes, a 12 hour ride. That morning we were informed of an amazing coincidence, something even Albino didn't know until then. We were traveling on July 16th, and July 16th was the 150th anniversary of the last apparition of Mary to Bernadette at Lourdes!

I was in shock. We arrived at Our Lady of Divine Providence and I knelt in shocked adulation before the Blessed Sacrament, knowing that this was a gift to me directly from God. I didn't understand what I did to deserve this gift, which penetrated my heart to the deepest points because of my love of history. A few days later I learned that not only did we arrive on the same day, but that we arrived a mere hour before the apparition occurred. In the weeks after I returned home I gathered as much information as I could and made an estimate that, in a jubilee year, the chance of this occurring by coincidence was at minimum 1 in 18.6 billion, and likely more in the 1 in 25 to 30 billion range.

I remember being outside the Church of the Rosary that night. It was as if I was thrown into a time warp. There I was, at the Grotto, 150 years to the night after the end of one of the most monumental events in the history of the Church. I could see in my mind Bernadette as if she was alive and right next to me. I felt if I just reached out my arm I could touch her.

Two days later the miracle was completed with my going to the baths. I felt the Holy Spirit transform me as I came out and all the difficulties and trials I had been through the past year seemed a million miles away. Within a few weeks all the pain was gone.

I now knew what God was doing all those months. If I had not been through those experiences then the miracle at Lourdes would have been lessened. Take away one of them and it would have been lessened. I don't know if you can understand my love of history, but take your greatest passion in life and imagine God putting you through a year of suffering for Him, only to reward you at the end with a shocking event that appeals to your greatest desires.

That's why it is important for the men in Community to stay in it until the Holy Spirit calls them out. If you leave before your time, you experience nothing of the reward God has prepared for you. I made the decision to stay until the Spirit called me, and indeed he did call me to literally save my brother's life only weeks later. My family literally dodged a bullet. But God also made sure He didn't have me leave without both giving me the biggest surprise gift He has ever given. I'm a history buff with a flair for going to historical places and being there at historic moments. You'll probably find me at Gettysburg in 2013 and maybe with Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2031. What I took from this is if you follow God's path and stick it out to the end, He will reward you with gifts that are tailored to your heart's desires and do it to a degree greater than you can think possible. I not only visited Lourdes. I became the tiniest footnote to its history. I participated in the history of Lourdes itself.

Anyway, I call it quits on this once again. I left a message for Mike and then talked about my own personal experience. I'm not going to get back into a defense of Community again. I think any parents searching for answers will find a lot in what Mike had to say. I can't add anything more to it so once again, cheers.

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: April 19, 2009 08:46PM

To whom it may concern:

Posting contact information is against the rules.

Use the private messaging system and/or post comments on the board.

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: jmoore2141 ()
Date: October 10, 2009 02:21PM

LOL. I was doing my quarterly review of OLH and happened to revisit the way this thread originated. In 2004, some guy with screen name Serafin posted a series of out of the blue accusations claiming his objective was to "gather information and ensure that this group gets on the map". After no response, in 2006 Dennis replies with a one liner "my wife is considering sending our troubled son there". To which Serafin, immediately responds with a stern warning of its "Cult Like" attributes, but no indication as to his personal experience or background. Shortly after that actual posters chimed in to either confirm or deny the accusations. For whatever its worth I'm gowning my own vegetables in my backyard garden this month. The lessons I learned in my 3 months at OLH were invaluable for this as I've been clipping the "bastardos" (itl) off the tomatoes daily and have some pretty healthy plants. Beyond that, I still maintain that OLH is a horribly oppressive an manipulative organization and would like to "keep it on the map".

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: Jay ()
Date: June 01, 2010 12:48AM

Just wanted to add an interesting article that appeared in a Grand Rapids, MI newspaper online. Here is the link: []. It is about a Community graduate who recently made the list of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce's top 10 outstanding Americans. The list's history touts three U.S. presidents and a number of other notable figures. The man is now poised to have a highly successful law career. Granted, not every Community graduate attains this level of financial/career success, but success is measured in different ways for different people, depending on what God calls us to do in life. Things also depend on how much the individual takes to being guided by the Holy Spirit while in Community. I don't know this individual but it looks from the article that that's what they did. This ought to answer any parent's questions.

And for once, a lawyer with principles!

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: magik314 ()
Date: November 20, 2010 05:29PM

And here is a priest from Franciscan University with principles. I actually new him well.

How do otherwise intelligent people get to this point.

"To start off the day, we went to the john paul museum. then father kirby told us storys about the history of the polish archbishops in warsaw and krakow. this story was interresting and awesome. next we headed by bus to auchwitz. we had a guided tour of auchwitz from a tall fun man named peter. he was very interesting and inspirational. auchwitz was indescribed by the means of the english language. in fact, words cannot describe the horrific events that took place on the grounds upon which we stood. we visited the cell of father kolbe which was completely mind blowing, and left us breathless. as i walked on the very gravel where kolbe chose to give his life, chills ran down my back, and i felt a rush of adrenaline from the heroism that remained imprinted in the air.
the ruins of the auschwitz gas chamber where hundreds of thousands were killed

for dinner we had probably the worst of the meals. but it was halarious all the same. imagine chicken pot pie in cold jello!!! hahaha!!
<must see in entirety to realize this is the actual flow of the blog>


I'm including this because the guy directly supports the group.


There is nothing funny about genocide and jelloized Gaelic food unless you are seriously disturbed.
OLH is buying land cheap and developing it with slave labor donated from wealthy families who don't know how to deal with drug addicted children. They are a cult. They do more harm than good. If you have any experience please respond.

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: Michaelammari ()
Date: January 05, 2011 11:10PM

It's been a while and I thought I would chime in a little after a stint at community cenacolo

Well almost two years have passed and I'm back home. I decided to return home after the death of my mother. It has been a difficult period, one fraught with regret but mostly resignation that I have wasted far too many years and have wandered in and out of a living hell for the better part of my years. I spent almost 1 1/2 in Lourdes and my time there was mixed. On the one hand I loved the "idea" of the community. A simple life where one could escape the ugliness of the world outside. The moments I had in the mountains, the beautiful garden, and the house in Lourdes in general did me so much good. I had many beautiful moments where I could feel the hand of god lightly touch my heart in ways that I never imagined. I had many moments where I cried, mostly in chapel as thoughts of the past began to flow endlessly. Where had it all gone? I made many friends, went places and began to slowly began to enjoy my life...but thoughts of my mother, even them always stayed with me. I always knew there was something wrong....I always felt it in prayer. What I left with was a deep understanding of what the community "should" be about...even if I didn't always fulfill my part of the bargain. After words, I spent about 5 months in Livorno, Italy and it was then I was called home to a mother that could not speak nor open her eyes. I never had the chance to really speak with her again and my heart will forever be broken.

I loved the community in the end, but I came to a realization. The community gave me everything selflessly and I don't want to put them in any negative light, but there are issues. First off, there will come a time where you need to decide what it is you want in life, the community cannot answer this for you. Drug addicts in general are spineless and lack the courage to make decisions for themselves after a long period of addiction. I was no different, I let myself be led without any real understanding of what it is I wanted. But what it takes is courage, and that courage needs to come from a spiritual life. There has to be meaning to life, it can't be about daily preoccupations it can't be about ambition, success etc. It needs to be about awareness, love, sacrifice. We have to wake up, look at the world around you. We pass time without really understanding how precious every minute is. Life is a gift. Your family is a gift. Your work is a gift. Put aside a minute your greed, your endless pursuit of pleasure and be content with what you have, because there comes a time when it will be taken away. The community is beautiful, I would recommend it for everyone...not just addicts. It is an experience of the heart and even now I miss it. There are problems, the guys can be brutal, selfish, cold. But so can I. The point is to make a journey, to open your eyes to the beauty of the world, to carry your burdens with grace. I would hope that they at least taught me this.

As for the religion part. It was difficult for me, still is. I pray, I believe but I have issues with doctrine and what I see in institutions in general, but I also found much beauty in the new testament and the example of problem is the behavior of those within. What I see as contradiction and moral superiority. I happen to believe and still do that goodness is a gift from god. I just have a lot of problems believing one religion holds the truth. My guess is that It lies somewhere in the middle. There is so much beauty in religion, but because of the fallacies and weakness of men...they have and are doing so much disservice. I say follow your heart, listen in silence and the right way to do things will always come....I hear this in my thoughts often and I feel the truth in my thoughts. There is someone their speaking. God for me is so far way from anything I can describe and to place attributes on him would be idolatry in my opinion. I feel him with me always now, and that is the biggest single gift the community gave me even if it isn't in the way they would agree with.

If any of you parents want information on the community, I would be happy to give you my thoughts. It was a difficult experience but also a very profound one. Thanks.

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: talon 556 ()
Date: April 08, 2011 04:16PM

ive been encouraged to try this programme... i just find it interesting that they de-nounce all types of medication, however, thay tell you you are "mentally ill and need medication".

having been rejected by more than one church, im a little suspicious of them.

Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: magik314 ()
Date: April 12, 2011 04:37PM

I had the pleasure of staying with this group for 2 months back in 2004 at their St. Augustine Campus. The "medication" they refer to is combination of a lot of things but has nothing do with medical prescriptions. This group belongs on Cult Watch because they meddle with peoples lives and often do more harm then good. They took me in when I had no where to go.; however, with any free ride there is a price. Addicts are particularly susceptible to this because of their lack of options and desire to appease loved ones. You must give up all identity, privacy, alienate yourself from family, hobbies, careers... The decision to stay off drugs can be made in an instant. Mine was made before I ever set foot on their property. By living with them I received the added benefit of knowing exactly how I did not want to live and the humility of realizing how messed up I was to wind up there in the first place. When I broke rank, they threatened to destroy an already fragile relationship. This mentality of coercion for the best interest of the addict is fundamentally wrong, cult-like, and more importantly doesn't work. I'm also pretty sure it doesn't jive with Christian theology. This group left me on the side of I95 with no identification and some dirty laundry. To their credit, "they didn't owe me anything". Most "excommunicates" call to beg re-admittance but I kept walking. Life is good and today but I still get uncomfortable whenever I find myself in a place where everyone seems to be in agreement. For me that's probably a good thing. I wish you the best and can only say there are as many ways to get healthy as there are people.

Kind Regards,


Re: Drug Rehab Cult Comunita Cenacolo
Posted by: Jay ()
Date: May 05, 2011 06:09PM

Well, I don't know if I am merely repeating myself here as I tried just a few moments ago to send a message in a more direct response to talon 556 but my message seemed to get wiped out, so here I go again (moderator--please elminate this message if the other one went through).

I feel it is time to write about something I avoided commenting on because I didn't want to offend any of the Cenacolo critics on this board or appear prideful in any way. I have no excuse of appearing prideful here because with what I am about to mention I know many people who have done far better than me.

You can't know Community life in Cenacolo after just a few months. Try to imagine this. Imagine going to college for 2-3 months. If that is the sum total of your experience, have you really gone to college? Maybe if you went to college for six months you can claim experience, but most people would call that limited and incomplete. I had nearly 11 months in Community, and looking back all I can say is I barely reached the point where I understood what was going on. Technically I made it to Europe, though that was only to conclude my experience at the Festival of Life and Lourdes before being sent home (very Providentially if you read my previous posts!).

When you make it past the first six months you begin to awaken to the reality of who you are, what you are doing, where you are going in life, what changes you need to make, and how others really perceive you. After a year you can look back with satisfaction at what you have accomplished and continue to move forward. I admit to jealousy at times of the brothers in that I didn't even quite make it to a year before I was sent home. But God provided me no choice in the matter. My first year anniversary would have been greeted with a notice that my brother had shot himself at home. I would have had to go home anyways to take care of my mother. Fortunately God used other causes to send me home, and because of that my brother is still alive today because I was there to intervene. But I recently visited the brothers of Cenacolo again, as I do every year, and for the first time I realized my jealousy wasn't what Community was about. I realized I would never be at peace until I focused all on them and how they are doing. They certainly don't look on me any less for having spent less time than them. No one is better or worse an individual because they spent two months or two years in Community. It is actually much more important how you spent that time rather than how much time it was. However, there is a certain time frame that you need to spend in Community before you know what it is about, and that does not begin at 2-3 months. Community is far more long term than that.

I am soon to be entering another religious community, this one dealing with my career subject of education, for another "experience". I doubt if I will know much about it after only a few months.

On a side note, talon 556, I think you misinterpret the Community's position on medications. Medications are not frowned on in any way. But certain physical and mental conditions are prohibitive for someone entering the Community because of its physical and mental rigor.

Good luck to you and God bless.

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