At thirteen years old, Cecilia’s oldest sister Maria Ines, met the Focolare Movement, founded in 1943 by Chiara Lubich; the whole family later on also met it and began to participate in it.
“…since the Perrin’s were one of the first families in Punta Alta who adhered to the spirituality of this movement, they became the “sowers” of this new seed in many people and their house naturally became an informal gathering place, whether for people who wanted to meet the movement, or for members who came from Buenos Aires to bring both news about the life of the movement around the world and messages from Chiara Lubich or for organizing meetings to further explore the Focolare spirit.” (Passage from the book “Tus caminos son una locura.” By Licy Miranda, Ciudad Nueva publishing house)
Cecilia had a great interest and concern for others. For example, after lunch, when everybody was taking a “siesta” (a rest), she used to lean out from her window to see passers-by; she would observe them and wonder who they were, how their lives were, what kind of life each one of them led.
When she was 17 her mom became very ill and was bed-ridden for a long time. Her oldest siblings were living and studying out of town and the youngest ones were still small, so Cecilia became the one, together with her father, supporting the family. Furthermore, with great effort, she also managed to study and pass all her tests to graduate from high school.
One of her aunts said, “I was once complaining about things… (as we old people are used to doing) when Ceci told me, ‘How can you say that? Don’t you see the joy around you?’ And she explained to me, using her own words, that we all can learn to see life from a different perspective, stepping out of ourselves, and looking at reality as a whole. This way, one realizes that both joys and sufferings have the same intensity. What happens though, is that joy isn’t usually considered as important as suffering.” (Passage from the book “Tus caminos son una locura.” By Licy Miranda, Ciudad Nueva publishing house)
“In reality, Ceci, to us, was a ray of sunshine. Everything with her was beautiful. She was 6 years older than me; and across the life we shared, in the different stages we went through, there was always something in common: she was unconditional. You already knew, even before asking her, that she was there for you, she would give you what you needed, would listen to you, walk with you or lend you her things…in my case, her clothes.” (testimony of Teresa, her younger sister)