Friday, June 23, 2017

A NOTE FROM RICK KLARMANN, LAY DIRECTOR

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

You can watch the news and easily become discouraged when bombarded by all of the bad things going on in the US or in the world.  When things aren’t going well, it is easy to become discouraged.  When we don’t feel well, when the aches and pains of daily living weigh us down; when the cares and needs of family and friends is almost more than we can bear, it can be difficult to see God at work in our lives.  But He is.  He is right there in the midst of the muck and pain and it is He who sustains us through it all.  Therefore, we must turn our thoughts and prayers to the God of the Universe; the God who loves us more than we love ourselves, more than we can fathom or deserve.  We turn to Him because we know that without Him we can do nothing of value. 

As I previously wrote, we have an opportunity for a weekend in December and possibly another weekend early next year.  But the weekends will not happen without you.  We need your prayers and we need your talents.
  • Sponsors who are praying and fasting for their friends; in order that their friends may hear the Holy Spirit calling them to a new and deeper relationship
  • Candidates hear the Lord calling them to something more and who after prayer and discernment want to learn more about and begin to live the Cursillo method
  • Teams of men and women who believe in and are living the Cursillo method in the various environments they find themselves and who will lovingly share their gifts and talents
Typically, a Novena to the Holy Spirit is prayed just prior to Pentecost. In some ways we need another Pentecost.  We need to be fired up by the Holy Spirit to do great things.  We need the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we, the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Trenton can lovingly spread the Good News of the Gospel.  Our Blessed Mother, the Apostles, and other disciples spent time in prayer—waiting to be clothed with power from on high—the Holy Spirit.  Once they received the Holy Spirit they were able to do great things for the Lord.  Please join Secretariat and the Cursillo Community of the Diocese of Trenton in praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit beginning July 6th and ending Friday July 14th

Please pray the following intention (as well as any intention you may have):

Holy Spirit, third Person of the Blessed Trinity, Spirit of Truth, Love, and Holiness, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them in all things, I adore You and love You with all my heart.

Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request, if it should be Your Holy Will to grant it.  To inspire men and women in our community to willingly and lovingly share their gifts and talents as sponsors and leaders for the benefit of the God’s Kingdom.  And that men and women open their hearts to your call to a deeper relationship with them through the Cursillo method.

Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience.  Do not let me fall into sin.  Give me an increase of faith, hope, and charity, and bring forth in my soul all the virtues proper to my state of life.

Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the commandments and to receive the sacraments worthily.  Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits.  Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which You have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We will remind everyone to pray the Novena with us as we get closer to July 6thand each day of the Novena.  Then, we will conclude our Novena with a special prayer at School of Leaders on Saturday July 15th after the 9am Mass at Epiphany in Brick.
 
God bless and please pray with us
Rick Klarmann
 

Monday, June 19, 2017

SCHOOL OF LEADERS by MARY WEIS, ASSISTANT LAY DIRECTOR

Our recent School of Leaders included prayers and recognition for Fathers Day and two enlightening talks by two dynamic speakers.

Sister Clara spoke of the many forms of prayer (28) and their unifying factor that will make us remain steadfast in our faith. Sister emphasized humility, attention and silence as key elements to prayer. "God speaks in silence to a listening heart." Most importantly is perseverance in prayer, looking through the pain to see the joy, to hear God's word, and know that prayer is a gift.


We also heard from our past Lay Director, Ronnie Martella, about Group Reunion, an ongoing encounter with our self, in order to live a life fundamental in Christ and fill the "God-size hole in each of us" as Matthew Kelly says. We must be active in our movable square meter in order to accept and live God's plan for us, incorporating the fundamentals of piety, study and action to center our lives in God.


  • Pay attention
  • Be astonished
  • Tell about it

"All is a gift, and the only appropriate response is gratitude."

Group reunion raises us to a transcendental level. Keep it going!! Practice regularly!!


See you at the next School Of Leaders on Saturday, July 15.

Friday, June 16, 2017

FOR YOUR ACTION - A WITNESS by PAT BURKE

(Shared at the June 7 Diocesan Mass)

We just celebrated Pentecost Sunday…..a few weeks before our Grandson - Logan made his Confirmation I never saw him so nervous to receive the Holy Spirit and we have all heard Pope Francis keep encouraging us to take the Holy Spirit seriously and that we need the power of the HOLY SPIRIT- IN ORDER TO  EVANGELIZE!!


How would we change!


WE IN THE TRENTON DIOCESE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE ON EVANGELIZATION ON June 24 at St. David the King Church in Princeton Junction. Well isn’t that WHAT Cursillo is all about?  EVANGELIZING….. Bringing CHRIST INTO OUR ENVIRONMENTS.   With Piety, Study of our Environments and the Holy Spirit leading our Actions.


Recently I had a few experiences in doing exactly that – that was not in my plan for the day or week.  My time has been nothing but chaotic, at our age to be selling our home of 30 years and having only 6 weeks to find a home and to pack all our belongings – buy life goes on.  The only plan I had was to Pack and find a new place to live. 


A PLAN


We make plans and God laughs…. The buyers for our home backed out  after the Inspection report which was loaded with lots of miss-information and outright lies about our home and property that he reported 11 days prior to closing on the homes and moving.  


But in God’s Plan - Our oldest daughter scheduled surgery on both her eyes and asked me to take her to the surgical office and wait for her – Not in my plan that day I was going to do more packing and organizing. Now the office called and asked if we could come in earlier and when we arrived an hour earlier a patient came in and was 91 years old and had to have immediate surgery on her face.  So we sat and sat and sat and waited for two hours.  Finally, she goes in and now I wait and wait – not my plan… Another patient came in and her friend was going in for surgery.  We started up a conversation as the Holy Spirit would have us. She said it is so hard to just sit and wait then notices the cross I had on and asked about it.  I HAD ON MY Cursillo cross – as we talked in that waiting-room she shared that she is from St. Mary’s in Colts Neck and runs a program there.  I SHARED ABOUT CURSILLO – she stated she did not know Cursillo was still having weekends, and thought it died out. She shared her parents made a weekend years ago.  She went on to say she finds it hard to evangelize to people not in the Church.  Of course - I explained what Cursillo was.  I have her name and number and she is interested in making a weekend.  An application went out to her. Not my plan for the day but I left that office knowing why God had me 

sit there all that time.

That week I went into Ulta, you girls know that place.  Makeup and perfume and hair products.  I went to the makeup counter and a gal was ringing me up and she noticed my pin.  My Associate Mercy pin and told me since she moved to Hazlet she lost contact and would like to get involved again.  We exchanged phone numbers and she would like to get reactive with the Sisters and a Christian Community.  So I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS AND EVANGELIZE AGAIN – Not my plan!  Not with Bob sitting in the car waiting for me in-patiently as I was just running in for one item.


Now let’s talk about the electronic age and how that played into evangelizing recently.  While reading a FACEBOOK MESSAGE A GAL I DID NOT KNOW BUT WAS A FRIEND OF A FRIEND – COMMENTED ON WHAT I WROTE, and asked if I would befriend her.  I WENT INTO HER  ACCOUNT TO SEE WHO SHE WAS FRIENDS WITH… SHE WAS A FRIEND OF A MERCY SISTER – SR. JUDY…SO I BEFRIENDED HER AND ASKED HOW SHE KNEW Sr. Judy.  She explained that she graduated Mercy Academy in Watchung.  I had the opportunity to ask if she ever thought about being an Associate to the Sisters.  Not my plan ….  God working through the Holy Spirit.  Now I have a new friend to invite to the Orientation program of Mercy Associates and also Cursillo.


When I retired from my practice, our Priest ASKED if I would run the new Maturing Adult group, that was starting up in our parish.  I prayed and said yes.  So for five years Bob and I organized the group once a month and talked about Cursillo and Gennesaret asking if anyone would be interested in possibly attending either one.  No takers!   It appeared to be an apostolic failure.  One of the gals used a walker and would often come late after making

her famous Irish Soda Bread, or sometime could not make it if bad  weather.  I really felt drawn to EILEEN AND WE EXCHANGED E-MAILS. She recently moved into a senior housing and I had time to go see her and go to lunch, as we were now not moving June 1st.  As we were having lunch Janet Moscuzza came in and joined us.  As we shared Eileen told us she was a Cursiesta and made her weekend in New York years ago.  I knew why I loved her! She was just such a Christ centered women, always offering something positive to a conversation or discussion.  

What I WOULD like to leave you with is what I learned these past three weeks.  


Evangelizing:

1. Wear a piece of jewelry that identifies what you are about. People notice.
2. Strike up a conversation.  Remember:  “Make a friend, be a friend and bring that friend to Christ”
3. I would add bring God into every conversation.  I heard a Cursiessta say recently “Oh I never say God Bless You because some people are offended.”  Please always say God Bless you, not just when someone sneezes but on the phone when you are saying good bye , or when leaving a friend
or family member.
4. Make sure your smiling – it is an welcoming sign of friendship and an invitation to conversation. 

In closing keep in mind you are never too young or too old to sharpen your skills on Evangelizing.  So make a Date and come out on June 24. Now go out and be disciples!  Oh what an awesome God we have! De Colores!


Monday, May 22, 2017

A NOTE FROM RICK KLARMANN, LAY DIRECTOR

Dear Cursillo Community,
 
I hope and pray that everyone is enjoying the spring weather (although a little colder than normal).  It has been a busy start of 2017.  We ended 2016 with Trenton #124 and began 2017 with Trenton #125.  What a blessing both weekends have been. 

After two successful Cursillo weekends we are planning for another weekend in December.  The next weekend is tentatively scheduled for December 7-10, at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey.Address: 755 Ocean Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740.

We realize this is close to Christmas but it was the weekend that was available at San Alfonso.  We (Secretariat) have not determined whether this will be a Men’s or a Woman’s weekend; Secretariat will make that determination within in the next few months based on the number of applications for either a Men’s or Woman’s weekend.  Getting applications to Pat and Bob Burke (Pre-Cursillo) as soon as possible to help us make the best decision. 

Additionally, it is our prayer that we will be able to have another weekend in 2018 but we are still exploring that option. Once a tentative date is available, we will let everyone know when and where. 

Last year, Secretariat reached out to community to help defray the cost of the weekend.  As we noted, the cost to participate on the weekend has increased but we (Secretariat) believe it important to keep the cost of the weekend affordable for those who will make their weekend as well as team.  Last year, we set a goal of $2000 and raised over $2000; however, we believe we need to double that to keep the cost of two weekends at $200 per person (team and candidate).

First and foremost, please pray for potential candidates, the weekend, and the team, but also pray about whether you are able to help with defraying the cost of the weekend.  If you are called to do so, please make out your checks to "Trenton Cursillo" and write for “Cursillo Weekend”. 
  • You can mail your donations to
             Pat Martucci
             1588 Dee Road
             Forked River, NJ 08731
  • Or you can bring your donation to monthly School of Leaders or put your check in the collection during the June and September Diocesan Masses. 
Each month we will update all of you on our progress in reaching the goal of $4000.  So please give if you can, but more importantly pray for the team and candidates. 

God bless
Rick Klarmann
Lay Director, Trenton Cursillo
 
PS:  I want to thank everyone who have been praying for me.  Your prayers have been invaluable in guiding the surgeon but also in my healing.  The surgery on my hand went well and my hand healing quickly. The strength in my hand is coming back and some of the numbness has improved.  Nerves take a long time to heal so it will be some time before we know whether or not surgery on the neck will still be necessary.  Thank you for your prayers. Prayer works.
 
Your brother in Christ
Rick Klarmann
 

ABOUT SCHOOL OF LEADERS by MARY WEIS, ASSISTANT LAY DIRECTOR

For those who were not at the recent School of Leaders, you missed a great opportunity to pay homage to our Lady. After a film about Our Lady of Fatima, we shared experiences, miracles, and answered prayers, when we witnessed to the incredible intercessions of the Blessed Mother that touched our lives in a special way. Everyone was able to write Mary a personal note of thanksgiving, petition, or love and those personal letters will be brought before the altar at our next diocesan mass at Saint Catharine's. We gave Our Lady rose petals, lit candles, and sang songs in her honor. It was a fitting tribute to the mother of our Savior.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

MAY SCHOOL OF LEADERS

Everyone please join us on May 20 for our next School of Leaders when we will pay tribute to our Blessed Lady and commemorate the 100th year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Hope to see everyone there!! Come out to pay homage and gratitude to the mother of the Lord who has done so much for us! Details to the right.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

UPDATE YOUR CURSILLO 2017 CALENDAR


All the dates for upcoming Cursillo Events for 2017
 can be found to the right under
"Upcoming Cursillo Events."
Hope to see you there - and bring a friend!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

DO YOU HAVE A VERIZON.NET EMAIL ADDRESS?

It has been reported that Verizon is retiring their email service. In order to keep receiving prayer messages, if you are affected by this change, please send us your new email address. More details about the change can be found at this link.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

WHAT'S SO HOT ABOUT CURSILLO? by MARY ANN DOWD

(From School of Leaders - April 22, 2017)

Please pray with me in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.  Lord your people assembled before you this day ask for courage, the courage to live out in our daily lives the faith we profess with our lips.  Amen.

We start today with a question: “What’s so hot about  Cursillo???” It’s  a question someone might ask who is not familiar with our movement  or even after we have lived the blessed three days,  we may  ask ourselves, as some of our friends may; how is Cursillo different  from the many other ministries  within the Church?

Why would I want to make Cursillo my main Christian action and devote my, time, my talents and energy to it.  This is a fair question and one which I am certain we have all asked ourselves at one time or another.

Well Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7:7 “ask and the answer shall be given to you”.   As a matter of fact --HE provided us with a book of answers in the Sacred Scriptures.

I would like to tell you a true story about an experience my friend Linda had one day at bible study. We were reading the very familiar verse John 3:16

The one we see almost every day on TV at all sporting events and probably the most familiar verse to Christians and non-Christians  alike let me ask all of you what does John 3:16 say?

That’s what I thought too but that’s not what happened that day at bible study.  Let me explain:  It was Linda’s turn to read and the verse was John 3:16.  She began to read aloud -- when a look of amazement  came over her face and her whole countenance changed…..

She slowly rose from her chair and pounded the table in front of her with her hands…she looked each one of us square in the eyes and repeated slowly and as though each word held the weight of a thousand Shakespearian  verses…….  GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON …… HIS only son..….her  voice trailing off in a hushed whisper.   No one said anything for a long period of time-- as each tried to grasp the intensity with which Linda had felt the power of the Holy Spirit at that moment.

I was in my mid-thirties at that time but that scene is still  vividly etched in my mind.

Now we have all had those moments of metanoia – some like the gentle wind in which the prophet heard the voice of God.  ….some  like the bolt of lightning which knocked St. Paul off his high horse on the road to Damascus.

Now using the Word of God as our guide, let’s take up the Scriptures to answer the question of the day: What’s so hot about  Cursillo?

In Luke 12:49  we hear the words which Jesus Himself speaks: "I have come to set a fire on the earth and how I wish that it were already burning"

One question leads to another ……How exactly did Jesus plan to set this fire ablaze….
So again to the “Book of Answers”  (The Bible)  to all our questions - Matthew 5:13-16
"You  are the salt of the earth but if salt loses its taste with what can it be seasoned?  It’s good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."  A SERIOUS admonishment there from the Lord…and  even worse  in  Revelations 3:15-16 - Jesus again speaks   "I know your works;  I know that you are neither cold nor hot.  How I wish you were either cold or hot.  So, because you are lukewarm, neither  cold nor  hot  I will spit you out of My Mouth!"

Our Lord obviously has no good use for those who are not  “HOT” on fire with love for HIM and those whom Jesus loves -- all the world HE died to save.

You,  are the light of the world; a city set on a mountaintop  cannot be hidden.  Nobody lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel basket.  It is set on a lampstand where it gives light to all in the house.  Just like that.. your light must shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father  Again Jesus uses fire and heat to make HIS point

So if we are indeed the “salt of the earth” of which Jesus is speaking and  it is indeed through us that HE intends to carry out HIS Master Plan.  Then exactly how is this going to happen? Back to the “Answer Book”

Now follow me here Cursillistas:  What is the Cursillo Creed?

Make a friend
Be a Friend
Bring a friend to Christ

F R I E N D S H I P???  Could it be that simple.  A few months ago our Lay Director asked us if we were “all in”;  Are we all on board with this friendship thing?

Remember your weekend what was the last and most important thing we were taught on our weekend.   Grouping with Our Friends and being faithful to Ultreya.  These were brought up at the very end on Sunday afternoon.

The  Cursillo movement saved the best for last….just  like Jesus when  right before HE ascended to the Father HE commanded us to go out to all the world and make disciples of all men.

Matthew Kelly is fond of pointing out that there is genius in Catholicism well of course it’s the Holy Spirit Who guides HIS Church.   And I truly believe that the Genius of the Holy Spirit was upon Eduardo Bonnin and those first Cursillos when they realized that in order to continue walking “The Way” of Jesus we had to have a plan to keep going and friendship groups and ultreyas are the genius of the Cursillo movement.

Again let’s consult the answer book to see what Jesus has to say about friendship:

In Proverbs 18:24 we read:  “a true friend is more loyal than a brother!”

John 15:15  Jesus speaks to us again:  “I call you “friends” because that is what you are a slave does not know what his master is about-I have told you all I have heard from my Father.”
Jesus, our FRIEND, confided to us everything we need to know to make our way back home to HIM.
Once again in John we read the passage of the woman at the well--- she ran back to tell her “friends” about Jesus.  “Come and see a man who told me everything  I have ever done.  Could HE be the Messiah?”  She literally brought her friends to Christ.

And of course the greatest of the “friends” quotes from the Scriptures,  John 15:13 “greater LOVE hath no man then to lay down HIS life for HIS ….”friends”   There’s that word again…. friends.   Jesus did the ultimate for HIS Friends

On Easter Saturday as Our Lord lay in the tomb all seemed lost….that Great Heart which had done so much good, which had cured the sick and instructed the ignorant and had pity on the sorrowing—that Lion Heart had been stilled—how could this be?  No answer came to those who had followed him, loved Him,  listened to HIS teachings, believed in HIM.

But, with Easter Sunday just as it comes again to us this morning, … that new beginning. That lion Heart was still no more but beating evermore.  One of HIS last commands to his followers was to go and make disciples of all men.  A simple command – Our Lord asked us to be faithful, to be obedient.  He doesn’t  even ask us to be successful! He will take care of that part in HIS OWN time.  He just sends us out and asks us to have faith in God have faith in HIM.  Go and make disciples of all men.  Jesus did not expect us to do this on our own.  Remember, He sent them out two by two.    For you see dear brothers and sisters  that blessed first Cursillo led us here this day in friendship.  It is the secret key to unlock the door to heaven.  “Friendship” in a dog eat dog society where we are ever bombarded by technology constant streaming of what seems like  just   “N O I S E” most of the time --  Media of every sort vying for our attention.

What we do as cursillistas is becoming ever more peculiar in our society.

Taking time to slow down read scripture to ask questions and get answers from the answer book--  To get together in small  “friendship” groups?   Attend ultreyas and share our faith?   What’s that about???  Jesus would say it’s about HIS Father’s business.

You see, if I never attended that bible study that day over 30 years ago, or if I never heard Fr. Jay speak about Ezekiel 37: and how God can raise our dry bones from the dead or if I never heard Rick challenge us one morning at school with the question “ARE YOU ALL IN?”  Or the hundreds of homilies and rollos our priests and dedicated religious have given or the many open hearted discussions we have had at Ultreya over the years,

How on earth would I be able to stand before all of you today and be so excited about what I have learned about God through my friends…. how friendship is the secret to fulfilling that command of Jesus’ over two thousand years ago.

Friendship groups-- friends  meeting at Ultreya listening to one another …encouraging one another…sharing  the Eucharist  as a community…sharing the very LIFE of Christ in one another.
You see this is what Jesus commanded when HE sent them out two by two to make disciples of all the world.  Our Cursillo method of piety, study and action shared in community is greater than the sum of its parts.  Cursillo, if practiced well,  is the very Heartbeat of the Risen Christ!  

And that my dear brothers and sisters is what’s so hot about Cursillo!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A REQUEST FOR PALANCA

All attending Saturday's School of Leaders,will have the opportunity to sign a "palanca poster" for the upcoming Kenosis weekend which will occur April 27 to 30 at New Jersey State Prision (formerly known as Trenton State Prision.) Cursillistas will be asked to sign the poster with their first name and their prayers for those on the Kenosis weekend. Let's support Ray Benedict and the Kenois team by offering our prayers for the weekend and signing the poster. To learn more about Kenosis, go to this link.