Friday, March 16, 2018

A WITNESS BY DEACON TONY MARTUCCI

Thank you, Community, for all of your prayers for me over the years. Here is an update and a witness to the Glory of God. 

Last March 28, I had emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia. During surgery the doctor found complications- a perforated upper bowel, and a VRE (Infection that does not respond to antibiotics). A call went out to community for prayers. 

I was in the hospital for 10 days and left with an open wound that had a wound vac to assist in my healing. After two months I started to see a wound care specialist every week for treatments. Two more months of visits and the wound vac came off. Other treatments were used to try to close the wound. 

Through the fall and winter I continued to visit the doctor and the wound gradually began to shrink, but stubbornly refused to close completely. Finally, on February 8 the wound appeared to be healed. I returned to physical therapy on February 12 to get my knees back into shape. The wound reopened. My wound doctor suggested that I continue therapy so I could use the stairs and move more easily, he continued to treat me.  A week later the wound doubled in size. On Tuesday, March 6, the doctor debrieded the wound again. The following morning, Pat & I attended a healing Mass. At the homily, Fr. Richard mentioned that faith is necessary for healing to take place. Although we have attended numerous healing Masses over the years, and even used St Pio's glove, but I never expected a healing. When I heard what Fr. Richard said, I was reminded of what the blind man said to Christ, "Lord, if you will, you can heal me." Christ answered, "I do will it. Be healed. Your faith has saved you. "And so I said to Christ "Lord, if you will, you can heal me.

Father then laid hands on us, then anointed us.

As Pat and I left the Church and walked to lunch,  I said to her, "I am healed." She looked surprised and a bit suspicious. The following day, Pat changed the dressing on the wound and said, "I can't find the wound!" On the following Tuesday the surgeon confirmed that after almost a full year the wound is totally healed. 

Thank you to all of you and to the power of God and Faith. I now know how I need to pray. I know how to pray in FAITH.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A MEDITATION FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT by DEACON TONY MARTUCCI

YOU CAN FIND THE READINGS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT AT THIS LINK.


When I was a teenager in high school, I answered the phone one night and learned that my mother won a car in a raffle held by a Church organization. I excitedly ran to tell my father. I won’t tell you what he said to me exactly, but he didn’t believe me and basically said I was joking. Dad went to the phone and heard for himself. All of us were excited beyond belief and couldn’t wait to pick up the new Buick. It was a beautiful car that brought us a lot of happy memories.

What great news that was at the time! But like all things in this world, it didn’t last forever. We had a lot of fun in that car, but eventually, it got old and we traded it in for another car.

Today, you are getting a message, great news. You have won the biggest lottery of all time. In all three readings we learn that, through Jesus Christ, God has offered us eternal life with him. Things in this world come and go. We are not created for this world but for everlasting life with God himself. We are here to prepare us to know, love and serve God and his people and to be happy with him forever in heaven.

In the first reading from 2nd Chronicles, we heard about God’s love and patience with the people of Israel. After giving them many chances to turn back to him, God allowed them to be taken into exile and their temple to be destroyed because of their obstinance. Later, out of his love, he returned the People of Israel to their own lands and Temple.

St. Paul also speaks of God’s love and his great gift for us:

“Brothers and sisters:
God, who is rich in mercy,
because of the great love he had for us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
brought us to life with Christ — by grace you have been saved —,
raised us up with him,
and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,
that -in the ages to come - He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Notice, Paul says we ARE raised up with Christ and seated with him in heaven- present tense- NOW- by the grace of God- a free gift. Christ comes to us to live within us today.

Finally, the Gospel reminds us of the famous John 3:16-

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.”
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The gift is ours if we accept it. All God asks is that his people love him and love our brothers and sisters. St. John also tells us that we can reject the gift of God

“...People preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God..”

Do not be like the ancient Hebrew people who rejected God and chose false Gods. Use your gifts and talents to share the wonderful gift we have been given.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

SCHOOL OF LEADERS by KATHY TUCKER, ASSISTANT LAY DIRECTOR

We had a wonderful School of Leaders Saturday Feb 17, 2018.

Father Jay Bowden gave a synopsis of his journey with the Cursillo Movement. Starting the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Trenton with a contingent from Buffalo NY approximately 45 years. We owe it all to Father Jay. Without his belief and total commitment to the Movement we would not have accomplished 126 Weekends since his journey began. Thank You, Father Jay.

We also had Bill Grippo give his talk on his journey through Cursillo. He relies on Study to inspire him with his daily living. Nick Grippo gave a wonderful talk about Bridging the Gap between generations. How this generation gets their information through Electronic Media (i.e.: Instagram, Twitter and other social media).
(NOTE: YOU CAN READ NICK'S TALK IN THE NEXT ARTICLE BELOW.)

I also put up a picture gallery of all the Weekends. 

Everyone really enjoyed the gallery bringing back fond memories of past and more present weekends. From the black and white to color. 

DeColores, Kathy

STUDY by NICK GRIPPO, TRENTON 125

One year ago, I made my Cursillo weekend: Trenton 125!  It’s been an amazing spiritual journey as I continue to live out my fourth day.  Also within the last year, I had the privilege of working on the team for Trenton 126.  Several personal obstacles tried to get in the way of me working with the team that weekend, but the Lord cleared the way, I said yes, and Rick, Al and others supported me and helped me join the great men of Trenton 126.  What a year.

Today I want to speak to you about the importance of study in our lives as Christians.  In my view, it is the foundation of the Cursillo movement.  Study can take many forms: reading; listening; and speaking.  Every person is different, and study may mean different things to different people.  The key is to develop study habits and to dedicate a set amount of time on a regular basis to studying the principles of our Catholic faith.  It does not have to be a lot of time; even a few minutes could suffice.

Why is this so important?  Study is a mechanism to develop tools to successfully address the challenges that life throws at us every day.  As Matthew Kelly says, life is messy.  When we are equipped with the tools of our faith, and a vibrant spiritual life, we are more prepared to handle the mess that life can create from time to time.  Health challenges, family dynamics, relationship troubles, work stress, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Studying our faith gives us the knowledge to combat these difficulties and to create hope in times of distress. 

As noted, study can take many forms.  At the most fundamental level, it is reading scripture.  That is an essential part of the study process.  Everything grows from that starting point.  Beyond that, there are endless spiritual guides, such as the Dynamic Catholic series of books and videos, which provide practical daily lessons on Catholicism and creating hope in our lives through Christian methods.

Study is particularly important in my life because I am an attorney and, as an attorney, I spend significant periods of time studying the law and then applying it to the facts of a particular case.  Being successful in law requires a relentless commitment to study.  The purpose of such rigorous study is to be as prepared as possible in handling a case.  Study in our spiritual lives serves a similar purpose – being prepared to address life’s challenges through Christian methods.  It also prepares us to go out into our communities and have a positive impact.

In thinking about study, I note that today’s young adults are part of an information generation.  We should consider ways to better deliver the Catholic message to the younger generations.  Social media, webinars, and other forms of electronic communications can be effective ways of sharing our message and the study aspect of our faith. 

In closing, my Lenten challenge to each of you is to increase your study habits over the next few weeks (in addition to, say, giving up sweets, coffee, or wine!).  If you do not have a set routine of studying our faith and learning more about it, try to start a routine.  Spend 10-15 minutes each day reading anything you elect to read that you believe will help your spiritual growth.  If you already have such a routine, try to add to it or just maintain it during Lent.

Thank you, God bless and DeColores.    
Nick Grippo            

Friday, January 26, 2018

A MESSAGE FROM MARY WEIS, LAY DIRECTOR

DeColores, Cursillistas!

It is with great pleasure to announce that we are sponsoring in partnership with Metuchen Diocese Cursillo a Cursillo de Cursillos (CDC). The CDC is a Diocesan Workshop intended for those Cursillistas who are the leaders in the Diocesan Cursillo Movement. Cursillistas who have the desire to learn about the Foundational Charism are encouraged to attend. The Cursillo Spiritual Advisors are also encouraged to attend. This can be an excellent opportunity to recharge and energize your evangelization the Cursillo way.


The CDC team consists of Regional Members and our own beloved Ronnie Martella will be on team. DATES    March 15 to 18, 2018TIMES    Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon (same as Cursillo weekend)
LOCATION    Blue Army Shrine Washington NJ  (we can carpool)
COST    $200 per person

There are two beds per room and open to both men and women.  Men, of course, will room with men, and women with women, unless they're husband and wife.

If you are interested, please contact me at weismary@yahoo.com or call me at 732-939-0172. Rooms are limited.

Monday, January 15, 2018

FOR YOUR STUDY by FATHER JAY BOWDEN

Today's Scriptures are powerful indeed. What is God saying to us today? In the 1st reading, neither the priest Eli nor young Samuel understood at first what was happening as the Lord was speaking to Samuel. Finally, Eli told him, " if ( when ) the Lord calls again, reply, ' Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.' " Sisters and brothers, you and I, AND SO MANY PEOPLE IN OUR WORLD TODAY need -- have a REAL & DEEP NEED -- to say, " Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."

We sang in today's Responsorial psalm, " Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will." YOUR will ... GOD'S WILL-- not MY WILL; not the will of the so often regarded, and self-proclaimed, " trend setters of the world ". NO !  " Here am I, Lord, I come to do YOUR will." Verse 9 from today's psalm 40, puts it loud and clear: " To do YOUR WILL, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart."

In today's Gospel, John 1: 35 - 49, Jesus issues an invitation not just to Simon Peter's brother Andrew and the other ( unnamed ) disciple of John the Baptist, not just to Simon Peter and the others, and later, to Mary Magdalen and the Samaritan woman at the well, etc. etc., but an invitation to YOU and ME, and to all the PEOPLE in the WORLD. Jesus said to them in their time, and He says to us, and to our world today, ' Come to Me; come, walk with Me; " Come, and you will see."

I began by saying today's Scriptures are powerful indeed; what is God saying to us today? Hear the words of today's second reading... from 1st Corinthians 6:(13 - 20 ): " The body is NOT for IMMORALITY, BUT FOR THE LORD ... do you not know that YOUR BODIES ARE MEMBERS OF CHRIST? Avoid immorality ... do you not know that YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ", a sacred temple of God !!

And today that temple -- those temples -- are desecrated every day and every night ! " Do you not know that YOUR BODIES ARE MEMBERS OF CHRIST ?"

Look around us -- look at the internet, the T.V., movies, books, the magazines that abound seemingly everywhere, the terrible sin and scandal of priests' sex abuse --- pornography, adultery, living together outside God's sacred bonds of marriage, fornication in other ways, self-abuse, abortion, euthanasia, drug and alcohol abuse, cutting oneself, etc. etc.
" DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOUR BODIES ARE MEMBERS OF CHRIST?"

Yes, it is easy, and legitimate, to point a finger at Harvey Weinstein and so many others -- famous people and not so famous alike -- who have willfully abused others, especially women, sexually and otherwise. It is right to be scandalized by, and so angry at, the sins of sexual abuse committed buy some priests and others in the Church.

Corinth, in the days of St. Paul, was known to be a hotbed for immorality, sexually and otherwise. Sadly, must we not acknowledge that the same is true in so many places and areas of life today ? But, remember the lesson of pointing the accusing finger at someone else. As Sister Mary something or other said back in our grammar school days, remember children, when you point your finger at someone else, you have three of your fingers pointing back at you ! So, let's look at ourselves! What shows do we watch? What movies do you go to, or rent? HOW DO WE CLOTHE OURSELVES ? What is our own personal dress code -- female or male ?! What about such a prevalent thing as the music we listen to, or buy?  The video games-- and what do we see exhibited there? And what about the all too readily available modern day scourge and fire of pornography ? ( pause )   What is OUR lifestyle -- in so many areas, is it that of Christ, or that which is OPPOSED to Him?

Yes, sin abounds ! The devil and his legions, his accomplices are powerful ! BUT GOD IS MORE POWERFUL ! The love of Jesus, the MERCY of God is infinite ! Hear some of the words of Jesus to St. Faustina. " I AM LOVE AND MERCY ITSELF; My HEART OVERFLOWS with great mercy for souls...let no soul FEAR TO DRAW NEAR TO ME, even though its sins be as scarlet...MY MERCY IS GREATER THAN YOUR SINS..."  ( --  from pg. 25 of the Divine Mercy booklet, Mercy and Devotion. ).   And, from page 27:  " Souls that make an appeal to my mercy DELIGHT ME. To such souls I GRANT EVEN MORE GRACE THAN THEY ASK. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to MY COMPASSION."

We have here at St. Greg's multiple times of confessions. Hear the words of Jesus in today's Gospel, " Come, and you will see."

Sunday, December 17, 2017

MARY: FROM A WOMAN’S VIEW by SISTER CLARA SCHROEDER, CSJP

Mary, the chosen one from God to be the Mother of His son, Jesus, was a woman of Great Mystery, a woman of Deep Sorrow, and a woman of Unusual Trust. While Mary had other most unique qualities, I will zero in on these three qualities—Great Mystery, Deep Sorrow and Unusual Trust

Now the Bible tells us in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels that Jesus was born not through the human way of birth but through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Luke goes into more detail when he describes the appearance of Angel Gabriel who tells this to Mary. Here we have Mystery!  And Mary did not hesitate to let Angel Gabriel know. 

She tells him—“That’s impossible!  Joseph and I are not married yet and I’ve always been faithful to him.  We’re not living together either.” And as you know from Scripture Angel Gabriel clarified how Mary’s son would be born—through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Matthew tells us this also but not in as much detail as Luke tells us.

As I prayed and pondered this, I was so touched by Mary’s TRUST with her
response to Angel Gabriel—…”I am the handmaid of the Lord…..Be it done to me according to your word.”  While what was going to happen was still not totally understandable to Mary, she was graced with Unusual Trust in God. She was doing God’s will as difficult as it was.

And you know what!  What God did for Mary, God does for each one of us — God gives us unusual trust in Him to be able do His Will, no matter how
difficult it may be. I firmly believe that our caring God will never give us a task to perform without giving us what we need to do His Will. 

Now I talked about two of Mary’s unique qualities—Mystery and Trust.  Where does Sorrow fit in? 

According to Church teaching, Mary had seven sorrows and I will just name them and discuss two of them that center around the birth of Jesus as this is supposed to be a Christmas talk.    

They are: 1. Prophecy of Simeon  2. Flight into Egypt  3. Loss of Jesus in the Temple 4. Jesus carrying His cross  5. Standing near Jesus at the Cross  6. Jesus struck by the lance on the cross  7. Burial of Jesus

The first Prophecy of Simeon took place in the Temple when Mary and Joseph obeyed the Jewish law to register Jesus and have him circumcised shortly after His birth. Simeon, a holy and aged Priest who was praying in the Temple said to Mary; “Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Lk. 2:34-35) How Mary’s heart must have been so sad at Simeon’s harsh words.  I appreciated Mary all the more.

Now as I continued to pray and pondered Mary’s Deep Sorrows, I became aware of another sorrow Mary suffered, that the Church does not mention.  So I’m giving my own personal opinion on this since this talk is supposed to be from a woman’ view. I’m thinking of how Mary suffered so deeply when she broke the news to Joseph that she was going to have a baby through the power of the Holy Spirit and Joseph did not believe her.  Now the Bible does not tell us how long he remained away from Mary until an angel appeared to him in a dream.  You know the story. The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to marry Mary as her baby would be born through the power of the Holy Spirit.  And he obeyed and did God’s will. 

Now the point I’m trying to make is how Mary’s loving heart must have been torn with anguish when Joseph did not believe her and left her.  She truly loved him and he loved her.  Mary must have also suffered ridicule from many who knew her.  But none of that mattered.  She didn’t need their approval.  She needed Joseph’s approval and support and she did not have it!

But because Mary accepted and did God’s will and eventually so did Joseph, it worked out!  What a lesson for ALL of us!   Both Mary and Joseph received that amazing Grace to accept and do God’s will. It is no different with any of us.  When we accept and do God’s will, no matter how difficult a situation may be, it will work out! Take quiet time these precious days before Christmas to get to know Mary. You will be strengthened in your difficulties as Mary was.
         
Now because of God’s calling me to Religious life I have never been a biological mother.  Although I have been a spiritual mother to many throughout my life. So as I prayed and pondered the heavy words of Simeon to Mary, I was able feel her anguish. I felt deep compassion for Mary. Mary’s second sorrow was the Flight into Egypt.  Again as I prayed and pondered this, I became so much more aware of the fear and hardships of all the refugees today who have fled and still are fleeing with their families and few belongings because of so much persecutions they are enduring.  I can only imagine Joseph carrying this heavy burden to keep Mary, her new born infant Jesus and  himself safe from Herod.  And as they were fleeing to Egypt again at the command of an angel—again doing God’s will — how Mary’s heart was so torn with grief knowing that so many helpless children were being murdered in the attempt to find Jesus and murder Him also.  All because of King Herod’s fear and greed that he would be replaced as King by Jesus, as was told to him by his advisors.

Again as I prayed and pondered Mary’s Deep Sorrow of fleeing with her precious Christ Child and her beloved husband, Joseph, I began to realize how little my sufferings are compared to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the thousands of refugees today who are suffering.  Pray hard for all the suffering today in our world.

So as I continued to pray and ponder Mary’s Great Mystery of giving birth to the Son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, along with her Deep Sorrow that every mother has of harm coming to her child, and the Unusual Trust she had throughout her hard and sorrowful life, I am encouraged to remain faithful to my caring, merciful and just God.  I do believe that in spite of all the hardships and cruelty in our world today, good will triumph over evil.  So pray for that—that good will triumph over evil.

And finally, Jesus was born not in a palace but in a stable where animals
lived. God, through the person of His Son, Jesus, showed us how much He
loves and favors the poor. 

This reminds me of a time back in 1980’s when I had an opportunity to
visit the famous grotto in Lourdes, France.  While there another tourist and
myself visited the various sites that St. Bernadette frequented.  One of those sites was actually her home in a jail cell!  As I stared at the one large room or cell where Bernadette along with her small family resided, I kept saying to myself, “How Jesus loves the poor.”

So this baby, Jesus, grew up in poverty and the love of his mother, Mary,
and his foster father, Joseph.  Jesus taught us how to live in the spirit of
Poverty.  Unfortunately, he was not accepted by all in His time. It is no
different today.  Our world is in deep trouble.  His mother, Mary, in all
of her apparitions in different parts of the world, pleaded with the people
to turn away from evil and do good. Sadly, we know that this has not
yet totally happened.  Do we need to live in fear?  No, only if we are
faithful and have Total Trust can we truly believe that Jesus will reign as King   and Ruler of His universe.

Didn’t Jesus tell us in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 28; verse 20……”And behold, I am with you always, until the end of time.”

DE  COLORES!


A NOTE FROM ROBERT LAURICELLA, TRENTON 126

Dear Cursillistas,

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone in our community for reaching out and preparing me to work on team 126.  Each time I work on these men's weekends takes me back to when I made my weekend, years back.

Going out into the environment after these weekends does make an impact on everyone in our community.  We are all on the same spiritual journey.

We are all called to walk with Jesus.  It is up to us to respond yes to His call.  As we come closer to our Lord's birth let us remember to pray, pray, pray. My favorite scripture verse is from John 3:16.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."

I congratulate the new candidates of Trenton 126 and offer words of encouragement.  You and all Cursillistas are living under Mary's Mantle.

Go out and live your fourth day.  It is a challenge in this environment.  May Jesus' light continue to shine in your hearts. 

Bring that friend to Christ.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

I wish everyone a Merry Blessed Christmas.

DeColores,
Robert Lauricella

SCHOOL OF LEADERS by MARY WEIS

Our School of Leaders today was amazing! I know that word is overused and exaggerated but not in this case. Over 30 people attended the best Christmas SOL ever!

We were inspired and prayerful from Sister Clara’s talk given by Pat Burke about the Holy Mother. What a beautiful unique outlook on the Virgin Mary and her relationship with her Son. We must seek pure joy even with sorrow, as Our Lady did, only through God. Our beloved Sister Clara could not be with us in person but was with us in spirit and had written such a beautiful talk, no one wanted to wait to hear it.

Al Martella gave such an awesome inspiring witness, it still fills my heart ❤️ and rings true, hours later. 

Those in Cursillo know: we are changed, transformed, by the Holy Spirit over the years to glorious cursillistas awaiting the coming of Christ, seen through our brothers and sisters. May the new babe chicks experience that joy.

Brothers and Sisters, may the peace of Christmas remain in your hearts throughout the new year and ever be a source of solace and contentment as we continually attempt to make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ. De Colores 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AN INVITATION FROM MARTY WEISMAN AND ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE CHURCH

On Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine will be sponsoring a bus trip to see the seasonally inspiring production of the “Miracle of Christmas” at the Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase on a “first come, first served basis,” with NO REFUNDS, permitted. Following  the performance, we will be dining at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn for their Grand Smorgasbord. 

The price per person will be $120 and includes the Miracle of Christmas performance, dinner at the Bird-in-Hand, (including tax and tip) and round trip transportation from the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine, with our bus leaving at 11:15 a.m. For more information, please contact Marty Weisman at: 732-462-7038 or email me at: “comehome@strobert.com “