"Prayer sustains us, empowers us and is the essence of our ministry."

- Sister Lois Didion, r.c.

About Us

Our Mission

We work for the transformation of the world by awakening and deepening faith with and for the people of our times.

What is the Cenacle?

Scripturally, it was in the upper room or Cenacle where Jesus, joined by his friends in the Last Supper, left a legacy of love and service. After the Ascension, in this same upper room, Mary, the apostles, and the women awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit. During this time of waiting in prayer, the friends of Jesus were learning to become a community. God was transforming this little group into a home for the Spirit, so that inflamed by the fire of Christ's presence, they could bring God's love to the whole world.

By entering the Cenacle Congregation we associate ourselves with the women and men of that first Cenacle. It is this mystery of the Cenacle which expresses our way of being in the Church and the world.

The congregation of Our Lady of the Retreat in the Cenacle began in 1826 in the small French village of La Louvesc, among the people whose faith had been deeply disturbed by the Revolution. Our founders, Father Stephen Terme and Saint Therese Couderc, were filled with a compelling love for Jesus Christ and tried to find the best means of making him better known and loved.

It has been from this beginning that the Cenacle has grown into an international religious congregation responding to the spiritual needs of people in sixteen countries. By membership in this Congregation we give our word to God and each other to continue our search to live the gospel in the society of today.

Who Are the Cenacle Sisters?

Cenacle Sisters are women of faith for the Church of today. Although we come from different backgrounds and bring varied gifts, we share the call to make present in the world the mystery of the Cenacle: the waiting for and the responding to the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is by our vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and through our threefold mission of prayer, community, and ministry that we strive to live this Cenacle mystery and thereby make Jesus known and loved. For more information about Cenacle Sisters please visit our North American province website here.

Who Are the Cenacle Auxiliaries?

Auxiliaries of the Cenacle are single vowed lay women who live our mission in the Church and in the world in the ordinary circumstances of our secular life. We are attracted to the richness of the Cenacle Mystery from the promises of the Last Supper through their fulfillment at Pentecost.

Auxiliaries have neither a specific work nor a specific apostolate. Through the various facets of our life we discover our particular field of apostolic endeavor, allowing ourselves to be transformed by Jesus that we may bring him to the world. For more information about Cenacle Auxiliaries please visit our North American province website here.

Who Are the Cenacle Associates?

Associates are men and women, single and married, Catholic and other Christian traditions, or diocesan priests, all who desire to live out Cenacle spirituality in their own milieu. We participate in an 18-24 month period of formation in order to grow in our personal spirituality and to allow Cenacle spirituality to become a vital part of our lives.

After our formation period, we make a commitment, renewed annually, to live Cenacle spirituality in our own lives. We do not make vows. For more information about Cenacle Associates visit our North American province website here.

The Chicago Cenacle at 513 Fullerton Parkway

The Chicago Cenacle was established 100 years ago (March 1920) and is a community of Cenacle Sisters, some of whom are retired from active ministry, who gather daily for prayer and the Eucharisitc celebration. In addition, it is the home of a bustling Retreat and Conference Center, an active Prayer Enrollment, and ongoing opportunities for spiritual direction and private retreats under the guidance of Cenacle Sisters.