Showing posts from 2011

A Christmas Message from our Lay Director, Mary Ann Dowd

Beloved Cursillistas, When John DiStefano served as Lay Director, he always reminded us that we were children of God, sons and daughters of a King and destined for greatness.  In this Christmas Season, we remember - HE came for love.  HE lived for love.  HE died for love. Our God loved us more than we can ever fathom.  No words can describe the Christ Child, tiny Baby shivering in a cold dark stable into which HE brought HIS Eternal Light.  In the new Leaders Manual on Page 188, we read the following: "One can only live the Postcursillo with love.  The commitment to temporal and personal relationships to which the postcursillo calls us would be an insupportable burden without love.  With love, it undoubtedly can be the most significant instrument in our lives to enable us to receive The Spirit of God day by day." With Christ, and others in Christ in the postcursillo, we can make of life an 0n-going Ultreya.  Merry Christmas and forever DeColores! Mary Ann xo  

DECEMBER SCHOOL OF LEADERS IS COMING by Ronnie Martella, Assistant Lay Director

Blessed Advent!  This wonderful season of preparation is upon us and how blessed are we to be loved by God, loved so much that he sent his Son to be with us, to be one of us.  As you take time this Advent to reflect on your relationship with God and others, remember that on your journey there are others to encourage and help us. One of the points from Pope Paul's encyclical that Father Jay brought out was the fact that we all need to be well and properly informed in order to instruct others.  School of Leaders is a great place to do get that instruction from the talks, from the sharing and from the literature available.   School in December is on the 16th and will be at Holy Family in  Lakewood  .  Father Ed will complete the study of "On Evangelization in the Modern World" and the technique talk on Ultreya will be given by Janet Moscuzza.  What a great way to enrich our Advent time as we continue to respond to Jesus challenge to go out and make disciples of all. At Sch


Beloved Cursillistas, A final chapter in the book recounting the Charism of Cursillo is Eduardo Bonnin's Spiritual Testament.  He talks of how the Holy Spirit Blessed and preserved our movement from the time of his youth until his 90's.  He considered the Cursillo in Christianity the greatest gift he could pass on to future Christians in love and fellowship.   This Thanksgiving in the Diocese of Trenton we have much  for which to be grateful to God; both individually and as a community.  As I count my blessings, you will all be present among them as will those three blessed days of God's Grace poured out as Love.  May the Lord bless you and keep you may He make HIS Face Shine upon you and give you His Peace.  Happy Thanksgiving. Forever DeColores! Mary Ann Dowd xo


At our last School of Leaders, Father Jay Bowden covered Sections 40 to 58 of On   Evangelization in the Modern World focusing on the methods and beneficiaries of evangelization. If you would like to read Paul Paul VI's Encyclical, it can be found at this  link . At the December School of Leaders on December 16 at Holy Family Church in Lakewood, NJ , Sections 59 to 82 will be covered.


Father Malachy J. Higgiston went home to the Lord on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Visitation will be in  St. Thomas More Church on Friday, November 18, 2011 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. immediately followed by Mass of Jesus Christ High Priest.  Visitation will resume on Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 11AM. Interment will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery Toms River, New Jersey. Directions to St. Thomas More can be found at directions.html . To read Father Malachy's obituary, go to


On behalf of Roe and me and our entire family, we wish to thank our Cursillo family for the tremendous outpouring of love which you have shown to us in our time of deepest sorrow. As each of you came up to us to express your individual condolences on our daughter going home to the Lord, the glow of the Holy Spirit was around you and surrounded us with love and healing. Each of you came as individuals but formed one in the Spirit and in the Lord. In your being present to all of us, your caring, sharing, and genuine love, our family was lifted to bear the unbearable. To comfort those who are sorrowful is an act of Mercy and it was greatly felt and appreciated by every member of our family. DeColores! John & Roe & Family of Susanne Opdyke

NOVEMBER SCHOOL OF LEADERS IS COMING by Ronnie Martella, Assistant Lay Director

I love mornings.  I love to be up before daylight, especially in the winter, to see the sky.  One day I went out and looked at the sky from one side of my house-there were no stars to see.  Oh I thought -it must be overcast.  Then I went out front to get the newspapers and there they were--the moon and stars!  From one perspective I made one observation and came to one conclusion about something.  If I hadn’t gone to the other side of the house, I would have stayed with that conclusion which, while not wrong for what I could see, wasn’t complete.  I also would have missed God’s beautiful creation on this particular day, in this particular way-which would never be seen this way again. Perhaps there are things, maybe even people, that you have seen from one vantage point and you’ve made decisions or came to conclusions about that something or someone. Could you consider a different vantage point or perhaps try another time to look at something or someone?  Are you ready to move to a pla


We have been told that the Memorial Mass for Roger Webster will be held on Saturday, November 19th at St. Catherine in Middletown (on Bray Avenue) @ 11AM. This is an update of the information we were originally given. Directions to St. Catherine's can be found at this link .


Beloved Cursillistas, On Friday night the Trenton Cursillo Community gathered to remember our deceased Cursillistas. Those dear friends and relatives who have gone home and are out of our sight but not out of our hearts and minds.  In fact, the memories of those we love so dearly seem to get sharper each year--this year--a wonderful new demension in "hearing" these rememberances.  If you would like to "hear" the complete list of remembrances go to our website and click on "We Remember" at the top right side of the page.  Thanks to everyone who made this Mass beautiful, memorable, and holy. Forever DeColores! Mary Ann xo


THE LITTLE FLOWER AND ME Pat Burke and Fran Romeo recommended this article from the October "Word Among Us" about St.Thérèse of Lisieux and the author's Cursillo experience. The author is Brenda Kindelan, Lay Director for the Cursillo Movement in Memphis, Tennessee. PALANCA Please remember the following dioceses having weekends from November 10 to 13: Women's Cursillo Wichita, KS Men's #148 (Spanish) - Hartford, CT Women's #73 - Montreal, CANADA Men's #84 - South Bend, IN Women's #22 (Spanish) - Oregon, IL Women's #169 (Spanish) - Uniondale, NY Women's #34 - East Helena, MT Women's #106 - Little Rock, AR Women's Cursillo - Derry, N. IRELAND Women's #74 (Spanish) - Abasolo, GTO, MEXICO Women's #312 - Oakland,CA Women's #8 (Spanish) - Los Cabos, BS, MEXICO Men's Cursillo (Spanish) - Dodge City, KS Men's Cursillo - Kingston, JAMAICA Women's #200 - Peekskill, NY Men's Cursi


Mary Ann Dowd asks for all to please wear your name tags on Friday night and pretty much from now on so that the babechicks and new cursillistas can get better acquainted with the community.


Read all about the State Ultreya held on September 25 by the Spanish-speaking Trenton Cursillo community. The article appeared in the October 13th issue of The Monitor .


We welcome our newest cursillistas from Trenton 121 "Hearts on Fire" Clarke Bowers/Melissa Banahan and Brick Ultreya Buddy Goss/Dowd John Kauppinen/Bayshore Ultreya Walter Jennings/Dowd Lou Lastrina/Garrett Noel Terranova/DiStefano Thomas Tucker/Ivanko

OCTOBER SCHOOL OF LEADERS IS COMING by Ronnie Martella, Assistant Lay Director

Fellow Cursillistas, School of Leaders returned in September with a good crowd and two great speakers. We began our study of Pope Paul’s encyclical “On Evangelization in the Modern World”. Sister Simon started us off speaking about Pope Paul and Vatican II talking about ‘new responses to new questions’ and how Pope John Paul II went beyond that to call us to a New Evangelization. Sister reminded us that evangelization is when we accept God’s word, live in service and by our witness invite others to that life. It is a way of life, not a program in which no one is excluded and as ‘everyday evangelizers’ we are charged verbalize Christ in our lives and celebrate the story of God’s healing and renewal. Frans Tholenaar gave the technique talk on pre-Cursillo, not the section but the way of living that makes it possible to be vertebrae-the backbone in the world. We are members of the community of saints and we shouldn’t take that lightly. Pre-Cursillo involves the selection of peopl


Editor's Note: The following remarks were made by Mary Ann Dowd at the Closing Mass for the Women of Trenton 120. Mary Ann started by introducing our newest cursillistas: Annette Asaro, Missy Banahan, Patricia Cartier, May Catuogno, Terri D'Andrea, Mary Jane Lanuto, Millie Linett, Eileen Martin, Maritza Gonzalez Navarro, Theresa Pawlikowski, Dottie Raponkus, Francine Severini and Jean Tierney Mary Ann continued: As you have undoubtedly heard, The Cursillo in Christianity has a history which is very colorful (DeColores!) and steeped in tradition. You can read all about it on this website under the "Short Course" tab. Especially recommended: The Charism of the Movement and My Spiritual Testament by Eduardo Bonnin. As Father Ed has reminded us, the Cursillos teach first and foremost the fundamentals of Christianity and in our Catholic Cursillos, we are always and everywhere under the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, t


Beloved Cursillistas, Trenton #120 has now returned from their pilgrimage. Their journey once again becomes part of the history of our movement.  But their fourth day journey is just beginning......when the first pilgrims returned from their triumphant journey to Santiago de Compostela this is the question they asked themselves:  "We have gone to Santiago to become what?  Now what indeed?!  The Light that was lit in the souls of the first cursillistas so many years ago, is now your Light to keep burning.  This is both a great joy and an awesome responsibility.  Jesus felt we were up for it....He called each of us by name....He is counting on you.  Ultreya!!! Forever DeColores! Mary Ann xo


Today's meditation at the wonderful "Word Among Us" website focused on Luke 9:43-45: "While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, "Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men." But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them and they were afraid to ask him about this saying." The Meditation offers us a challenge - "Today, think about what you can do to become more attentive to the Lord and his teaching. Maybe you can think of ways to fight the “pious coma” syndrome and be more present to God as you pray, read Scripture, and attend Mass. You can decide to “pay attention” by learning more— about the lives of the saints, church history, and the doctrines of the faith. Why not read a spiritual classic like St. Augustine’s Confessions, Thérèse of Lisieux’s Autobiography of a Soul, or Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life? And see the


A recent meditation at the wonderful "Word Among Us" website focused on Luke 8:5 (“A sower went out to sow.” ) The meditation reminds us that: "Just so, Jesus wants us to sow every day, no matter where we are or what our environment is like. Being a sower is not a highly specialized occupation, reserved for an elite and specially trained few. We can all do it. We don’t have to get stressed about the ground the seed falls on; we don’t have to wait until we find the “perfect” soil to receive the seed. Just sow! Talk simply, normally, about the things you know about who God is and what he’s done in your life. Tell of his goodness, in whatever ways you have experienced it: through healing, or forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; in the pleasure of hearing his voice or feeling his presence in your prayer time; through understanding some passage in a new way as you read Scripture. Fling it wide! Perhaps you’ve received the grace to know joy even on the an


Some requests of community for the upcoming weekend regarding our new facility at San. Alphonso's: Please do not bring snacks. We can bring fresh fruit like bananas or apples that can be left out on the counter. Please bring small bottles of water as there is lot of waste with the larger bottles.   Ice and coolers are needed. Please bring ALL palanca on Thursday night since access to the building is not available as there are other retreat groups in the building.  Please do pray for people for their rollos at home or in any Adoration Chapel where we can visit Jesus and pray for our friends.  Parking will be available in the BACK of the facility for community on Thursday night and Sunday afternoon.  Please watch this space for an announcement regarding a Diocesan Holy Hour (probably at Epiphany) on Saturday. Thank you for all of your prayers and sacrifices. 


Please read "The Sower and the Seed" by Deacon Tony Martucci. It can be found at under the "STUDY" tab found above. 


UPDATED LIST AS OF 9.18.11 Candidates/Sponsor Browns Mills Ultreya Millie Linett/ Cindy Diamond and Browns Mills Brick Ultreya Maritza Gonzalez Navarro/ Jean Andrejack and Josue Gonzalez Theresa Pawlikowski/ Paddy Morris Lakewood Ultreya Terri D'Andrea/ Sister Clara Schroeder, CSJP Dottie Raponkus/ Sister Clara Schroeder, CSJP May Catuogno/Mary Ann Dowd Eileen Martin/ Mary Ann Dowd Jean Tierney/ Ann Eby Bayshore Ultreya Annette Asaro/ Vera Imparato Patricia Cartier/ Janet Moscuzza Missy Banahan/John Severini and Bayshore Francine Severini/John Severini and Bayshore Tinton Falls Mary Jane Lanuto/Patricia Burke The Team Father Ed Blanchett - Spiritual Advisor Sister Clara Schroeder - Spiritual Advisor Sister Simon Robb - Spiritual Advisor Carol Gaynor - Rectora (Fourth Day) Pat Burke - Assistant Rectora (Piety) Mary Weis - Assistant Rectora in Training (Leaders) Ronnie Martella - Liturgist Maria Lonergan - Angel (Ideals) Jennifer Vo


Beloved Cursillistas,   Once again special thanks are due to so many.  First our entire community is grateful to all of those who responded, thus far, to our financial appeal.  It is through your generous support that we continue on our pilgrim road and God will surely bless you for it.   Secondly, we want to acknowledge, Marty Weisman and Janet Fitzgerald who have both done an outstanding job of keeping our community current with the latest announcements and most particularly, prayer requests and palanca.  Al Martella will once again resume the prayer tree. Al has also built a brilliant new website at . Plan to spend sometime as there is much information and spirituality there.   Thirdly, as always your prayerful support is what gets us up when we fall and carries us along the pilgrim way.  God bless you always and everywhere.   forever DeColores! mary ann xo

IT'S BACK TO "SCHOOL OF LEADERS" TIME by Ronnie Martella, Assistant Lay Director

Fellow Cursillistas, School of Leaders starts again on Sept. 9th at Epiphany. Our speakers will be Sister Simon and Frans Tholenaar. The Gospel today reminds us, through the story of Jesus asking the fisherman to put out their boats and put down their nets, that He asks us to keep trying in our Evangeliztion efforts, to continue to "throw out our nets" even when our efforts don't seem to be very fruitful. That message was very strong at the National Encounter Al and I attending in San Antonio. We heard in many different ways, that personal contact is key and we can never know what the result of that contact is going to be. This is an idea that was really emphasized in an article by the Bishop of Manchester NH found in "Parable" magazine, July/August issue. In the article Bishop John McCormack writes that he always had a reason not to make a Cursillo weekend, but then, at the age of 74, he lived his Cursillo. Here is what he writes about that weekend. &q

WEEKEND UPDATE by Mary Ann Dowd, Lay Director

BELOVED CURSILLISTAS Our women's weekend is now unable to accept any more applications for the weekend of September 22-25, 2011. You may continue to submit applications, and please do so but we wanted you to know that your candidates would go on a waiting list. Our men's weekend Oct 20-24 is still in need of candidates so please pray that God will send who HE wills for the men's weekend. Keep up your powerful prayers for all of us. Forever DeColores! Mary Ann xo


Read about the new movie  "The Way"  is the story of a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. Click on the "About the Camino" link to read the history of this ancient pilgrim site which is the birthplace of our movement.


(Thank you, Marty Weisman for the pictures.) Father Ed Blanchette, Chaplain Father Jay Bowden, Former Chaplain Father Dave Swantek, Chaplain Father Ed Blanchette, Chaplain Father Dave Swantek, Chaplain Ronnie Martella, Asst. Lay Director Mary Ann Dowd, Lay Director Father Dave, Father Jay and Father Ed and Past Lay Directors including our newest Past Lay Director, John Distefano


(A) St. Raphael is at 3500 S. Broad St. Hamilton NJ 08610 (B) Holy Angels is at 1733 S Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08610 From Shore Points: Take I95 West to Exit 2 (Arena Dr. - South Broad St.) Stay left of exit lane to flow onto S. Broad St. After the first light turn right into the Church entrance- driveway is just before Rosa's Ristorante. (For Holy Angels, continue on S. Broad Street to destination.) From the South: take Rt. 295 - North to Rt. 130 North to Rt 206 North. Continue to Whitehorse Circle and turn right onto S. Broad St. (heading toward Yardville) the entrance is just past the first traffic light on the left (immediately past Rosa's Ristornate driveway. (For Holy Angels, continue on S. Broad Street to destination.) From NJ Turnpike: Take turnpike to exit 7A to Rt. #195-West and follow the directions above. From #95-North: This automatically becomes Rt. # 295 South. Continue to the Arena Drive Exit (just past the S. Olden Ave. exit) At the 4th traffic l
OUR BROTHER, AL CONDE May 29, 1939 - September 11, 2001 One of The Heroes of September 11, 2001 We Miss You, Al From the ASBURY PARK PRESS ABOUT ALBERT CONDE AGE: 62 HOMETOWN: Marlboro FAMILY: Diane, wife of 31 years, of Marlboro; sons Brian, 33, John, 33, and Matthew, 32, all of Jackson; and daughter Stephanie Tedeschi, 31, of Marlboro EMPLOYMENT: Insurance underwriter for AIG Memories of Albert Conde still linger everywhere, said his widow, Diane Conde. She sees a little bit of her late husband in their son Brian, who, like his father, keeps a carefully written record of his gasoline mileage. She is reminded of the family patriarch when any of their four grown children tells a goofy joke. "My husband was known for his corny jokes, and once in a while the kids will come up with something silly," Conde said. "It's the little things. Every so often something will make us all say, 'Gee, that's what daddy would have said,' or 'That