Saturday, August 22, 2015

SCHOOL OF LEADERS UPDATE By Mary Weis, Assistant Lay Director

Today's School of Leaders was inspiring, enlightening, fulfilling and challenging.

We heard Sister Clara speak of Pope Francis' Joy of the Gospel chapter on evangelization. "To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world...Peace harmonizes every diversity" and the new evangelization calls us to be peacemakers.

Renewed, we then recommitted ourselves to Christ using our service sheets from the weekend. Our large group heard from Ronnie Martella and Pat Burke what the National Encounter meant to them as well as a beautiful, powerful witness from Bob Burke.

Johnny and Roe DiStefano, the dynamic duo, challenged us to be friends with God and each other. We walked away with goodie bags of "Friendship" containing helpful reminders to use along life's journey.

What a morning!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Beloved Cursillistas,

Where are your THOUGHTS?
Where do you spend your TIME??
Where do you spend your MONEY??

These three hard-hitting, yet simple questions were posed to us in the Ideal Rollo; the very first talk on our Cursillo adventure.  Seeing everyone at the picnic this past Saturday brought to light how we had all answered God’s Call in so many unique ways and how gently but persistently God reminds us of our service sheets and the commitment we made to HIM Alone on our weekends.

Recently we had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Rick and Lisa’s son, John Klarmann and the wonderful mission The Lord has given him as a lay missionary to college students at Montclair State right here in New Jersey.  As we spoke with John the image of St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta came to mind.  No, John wasn’t going off to India as so many have, but he was serving the Lord right in his environment, in a way unique to John and the person Our Lord created him to be--working on college campuses to bring our Catholic youth to Christ.

Brothers and sisters-in-Christ, John needs our prayer support and knowing the loving and prayerful community we are, we will pray for him as he begins his two-year adventure for Christ.  Pray our Merciful and Loving God will give him the wisdom, strength, faith, hope and charity to carry out this mission in HIS Name.  John also needs our financial support.  Surely, those of us who are able to do so, will also support John financially in this most urgently needed out-reach to the future Church.  The website for the FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is or to learn more about this wonderful mission which has the blessing of Our Holy Father and surely the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Eduardo Bonnin said when speaking of the Cursillo,  I realized that this was not a dream, or an exhortation of our youth, but a Charism of the Holy Spirit.  Surely our Merciful Lord will bring to completion the Good work HE began in John and in all of us!

Forever DeColores!
David and Mary Ann Dowd xo xo 

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Matt Oleynick suggests this site that includes Daily Reflections and Online Retreats and other resources from Crieghton University.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Our School of Leaders Saturday was awesome. We heard from our beloved Deacon Tony Martucci who spoke about the Pope's book Joy of the Gospel, Chapter 2. The Pope states that profits are more important than the environments, and the world suffers from a lack of ethics. As Catholics we must take the gospel and give it "flesh". We must evangelize our culture and not hide our faith in the workplace or with the family. Challenges exist to be overcome! Let us be realists without losing our joy, our boldness and our hope-filled commitment.

Pat Burke followed by confessing how much she loves this book! The Pope's book coupled with The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly give her the formula for living a Christian life, following Christ's way, and developing a better understanding of being a true disciple.

Editor's Note: Pat shared a daily "prayer process" from Matthew Kelly that can be found at this link.

We grouped on how our fathers and our "father figures" in our lives have helped us shape our Christian faith. Tara Mika graced us with her beautiful voice in song.

There was much discussion and sharing, with plenty to take home and consider.

Please be with us for our next School of Leaders August 22,at 9:45, following the 9am mass at Epiphany in Brick.

De Colores!

Friday, June 19, 2015


Kathy Vlcej and Jean Santiago remind us to “Stop”
and pray for candidates and for each other. 

(Picture taken at Jeremiah House, Keyport, New Jersey in 1999) 

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I want to thank Ronnie and the community for your confidence in me. With the Grace of God and your continued prayer I am hopeful that I can be the servant you need. In my nervousness Friday night there were some things that were left unsaid.

As Friday approached, I had been inundated with doubts and concerns. Thoughts like, “Lord, what were You thinking?” Followed immediately by, “What was I thinking? I can’t do this.” I am fairly certain that just about every person who was installed as Lay Director has had the same thoughts. Well, I don’t know if what I am feeling is fear or nervousness or apprehension or maybe a combination of all of them. In my head, I know that God is with me, but I must tell you there are other voices that are often pretty loud. So many times in the bible we hear God or an angel say, “Do not be afraid”. I think that is because God knows how we are wired, and that often our confidence is just an illusion. I think being anxious might be a good thing; keeps me from thinking too much of myself.

To all of the former Lay Directors, I want to tell you from my heart that I am humbled to be in your shadow. Each Lay Director before brought their own talents and gifts and the prayers of this community with them wherever they went. So I am nervous and anxious. Apologies but that is the way I am wired, but the important part of my nervousness is a sense of confidence that God is with us and in you.

I need your prayers every step of the way. I need your prayers when we agree and when we don’t. I need your prayers that I hear and follow God's whispering rather than my own loud voices. I was reminded this past weekend that, “God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.” I continue to pray that she is right. The distance from my head to my heart, from hearing it to believing it, is often the longest distance I travel.

So again, I ask you to pray for everyone on Secretariat so that we can be faithful servants to our Cursillo community and to the larger community we walk among—that moveable square meter. So that we become walking talking billboard sharing the love of Jesus, the Joy of the Gospel, wherever we go and with everyone we meet. Our moveable square meter.

I wish my son John was here so I could tell him how proud of him I am but also how much my youngest son changed my life. Since he went away to college, and joined FOCUS he showed me, without being one, what a true Cursillista is all about. Late one night, I saw him on his knees and convicted me that I should spend more time on my knees, another time I saw him reading the bible, and was convicted that what I was seeing should have been me showing him, and when he spoke to me about FOCUS I knew the work they do to make disciples is no different than our mission as Cursillistas, to go and spread the Good News to those who haven’t heard it or have forgotten it. Now I am still working on my piety, my study and my action, using Matthew Kelly’s phrase, “To be the best version of myself.” And in so doing maybe, just maybe I can be the servant that is needed.

 In December, a man named Jack called me to see how I was doing. He didn’t use text or email, he called me to see how I was doing and to wish me and my family a Merry Christmas. That simple phone call came at the best time and meant so much to me. This was another time God took to reminded me that personal encounters mean the most. Making a friend, being a friend and bringing the friend to Christ. That is the great commission that each of us are called to do. To share the love of Christ as we live outside our comfort zone.