The Community in America
The story of Our Lady of Hope Community is rooted in the faithful and unrelenting prayer of Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, formerly the Pastor of Cathedral Parish in St. Augustine, Florida.
Always having had a heart for the poor and the marginal of society, the then-Father Baker met regularly with a small group of people for several years in a continuous Novena to Our Lady of Hope and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking for divine guidance in his desire to help men who lived in desperation on the streets.
A Momentous Meeting
Eventually, land was purchased through the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Father Baker looked into already established programs here in the United States but found nothing that had the spiritual foundation that he believed God wanted for this work of mercy and healing. Through a priest at the Vatican, he met the Comunità Cenacolo and Sister Elvira. Because of the Community's strong Eucharistic focus and Marian devotion, Father Baker felt certain that this was God's answer to his prayer. Through the collaboration of Sister Elvira and Father Baker, Our Lady of Hope opened in February of 1994.
In Saint Augustine Today
Today three communities are situated in Saint Augustine, Florida. Our Lady of Hope Community serves as the motherhouse of the Comunità Cenacolo in America. Mary Immaculate Community was opened in 2005. Saint Maria Goretti was completed in 2007.