Book Review-The Embrace of God’s Mercy: Mother Elvira and the Story of Community Cenacolo

With true “Cenacle Spirit,”  Mother Elvira has led the Comunita’ Cenacolo for more than 36 years, bringing Christ’s love and mercy to those who suffer from addictions all over the world.

On March 8th, 1956, young Rita Agnese Petrozzi felt a calling from God to enter a religious order, leaving her impoverished beginnings, her small Italian town, and her family behind. Arriving at the convent of the Sisters of Charity in Borgaro, Turin, Rita became Sr. Elvira, where she served the poor and served as a cook for her fellow nuns for 28 years. 

Sr. Elvira developed a strong affinity for young people during her tenure in Borgaro, especially those who were in the throes of addiction.  She watched them wandering aimlessly in the streets and in the piazze.  She understood that these young people were suffering from deeply rooted pain and were seeking to assuage this pain by numbing themselves through drugs and alcohol. Sr. Elvira was called by God to help!

On July 16th, 1983, in a dilapidated house in the Italian countryside, Sr. Elvira(now known as Mother Elvira) established the first Comunita’ Cenacolo, where young people, suffering from addictions, would come to live in a humble Christian environment.  Here they would be transformed by prayer, hard work, personal sacrifice, and Christ’s ineffable love and mercy. 

Today, the Comunita’ Cenacolo (Cenacle Community) runs 70 houses in Europe, Central America, and the United States, serving the needs of this vulnerable and marginalized population, by giving their lives meaning and purpose.  Mother Elvira is truly an example of how one person, listening to her call from the Lord, can change the world for good!  Brava, Mother Elvira! May we all learn by your example!

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in the work of iTHIRST.

If you want to learn more about bringing iTHIRST to your community, please click here.

If you want to donate to bring assistance and accompaniment to more individuals and their families, please click here.

CALL US: 973-370-DRUG (3784)

For all other inquiries, please fill out the form below and we look forward to being in touch with you soon.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

CALL US: 973-370-DRUG (3784)