"I get glimpses of God through other people's experiences."

- Sister Alice Weekerle, 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.

Prayer draws down on us and on the whole world the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We pray in solitude, as individuals loved and chosen by God. We pray as community, aware of the power of Jesus present with us and in us when we gather in his name. We pray also as Church when we join together for the Eucharist and morning and evening prayer.

In a world plagued by division and mistrust, many people are longing for community. Like the women and men of the first Cenacle, our community of faith is created by the Holy Spirit, while at the same time it creates sacred space for the coming of the Spirit. By our life in community, we seek to witness to the truth that it is possible to love one another as Christ has loved us.

"I came to cast fire upon the earth," said Jesus, "and would that it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49). We desire to be so filled with the love of Jesus that the fire of his spirit may, through our ministry, enkindle and deepen faith. Whether in the form of retreats, spiritual direction, education in the faith, or other spiritual ministries, this work of God requires us to honor and be attentive to the Spirit's action in others as well as in ourselves.

Because of the very nature of our ministry, it must flow out of our prayer and community life, and it necessarily leads us back to prayer and community, so that these three elements intertwine to form our Cenacle mission.

For more information please contact:

Vocations Director
The Cenacle Sisters
513 W. Fullerton Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614-6428