Is the Cenacle Primarily for Priests?
Answer: No. In message #34 (1-17-74), Our Lady introduces this questions. “Why do I want them to come together in cenacle with me?”. In this message she addresses herself to the priests, but what she tells them is also applicable to the laity. She wants all her children – priests, religious, laity, families , children – to gather together with her in cenacles of prayer, to pray with her and learn how to love one another. Also the cenacles helps us to deepen our understanding and live the obligations we have undertaken through the consecration to her immaculate heart. We refer you to the message dated November 1, 1973, “My Faithful Cohort” (#25).
Is it a requirement to say more than five decades at every cenacle?
Answer: No, simply five decades are required. Of course, if those gathered want to recite more, that is certainly acceptable; however we must always be sensitive to the needs of others in the cenacle. Not all are capable or have the stamina to pray all the mysteries at once, especially the elderly, the sick and the very young. If the cenacle lasts for several hours or even an entire day, then the recitation of the rosary may be interspersed at different intervals throughout the day.
The Rosary must never be replaced by other prayers. Our Lady tells us that this is her prayer par excellence and the weapon that she gives her children to fight the great approaching battles. (#34kl)
How often and where should the cenacle be held?
Answer: In every cenacle, Our Blessed Mother gradually transforms us into perfect images of her Son Jesus. Therefore, the more often we meet in cenacle, the more we allow our Blessed Mother to work in and through us. Very few cenacles have the opportunity to meet daily. Generally , cenacles for the laity meet weekly. Priests are encouraged to gather at least once a month, even though they may attend a weekly cenacle with laity.
The majority of cenacles meet in the homes. If possible, it is desirable to hold the cenacle in a church thus making it accessible to the entire parish community.
Does a Priest need to be present in a lay cenacle to take place?
Answer: No. Due to the shortage of Priests and their tremendous workload, it is not always possible to have a priest available to serve as the moderator of a cenacle. In these particular cases, the laity should not hesitate to begin on their own.
Please note that a Priest, when he is present, may give a brief commentary on the message from the book, “To the Priests…”.
How do we select the messages to be read during the cenacle?
Answer: Since the book is the spiritual guide on how to live and grow in the spirit of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we recommend starting with the first message and continuing to read in sequence. On special occasions or liturgical feast days, the facilitator may select the message given on that particular date to help the members enter more deeply into the spirit of that feast. Private reading and meditation on a message each day is highly recommended.
Which prayers should we select from the cenacle guide?
Answer: This guide is not meant to be read in this entirety during the cenacle. Many of the prayers are offered only as optional choices. The basic format of the cenacle is given on the inside front cover and on the bottom of page 4. When a cenacle meets for a longer time, the Mass and other prayer may be added.
Keep in mind that the cenacle should be simple. The quality rather than the quantity of prayer is what is most important.
Are we allowed to substitute any act of consecration in the cenacle?
Answer: It is not permissible to use any act of consecration other than the one given by Our Lady herself for the members of her movement. She has given it specifically for the needs of our time and for the very special mission entrusted by her to Fr. Gobbi and the Marian Movement of Priests. It reminds us of the various obligations we promised to live by when we entrusted ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. Furthermore, it serves as an examination of conscience by which to judge whether or not we are abiding by the expectations she has of us, the members of her cohort.
That is not to say that the other acts of consecration are not good. On the contrary, they are all very valuable in the eyes of Our Blessed Mother.
Must children's cenacles always include a reading from the book, "To the Priests..."?
Answer: Yes, however if the children are very young we recommend that the parent or cenacle leader read either a short paragraph or summarize part of the message in simpler terms which they can understand.
Can we include individual intentions at the start of the cenacle?
Answer: Yes, but this practice could detract from the main purpose of the cenacle. In the cenacles, it is important that we give completely of ourselves to Mary. She already knows our difficulties and the sorrows we carry in our hearts, so it is not necessary to voice them. By means of us, Our Lady intercedes before the Father for all of her children and their individual needs. She calls us to share in her prayer of intercession. As much as praying for priests and for our individual intentions or petitions are important, we are, above all, called to pray for Our Lady’s intentions. Mother that she is, if we pray for her intentions, she, in turn, will take take of our needs. Thus our cenacles become for her a powerful means of intercessions.
(If individual intentions must be mentioned, they should be kept short and simple.)
Is it permissible to read or make mention of other messages in the cenacles?
Answer: No. Our Lady has a very specific mission for her cohort, and her messages to Fr. Gobbi are meant to help us understand and fulfill it. Allowing other messages to be discussed in the cenacle detracts from this purpose. It is not, however, our intention to pass judgment on the authenticity of other mystics and their messages, but these must not be included as part of the cenacles of the Marian Movement of Priests.