Happy Advent!

It is one of my favorite times of the year, full of preparation, waiting and anticipation.  So much to do and all of it adds to the joy and fullness of the time.  And with all that going on, I extend to you an invitation, an invitation to come away for a little while.  To come away, to give yourself an Advent gift, to come and sit at the feet of Jesus and have a Mary moment - Mary who left the busyness of the kitchen and the preparations behind to sit and be present to Jesus. At this mid point of Advent what a good time to stop and reflect on what Jesus being born into our world, into our lives means to us - the absolute incredible truth of what that means.

So please come to Epiphany's Parish Center (aka the Little White Church on the corner) at 8PM on Friday 12/14/12.  If you are not able to join us please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, never far from our hearts.

Let us open the gift of a blessed Advent given so freely by our loving God.



On Sunday December 9th, it was my joy once again to welcome the new cursillistas of Trenton #122 on behalf of our community. Jesus called Peggi Fleming, Olga Vogt, Neddie Kringdon, Carol Frascella, Elizabeth McCartney, Suzanne Fay, Joanne Henderson, Helen Molnar, Elizabeth Cerbie, Maureen McMillan, Mary Ann Polizzi and each one answered the Lord to come away with him and the team of Trenton #122.

Just as the young teens walked with the cross in Spain some 70 years ago, and here in the Diocese of Trenton for 40 years, these woman joined the community in the Chapel singing the words to our beloved "DeColores", proving once again that The Cursillo in Christianity is not a work of man but of the Spirit of God.

Welcome Ladies as we make our pilgrim journey together in our 4th day.

Forever DeColores!

*Please note that due to the proximity to Christmas, our School of Leader has been changed to this Friday December 14th at Epiphany in Brick-Little white church on the corner of Herbertsville Road.  Hope to see all roosters, cluck hens, and babe chicks there at 8 p.m.


Please continue to pray for the Team of Trenton 122. The weekend is to be held December 6 to 9, 2012 at Stella Maris Retreat House.

Spiritual Advisors
Father Ed Blanchett
Sister Simon Robb

Peggy Dannevig (Fourth Day)

Assistant Rectora
Gabrielle Toman (Piety Talk)

Assistant in Training
Kathy Tucker (Leaders Talk)

Ann Eby

Nancy Creviston (Action Talk)

Theresa D'Andrea (Enviornments Talk)
Alice Stanley (Christianity In Action Talk)
Jean Tierney (Study Talk)

Palanca and Prayer Team
Sandra Maldonado (Laity Talk)

Prayer Team
Jackie Devine (Ideal Talk)


Beloved Cursillistas,
As we give thanks to God for sparing us through this terrible storm, let us ask His Mercy and blessings upon those who were left less fortunate, losing homes, cars, possessions and even their lives.  If Sandy has taught us anything, it is that life is precious and unpredictable and in the final analysis in the hands of God alone. It was heart-warming to see how everyone in my neighborhood (still without power as I write these words) pitched in to offer what they could to their neighbors.  Doing what they could, where they are with what they had.  Isn't this the essence of what our little course teaches.
It is necessary for us to cancel our Mass for the deceased Cursillistas on Friday, as so many are still without power and dealing with helping family and friends who are still with us.  This is not to say that we do not honor them with our prayers and certainly, knowing all of you as I do, many will be able to attend Mass on Friday in your own Parishes or those close by and offer up a prayer for all of our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.  May God bless you all and keep you safe in His Loving Care, until we meet again.
forever Decolores!
mary ann xo


The cover of the Oct 11, 2012 issue of the Monitor shows Pope Benedict and the Synod of Bishops with the words “New Evangelization”.  As Cursillistas we are very familiar with the word evangelization, but part of what the Pope is calling for in the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith is for us to take a second look, perhaps a deeper look at these two parts of our journey with the Lord and our life.

As the Pope said at the Synod, “Our role in the new evangelization is to cooperate with God.  We can only let people know what God has done.”.

We hope you can join us at School of Leaders on Friday Oct 19th, 8pm, at Epiphany Parish Hall (the little white church on the corner) to hear more about “The New Evengelization”.



Beloved Cursillistas,

Last Saturday night we gathered to celebrate the 40 years our beautiful "Little Course" has been alive and well in the Diocese of Trenton and also the faithful priest, Fr. Jay Bowden, on his 50 years of priestly service to Our Lord/40 of which we were blessed he shared with Cursillo and the cause to: "make a friend, be a friend and bring that friend to Christ." His love of Cursillo and his leadership, holiness, and commitment to Ultreya and group reunion will live on in all of us who he has touched.

We gathered with old friends and new and once again witnessed the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, as each cursillista brought their gift of food and good cheer. We talked of old times, new times and the future of our movement and hopes for our continued journey. One of my favorite quotes from our movement is "we do not seek to build a zoo but to baptize the jungle". Indeed, the Holy Spirit has has led us, in Trenton, forward on our journey these 40 years as God led the Israelite through the desert. If we have anything to learn from the journey of the chosen people it is that things went much for better for them when they put their trust in God.

So let us begin again to journey with Jesus as our Pilot, trusting in HIM to lead us all the way home. Thank you all for a wonderful celebration, with special thanks to Carol and her team who put it all together.

forever DeColores!
mary ann xo


At School of Leaders last week, Robert opened with a wonderful reflection on letting God "transform" us and in doing so allowing ourselves to be transformed again and again in all our life's circumstances(4th Day). It opened the way for the talks and the sharing which spoke of stepping out in Faith (surrender to God's Will....saying "yes" first and not sweating the details)

Father Ed really drove home what a treasure we have in our Catholic Faith that it is the only "complete" repository of TRUTH-we are the fortunate ones, blessed to be Catholic, blessed to be Cursillistas, blessed to be with each other at School, at Ultreya, in groups-wherever we can gather.  Father reminded us of the four Marks of the Church-One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic- and how we can find in each of these what God wants for us and calls us to as followers.

Dick Andrejack took those points and looked at them in a way that witnessed to a Christian life, lived to the full. Dick heard the call (from me to speak and from God), he listened, responded, prayed, and prepared. He was open to the Spirit and found in the Bishop’s letter what we need to live a life of faith. The letter confirms who we are and what we believe, and that we are co-responsible for handing on the faith.

Dick urged us to read the letter, pass it on to others and to pull out what speaks to us.

The letter can be found at this link.

What a wonderful return to School of Leaders following the summer. I am looking forward to continuing the conversation about how we live in faith, how we can deepen our faith and how we share that faith with us. I hope you join us on Friday, October 19 at the Epiphany Parish Hall.


Beloved Cursillistas, 

Friday night at Diocesan Mass Father Ed based his homily on "trust". Our witness Terry Ginther, expounded on that theme by giving us an amazing rule to live by:  Asking God to take away our fear and then complete surrender to HIS Will.  We all face many challenges in our 4th day but Jesus of Mercy tells us worry is useless...it is our faith that HE desires.  Thank you Father Ed and Terry for reminding us that in these challenging times, Jesus sits on The Throne, yesterday, today and tomorrow. May our Jesus of Mercy take us to a place of enlightenment and Peace as we journey together.

Rosa Parks is quoted as say:  "Memories of our lives, our works and our deeds will live on in others".  May this 9/11 in the year 2012 reflect in us the lives, works and deeds of all those we loved and lost; particularly as we remember our dear Cursillista brother, Al Conde.

Rest in Peace, Al, and pray for our movement, our country and our world.

forever Decolores!
mary ann xo


You are invited to come celebrate 
Trenton Cursillo's 40th Anniversary and
Our Beloved Father Jay Bowden's 50th Jubilee

St. Martha's Church
3800 Hebertsville Road
Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

Saturday, October 6, 2012
6PM to 10PM

There will be a Pot Luck Dinner

Please RSVP by September 23, 2012
Carol Gaynor @ 732-787-3744

CALL TO ACTION by Deacon Tony Martucci

"Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile."

"From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.

All these evils come from within and they defile." MK. 7:22-23

These words today ring out to us as a warning. Our great nation was founded by people who left the security of their homelands in Europe to establish a home where they would be free to worship and live their lives in religious freedom. They fought a war with England to create a free nation protecting the values they loved. The founding fathers wrote a Constitution that established a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In that Constitution, they limited the government’s power to ensure the liberty of its citizens.

Over the past fifty years, we have given up some of that freedom in order to gain security and comfort. Most Catholics have lost their understanding and zeal for our Catholic faith. Once, this church would have been filled with worshipers every Sunday at every Mass. Once All Catholics believed that Jesus is really present in the Holy Eucharist. Once, Catholics would have lined up on Saturday for the Sacrament of reconciliation. Once Catholics were recognized as being different from people of other faiths. 

Now we are assimilated into the American Culture. Our divorce rate is the same as everyone else’s; our churches are perhaps half-filled each Sunday. Few people believe they need to go to confession even once a year, let alone every week or once a month. Some Catholics don’t even believe they are sinners. They choose to live their lives in their own way, picking and choosing what laws of God and the Church they want to follow.

I pray that we who are here today are not judged by what I have just described, but I am afraid that none of us, including me, is as faithful to Christ’s commands as we ought to be. I believe that this is why our nation and our faith are under attack and in danger of being lost. Now is the time for us to choose to renew our faith, to strive to become holy people once again by following the teachings of Christ. We can do this by again turning to the Scriptures each day, to hear and understand the word of God; by attending a Bible Study such as the one being offered here on Tuesday evenings or on Wednesday morning. We can deepen our Faith by watching or listening to Christian programs, such as EWTN; and praying as if our very existence depends on God, for indeed it does. 

We can no longer be satisfied to attend Mass for forty-five minutes per week and think we have done our duty. We need to be Catholic 24/7. We need to speak out for the oppressed-- the homeless, the elderly, the poor, the unborn, the dispossessed. We need to pray daily for our leaders and all the leaders of the world, including those who wish us harm. We need to take an active part in the election system of our country- learning about the candidates, their positions on the issues, supporting those who are most in agreement with our values and working for their election and, of course, being registered and voting in November. If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. 

The Good News is that there is still hope for each of us and for our Country and our way of life. While many have given up on God, He certainly has not given up on us. While Christ chastised the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, He continued to challenge them and teach them. He even died for them and for all sinners. The way for us is clear in the Book of Deuteronomy. Deut.4:1-2

“Moses said to the people: ‘Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.’”

In 2 Chronicals 7:14, we read:

“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”


The sixth chapter of John’s Gospel is a discourse by Christ about the Living Bread . Jesus will teach his disciples and us that He is the Living Bread come from the Father. The discussion will move from the Manna that Moses gave the people to Jesus being their food.  Many of them will walk away, because they are sickened at the thought of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. But Jesus does not correct them or say that he is speaking metaphorically. He says that His flesh is true food and His blood is true drink. At the last Supper, He will give His disciples the first Eucharist and tell them to repeat this action.

Today, most Protestant faiths believe that Eucharist is symbolic and not really Jesus’ Body and Blood. In fact, 60% of Catholics who are questioned do not believe that they really receive Jesus in Communion. Christ’s real presence is a core belief of our Catholic faith and it is not open to debate. The Eucharist has been passed down to us from the Apostles. Saint Paul often referred to the true presence of Christ in his letters to the Churches as early as 40 years after Christ’s death. For example in his letter to the Corinthians St Paul said: “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16)  

Have you ever been an eyewitness to a miracle? 

A miracle is: a wonder; marvel; extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is attributed to a supernatural cause; such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.

In 750 AD at the Church of St. Francis “A monastic priest doubted whether the Body of Our Lord was truly present in the consecrated Host. He celebrated Mass and when he said the words of consecration, he saw the host turn into Flesh and the wine turn into Blood. Everything was visible to those in attendance. The Flesh is still intact and the Blood is divided into five unequal parts and held in a Monstrance in Lanciano, Italy.

In 1970, the Archbishop of Lanciano. Italy and the Provincial Superior of the Conventual Franciscans at Abruzzo, with Rome’s approval, requested Dr. Edward Linoli, director of the hospital in Arezzo and professor of anatomy, histology, chemistry, and clinical microscopy, to perform a thorough scientific examination on the relics of the miracle which had occurred twelve centuries earlier. On March 4, 1971, the professor presented a detailed report of the various studies carried out. Here are the basic results:

1. The “miraculous Flesh" is authentic flesh consisting of muscular tissue of the heart.
2. The “miraculous Blood" is truly human blood A-B – the  same blood type as that of the man of the Shroud and the type most characteristic of Middle Eastern populations.
3. The immunological study shows with certitude that the flesh and the blood are human.

Also, in 1973, the chief Advisory Board of the World Health Organization  of the UN appointed a scientific commission to corroborate Linoli’s findings. Their work lasted 15 months and included 500 tests. It was verified that the 1200 year old fragments taken from Lanciano could in no way be likened to embalmed tissue. As to the nature of the fragment of flesh, the commission declared it to be living tissue. Their reply fully corroborated Professor Linoli’s conclusions. In the extract summarizing the scientific work of the Medical Commission of the WHO and the UN, published in Dec. 1976 in New York and Geneva, declared that science has come to a halt, face to face with the impossibility of explaining the miracle.

Every Sunday we all witness a miracle taking place at Mass. In fact miracles occur on a regular basis each day that Mass is celebated. The priest takes the bread and wine which are offered in our name and says the words of consecration, just as Jesus did at the Last Supper. The bread and wine retain all of their appearances but they are turned into the living Body and Blood of Christ in what is called transubstantiation. 

When you and I receive Christ in Holy Communion, may we recognize the miracle that we participate in, receive Him with the awe, respect and humility that is due to the Son of God.  After receiving, let us take time to give Him thanks and praise for choosing us to share His life.


Beloved Cursillistas,

On the TV Show, Survivor, the ideal is to outwit, outplay, outlast the competition.  Today at our Community Day at Epiphany, the ideal was to RE-Connect, RE-Commit and RE-Consecrate to Our Lord and the Cursillo Movement.  Roe DiStefano and her team of super-cursillistas gave us all the information we need to truly understand all the workings of the Cursillo Section.  It was amazing to see this team put through their paces in such a fun and informative way and to realize how truly inspired our movement is.  Everyone in the room could feel the Power of the Holy Spirit and each leader in the room RE-Consecrated themselves to God through a beautiful prayer which can be found in your Pilgrim's guide.

The message of the day was to stand in awe before Our God and realize that each of us is given a talent and a mission for our time.  Our movement helps us to realize that potential.  As Father Jay explained in the beautiful article you will find in today's Monitor (link) Cursillo is a "deliberate act" to bring Christ into the world for the purpose of Christianizing environments.  If you are a new Cursillista, I would encourage you to get with one of the leaders who was at this joyous day and educate yourselves on what a beautiful and inspired service Cursillo section can be.  In the future we hope to have similar community days which will go deeper into the other sections on secreatariat to inform and inspire us to see HIM more clearly,  love HIM more dearly, follow HIM more nearly....day by day...thank you so much Roe and all the wonderful leaders who gave us the blessing of this day.

forever DeColores!
mary ann xo 


A beautiful article about Father Jay's jubilee can be found in this week's Monitor. The article includes information about Father Jay's long dedication and involvement with Cursillo. You can read the article by clicking on this link.


Beloved Cursillistas,

In order to better understand "EXACTLY" what the language of the HHS mandate will mean in practical terms, please refer to Archbishop Lori's brilliant Parable of the Kosher Deli which can be found at http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-parable-of-the-kosher-deli/ .  Bishop O'Connell has asked us to keep praying for him and for all our priests and bishops as they go before us in order to keep us informed, articulate and courageous in waging the battle against this unjust law.

forever DeColores!
mary ann xo


I pray the prayer of Jabez frequently throughout my day:

        Oh, that you would bless me, indeed
        And enlarge my territory
        That Your Hand would be with me,
        And that you would keep me from evil.

The second line is a step in faith asking the Lord to take me whenever he would to do HIS work. I know that my capacity is limited these days and I believe that he is telling me to simply touch everyone I come in contact with.

We just moved into our new home in Toms River, and yesterday morning (Sunday) our new neighbor John came to our door to tell us that our well (for the sprinkler system) was running constantly into a drain and out into the street. We thought it was rain water coming out of the drain caused by Friday's heavy rain. Anyway, John showed me how to turn off the system and then showed me the access to the well and commenced to get down on his knees and removed the pressure relief valve that was causing the problem (John is 81 years old). I thanked John for his help and told him he was a good man and a great neighbor.

He then took me around to all the neighbors that were outside their homes and introduced me to each of them. I asked John what he was doing a for the day and he said he was taking it easy as his had just left to go shopping with their daughter and the last thing he wanted to do was go shopping with them. But then he paused and told me that maybe he should have as his daughter recently had a mastectomy followed by radiation treatment and new reports showed the cancer had returned. I told John that I could only begin to imagine how he felt. John then turned to leave and I asked his daughter's first name and he said Karen, as he was walking away. I told him that I would place her on the top of my prayer list. His head turned back slightly to give me some acknowledgement, but then walked away. I wanted to do more for John to take away his pain, especially since I know the hurt of loosing one so close. John's reaction to me seemed a bit awkward, but I trust that HIS Hand will be with John, his wife and their daughter Karen. Perhaps you could say a prayer for Karen and her parents, John and Jean.

ST. JOSEPH By Sister Clara Schroeder, CSJP

 Joseph was a descendant of King David. We know this from the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 1, verse 17. Because Joseph was of the House and family of King David, he had to go Bethlehem, the city of David, with Mary, his wife, to be enrolled in the first census of that time. It was there in Bethlehem that Jesus was born. This can be found in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 2, verses 1 to 7. Joseph, a carpenter by trade, would have a role in history that would be unlike anything that anyone could have imagined.

Let’s spend a few moments now with Joseph who is the patron of a happy death, a model of fatherhood and a protector of families.

Joseph, when you were a boy, did you ever imagine the role in history you would play? When you fell in love with Mary, could you ever have possibly imagined her role in history? What was it like for you when you held the tiny baby, Son of God, in your arms on that first Christmas night? When you looked into the eyes of baby Jesus, what peace must have filled your whole being! I think that that moment made all the anguish you went through during your engagement period to Mary so worthwhile. Remember how upset you were when Mary told you she was pregnant and you knew that you were not the father. Even in your turmoil over this situation, you trusted in God.

And God did come to your assistance when he sent the angel to you in your sleep to assure you that it was OK to marry Mary and that her baby was truly God’s Son. You could have had Mary stoned, as that was the custom when women were unfaithful. But you did not. Instead you planned to put her away quietly. You knew in your heart that Mary could never be unfaithful to you. How tender and just you were. How you loved and honored Mary, your wife! (Matthew, chapter 1)

What tremendous faith in God again you had when you obeyed the angel a second time who told you to flee to Egypt with your family because the Child whom God entrusted to you was in mortal danger from King Herod. You, Jesus and Mary were foreigners in a strange land. You went there out of obedience to God’s will. This can be found in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 2, verses 13 and 14. Once more you displayed trust in God whom you obeyed when the angel told you to take your family back home to Israel because Herod had died. (Matthew, chapter 2, verses 19 to 22) How your tender heart must have ached when you learned of the slaughter of the innocent male babies by Herod because he was unable to find Jesus, whom he feared to be his rival. I’m sure there were many other times in your lifetime that you needed to totally trust God.

You taught us how to trust in Divine Providence. Through your trust in God, you were able to care for your holy family in Egypt and keep them safe. In today’s world, as well as in the past, so many people who are fleeing for there safety can look to you for guidance and comfort. Your trust was based on your unfaltering faith in God. What a lesson for each of us. How we need Faith! How can you trust unless you believe? How can you trust if you don’t believe?

During the years that Jesus grew up, I would have loved to have been there and watched you teach the Son of God your trade, carpentry, and how to be a good Jew by loving and obeying the Jewish law. Amidst the joy and happiness during those years, however, there must have been times when your heart was heavy as you pondered the destiny of Jesus, whom you loved so much. All the fathers down through the ages can look to you for comfort when they worry for their children’s safety.

Joseph, when you held the Son of God in your arms as an infant and heard Him utter some of his first sounds, many years later, that Son of God, now a grown man, held you in his arms when you uttered your last words. No wonder that the Church, in her wisdom, has proclaimed you the Patron of a Happy Death!

You had the most awesome responsibility of any man who has ever lived. You were entrusted the lives of the Son of God and the Mother of God. You had to take care of them and keep them safe. And you did that in spite of the many dangers you encountered. It amazes me so much, Joseph, that Scripture does not record anything you have said. All we know about you is what you did, not what you said. I think of a saying that I am sure most of you have heard. And that is: “Actions speak louder than words.” Your life, as we know it from Scripture, does make this saying so true.

Your life, Joseph, was indeed complex. You were a lover, husband, father, protector, teacher, carpenter, listener and especially a prayer. You displayed so many virtues—trusting, obedient, loyal, responsible, humble, tender, patient, kind and strong, and yes, tough. You had to take your family to Egypt on a donkey, not a car. And you had to protect your precious family from harm, such as robber.

So, in your quiet, humble way, Joseph, you taught us how to trust, how to obey, how to be faithful, how to love tenderly. But most of all, you taught us how to live in peace by being just.

St Joseph, pray for us. De Colores!


Pay Attention, Be Amazed, Tell About It.

Recently I was fortunate to take part, along with other members of Secretariat, in a Day of Spirituality.  Sister Ann Marie Rimmer, a Dominican sister who is one of the retreat directors at Stella Maris, along with two lay women, led us on a day of reflection and discovery. 

Sister Ann Marie told us of retreat she attended in which the first thing she read while she was there were those 7 words with which this began.  They are from a book of poetry.  Think about it, 7 small words, packed with potential.  She reminded us of the need to bring ourselves away from the daily needs, works and distractions we encounter - in order to be open and attentive to God in our lives.
One of the lay women gave us 4 glimpses of the Mary as she looked back a 4 seminal moments of her life with Jesus starting with her initial response to God’s invitation and the lay woman other took us through an experience of centering prayer during which we started, or perhaps deepened, the process of BE-ing with our God who loves us right down to our very core.

Each woman gave us a different perspective and a different way in which to move closer to God.

That evening at Mass, the homilist reflected on the gospel of the vine and the branches.  He said that perhaps because we have heard this reading and know it well, we might not always take the time to think about what that message is telling us-we can be so very close to Jesus –so close that we are part of who He is. 

Each of these people told us the same thing, in order to get closer to God and discover God’s plan for us, we need to slow down and take time to allow for the connection to be made.

At School of Leaders on May 18, our presenters will speak about discernment-the how and where we can find and see God in our lives.   

Please join us for this evening of enlightenment.


 A very special thanks to Pat and Jim Christenson for arranging a very enlightening and wonderful trip to the Princeton University Museum of Art. The tour of its religious art works was outstanding. Over 19 cursillistas attended. The exhibit is open to the public - details can be found at http://artmuseum.princeton.edu/. Pat and Jim - thank you for a wonderful day!


SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY - On SATURDAY, JUNE 2 our own beloved Deacon Tony Martucci will be celebrating his 25th Anniversary as a Deacon with a Mass at 4 pm at St. Pius X in Forked River. Join us at this Mass for Tony and Pat.  

COMMUNION BREAKFAST - Robert Lauricella writes: "Just a reminder our Pancake Breakfast is set for SUNDAY, JUNE 3. I will be opening up at 6:00 am. The men will star cooking shortly after. The Masses are 7:30, 9:00, 10:30 am. We will be serving Eggs, Pancakes, Sausage ,Juice, Coffee, Tea, and some other goodies. We will be at St. Mary's School Cafeteria, Cherry Tree Farm Road,  Middletown NJ. The price $6 children for children, $10 for adults. Let's all join together and make this a successful fundraiser.Keep this in prayer."

PLEASE COME IN, THE STADIUM IS OPEN - All are invited to the Trenton Thunder baseball game at the Waterfront Park on FRIDAY, JUNE 8. They are playing the Binghamton Mets. Tickets are $8 each. Please email Matt Oleynick at trentoncursillo@gmail,com for reservations and/or questions. 

* Prayer * Songs * Sharing * WHEN: Saturday, July 21, 2012 WHERE: Epiphany Little White Church WHEN: 9:00 AM sign in Lunch will be served. Pre-registration prior to July 21 is necessary. For more details, please contact: Roe DiStefano at 732-367-4195 Details to follow.

A Message from Our Lay Director, Mary Ann Dowd

Beloved Cursillistas,

Last week the words to the hymn....."we got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in our hearts" kept going through my head.  I had no idea why until we attended the Regional Encounter on the weekend.  The encounter was wonderful in all the ways we hold dear as Cursillistas.  It was an encounter with self, God and our neighbors.  But, it wasn't until the very end of the weekend, when we had some closing thoughts from our regional Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Andre Meluskey, that i realized the reason for this recurring song.  Father shared with us that in his 53 years as a Priest, his most intimate, touching and unforgetable experience was living his Cursillo in Christianity!  He reminded us that living the life of a Christian is, in his words, "a party".......he challenged us to let the world know that indeed we got that joy...joy....joy...joy down in our hearts.

Forever DeColores!
Mary Ann xo


"Evangelization is the mission of the church. And that means it is our mission. How comforting to know that this mission is not meant to be a burden! How encouraging to know that we have the Holy Spirit with us. How energizing to know that he will never fail to give us everything we need to accomplish the task—even the boldness to step out and try! So what are you waiting for? So what are you waiting for? Not only do you have the best news in the world to share, you have the Holy Spirit to help you share it!" 
Please visit the the Word Among Us web site for more thoughful reflections.


This Friday, April 20th is School of Leaders.  We will begin at 8pm and finish the review and update of the Pastoral Plan.  To see the updates/changes made to date you can go to the the link in the upper right hand corner, under the We Remember and Gennesaret tabs.  The changes are marked with the dates they were made.

At Mass, last Friday evening, Hilare Reinold gave a wonderful witness about things communal and community.  She spoke about hearing at a communal penance service that we gather together because we know God loves us and wants the best for us. The times that we come together, whether it is a Cursillo weekend, Gennesaret, Ultreya, or small group, we get a glimpse of the world as it can be with everyone serving each other, using the gifts we have been given for the good of all.  Let us continue to work together toward that common goal of building the kingdom of God here-right where we are.  Our work on the Pastoral Plan is one part of that journey--come and join us and make Trenton Cursillo even better as we move forward guided by the Holy Spirit.

DeColores and Buen Camino,



Dr. Christopher Bellitto, PhD., of Kean University
on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 7:30 PM
at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish Hall,
61 Georgia Road, 
Freehold, NJ, 07728

St. Robert Bellarmine Adult Education Ministry presents
Dr.Christopher Bellitto, PhD., of History at Kean University.
Join us for an evening of discovery as we uncover the
The story of Jerusalem: a City of Joy and of Sorrow.
From the earliest mention in the Bible to the present day headlines,
the city of Jerusalem has played a vital role in world history.
The rise and fall, twist and turns for nearly 3000 years of the city
that sits at the intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Dr. Bellitto takes us on the journey of the story of
Jerusalem: a City of Joy and of Sorrow.
Light refreshments will be served


Beloved Cursillistas,

As our Lord draws us near this Holy Week, our Cursillista community can easily see our journey mirrored in HIS Passion.  The physical and mental pain, abandonment, doubt, sorrow and finally surrender to the Will of the Father.  As we look for answers in this changing world, let us walk our camino with HIM as HE walks with us.  The Carmelites had sent something this week which helped David and me and I pass it on to all our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Let us remember:

     There is no place beyond HIS strength....
     no boundaries to HIS love....
     no limit to HIS mercies...
     no need beyond HIS care.

Our love and HIS peace for a blessed, joyful and Happy Easter!

Mary Ann xo


I go to a Zumba class each week. One of the reasons I really enjoy it is the instructor, Carlos.  Not only is he good at what he does but he is full of genuine enthusiasm and always has a smile on his face.  I get the feeling that if he was the only person in the room-he’d still be smiling and enjoying the movement. At the start of each class he always tells us, “Don’t worry about doing the moves exactly like me (and others) are doing, just keep moving, enjoy yourself and have fun!”  And do we have fun.   There are times when most-if not all-of the class is moving in unison. It looks and feels incredible!  Even if a couple of us aren’t quite there-it doesn’t matter-we just keep moving, doing the best we can and getting the benefits of being with others who want the same thing and are working toward the same goal.
That is how I’d like community to think about School of Leaders-come, enjoy, share, work with others toward a common vision and goal, have fun & share in the fellowship.  Don’t worry about “getting all the moves” right away, there is nothing you need to know to join your fellow Cursillistas, bring your gifts and enthusiasm—add your moves & voice as it were to the music of the movement. 
The revision of the Pastoral Plan continues March 16th  at 8:30.  The recommendations will be reviewed and then the process of discerning what to keep and what to change will begin.  We will continue that work with the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound) guidelines as well to determine how each recommendation responds to a goal or objective and how it fits in the context of the work of that section. Part of the work will include a determination of when a recommendation would happen i.e. if a section recommends a workshop -when will that happen and as important-who will carry out the recommendation. 
A REMINDER-as part of our Lenten observance, there will be no snacks.  Liquid refreshment will be available but please do not bring anything on Friday evening.  Thanks.
DeColores and Buen Camino,


We ask all cursillistas to join us in remembering in prayer our beloved Retired Bishop John C. Reiss, who passed away Sunday, March 4. Many cursillistas will remember Bishop Reiss' leadership of our Diocese and his presence at many Cursillo events. More about Bishop Reiss can be found at the Diocese of Trenton website. 

Past Lay Director Gordon Reinold said of Bishop Reiss:

"I remember Bishop Reiss as a kind and gentle man who had a good sense of humor. He was good to us in Cursillo. May he rest in the fullness of God's love."

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. 


Beloved Cursillistas,
Last night at Diocesan Mass Father Ed challenged us to live the gospel message we heard as true Cursillistas.  Father expressed that although the times we live in are exasperating with all that goes against the gospel of life Jesus preached;  we must not respond out of anger or hatred in the same way that we are being attacked, but we must SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE, as Jesus taught us to do.  

We are being challenged as the first Cursillistas were, to bring love where there is hatred, to bring light into the darkness.  We must truly be informed, articulate and courageous in defending our precious faith because  Now more than ever-----Christ is counting on us!

Forever DeColores!
Mary Ann xo

LIVING GOD'S WILL by Deacon Tony Martucci

I found this note on the mirror of my bathroom as I was washing this morning:

Good morning, this is God. I will be handling all of your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day.

Who is in charge of your life? Who has control? When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say “Thy will be done.” Do we really mean that?

In the Book of Genesis, God tells Abraham to take his son Isaac to the mountain and to offer the boy as sacrifice to God. What father or mother would be able to do such a thing? God tested Abraham’s love for Him. He asked Abraham not to put anything or anyone ahead of Him. Abraham took Isaac, but he was far from happy about the sacrifice. “God will provide the offering,” Abraham told Isaac. And He did!

In the Mark’s Gospel, Jesus brings Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain where He speaks with Moses the great lawgiver of the Hebrew Testament, and with the great prophet, Elijah. Scripture scholars believe that they were talking about Christ’s coming Passion and Death. In his humanity, Christ needed to be encouraged and supported in what He was about to undergo. The Apostles were witnesses so that they could be supported after witnessing Christ’s passion and death.

Is it so remarkable, then, that we too are expected to love God above all else? The first Commandment given to Moses is: I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

When a scribe asked Christ: “What is the greatest commandment?” He responded, “You shall love the Lord, your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole strength.”  God commands us to love Him above all else. This is the same test that He gave to Abraham.

How many of us are able to pass such a test, to trust God completely with our lives? When I was in high school run by the Society of Jesus, I learned many prayers of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. I still pray one of the prayers every day. It is the prayer of abandonment. The words are:  Lord Jesus, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I am and all that I have, You have given to me. I surrender them to be guided by Your will. Your grace and Your love are enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, for with them I am rich enough and desire nothing more. 

I have prayed that prayer nearly every day since high school. But there was a period of time when I stopped saying it. One morning as I was praying, I thought of the meaning of those words and I considered all that I am and all that I have. At that time, I had my wife, two young children, my job and our home. Could I really surrender my wife to God’s will? I struggled with that for a few days and decided that I could not give God my wife. I really love her and could not let her go. What would my children and I do without her? A short time later, I decided that our children were too precious to me to surrender them, so I kept them also. Soon, I felt I could no longer pray the prayer with sincerity, so I stopped for a few years.

Eventually, I remembered the prayer and thought I would try to pray it again. As I paused, thinking of my family, I considered: What would God do to them that would be harmful to their eternal destiny or to mine. Doesn’t God love them more than I do? How could my surrendering them to Him be a bad thing? Since then, I have begun each day again giving my life, my family and my possessions to God, and asking Him to bless all of us. And He has.

“Thy will be done.” Who has control of your life? You don’t.  You cannot control your health, your job, the weather or traffic. You only think you have control. Learn to let go and let God be the center of your life and handle your all of your needs.

Remember the words of John 3:15- God so loved each of us that He gave us His Son, so that everyone who believes in Him shall not die, but have eternal life


Beloved Cursillistas:

A while ago we had put out to community a request to pray and do Palanca for our on-going journey, as well as encouraging community to share ideas for future endeavors.  We want to keep you posted.  As of this date we have received the following commitment to prayer and fasting from Lakewood Ultreya:
  • A Rosary Holy Hour
  • Novena to our Blessed Mother
  • A Saint Jude Novena
  • Fasting from milk or cream in coffee
  • Alms giving to the poor
We are all included in this prayer and sacrifice as we all continue our 4th day journey.  It is in the knowledge that others care for us in Christ that keeps us going (Ultreya!) God bless you all and keep you in HIS Loving Care.

Forever DeColores!
Mary Ann xo


Beloved Cursillistas:

Think, Pray, take responsibility for your Faith in Jesus Christ. Here are three short quotes which we can ponder in the Precious Presence of the Blessed Sacrament:

"To give the victory to the RIGHT, not bloody bullets, but----PEACEFUL BALLOTS only are necessary." (Abraham Lincoln)

"The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the Hand of God" (John F. Kennedy)

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesars and to GOD the things that are GOD's" (Jesus Christ of Nazareth)

Forever DeColores!
Mary Ann xo


Something to think about regarding being a friend as discussed in The Word Among Us. Sounds like the author may be a cursillista!
"Jesus never intended the Christian life to be a solitary journey. On the contrary, we are stronger when we are surrounded and supported by brothers and sisters in the faith. Where the world tells us to be inde­pendent and self-reliant, Jesus tells us to lean on each other—and to let others lean on us. That’s probably why he sent his disciples to preach two by two. He knew they needed to balance each other out, with one helping the other in moments of weakness or tiredness. He knew they needed each other so that they would not fall to temptations of pride, or give up in the face of oppo­sition or hardship.
What about you? Do you have brothers and sisters to help bring you to Jesus? Are there people whom you would go out of your way to help in their faith? It’s always a good idea to reach out to one or two peo­ple in your parish and try to build a friendship with them based on your faith. God wants to give us compan­ions along the way. May we all be open to so generous a gift, the gift of one another."
Let's do it! Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.

Photo courtesy of http://mrg.bz/jpbDaj


School of Leaders is Friday February 17, 2012 at Epiphany's Parish Hall (the Little White Church on the corner) starting at 8pm.

Trenton Cursillo has a solid base from which to grow; School of Leaders, Ultreyas, small groups (some of which have been in place for many, many years), our 40th anniversary coming up and new Cursillistas. It is clear that community loves God, each other and Cursillo. However, Sister Clara recently told me of something she heard the author Joyce Rupp say-“God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you to much to leave you there.” As we respond to God's call to not stay where we are, we have challenges ahead of us that will influence the way we need to plan and the decisions we make.

Trenton Cursillo needs to move forward, to reflect changes in community and circumstances and to respond to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. That movement was started at January School of Leaders when those gathered there brainstormed on the question-“What are the challenges Trenton Cursillo faces going forward?” The responses were gathered and put into 4 major categories by the group: who we are, what we do, how we do it and communication. There was a fourth category, one which seems to come up often and applies to each of the four listed above -we all need to make friends of others, then through prayer and discernment, decide who is ready to live a Cursillo.

The process of revising the plan will continue for the next 3 Schools. In February the group as a whole will look at the Mission Statement, the Vision Statement and Overview of the plan. Then we’ll break into sections and those groups will focus on the purpose and objectives of each section. And if time allows we will begin the work of determining recommendations for each section to carry out the plan.

This requires not just creating a plan but that community takes ownership of the creation, implementation and continuation of the goals and recommendations of the plan.

In order to get right to work and make the most of our time together, I am asking that you review the plan before February School of Leaders. Copies have been sent to the Ultreya leaders, those attending January’s School received a copy and the plan is on the website (right above the red "3 Minute Retreat"). See if you can get a copy from one of those sources.

I am excited about this process and more than that, I am looking forwarded to seeing the fruits of our labors as we respond to the call of Holy Spirit to leave where we are and move into the future!

Ultreya and Buen Camino,

IN GOD WE TRUST by Deacon Tony Martucci

Two angels came to earth, disguised as poor, lost travelers. At the first home they visited, they found a very wealthy couple who refused to invite them in, and sent them away, cold, hungry and exhausted. Before leaving, one angel placed a valuable gift behind the bushes of the home. At the second home, was a very poor family with four children. With scarcely enough for their family, the couple invited the angels in, shared some of their food with them and let them rest in the warm bed for the night. The next morning before the two angels left, one angel put a huge hole in the foundation of the house.

The second angel was very puzzled by these actions of the first angel. “I don’t understand why you left a valuable treasure in the first house when the people there was so mean and spiteful and caused such a burden on the second family who gave all they had for us.”

“Everything is not always as it seems,” replied the first angel. “When the first couple discovers the treasure, they will be consumed by their greed. They will argue and fight and the treasure will fall to the ground and be destroyed. They will become even more miserable. The second couple will see the damaged foundation, and at first be distraught. When the husband goes to repair it he will find a treasure that has been buried there for a very long time, and the family will be able to live and be happy.”

In the Hebrew Testament, Job is upset and confused over his great losses. He thinks God is treating him unjustly. Job has led a life of piety, hasn’t done anything to deserve this kind of treatment, and blames God for his misery. He cannot see beyond the here and now.

How often in our own lives have we questioned God’s wisdom when it comes to pain and suffering? Why did God let this happen to me, or to us? God does not cause suffering; but God permits it in our human life.  It is a result of sin in the world, imperfection and evil that exists since the fall of Adam and Eve. There was no pain or suffering when God created the universe. That was not part of God’s plan. However, God gave us free will, and that allowed not only pain and suffering, but also the grace of God to give us consolation and comfort. Often it is through pain and suffering that we can come to a new understanding of God’s power and enter into a deeper relationship.

In chapter 9 of John’s Gospel we read: As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” Then Christ healed the man of his blindness and many came to believe in Jesus and became his disciples.  It is often like that with us as well. In faith we can see the hand of God in our everyday life, whether it be in our joys or in our sorrows, in times of prosperity and in times of need.

Even now, as our country goes through crisis, we can see the hand of God. Bishop O’Connell warned  in his  letter regarding the Federal order to violate our consciences and provide health insurance that will pay for abortions and contraceptives is a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Certainly this is not something that we would choose or want. How can God allow this?  Watch how God can bring good even out of this.

First, it has united many people within the Catholic community to want to do something to show their anger and displeasure. We can our congressional representatives and senators by mail, phone or email.

Second, it has brought other faiths alongside us to stand together against this violation of the first amendment right to religious freedom. It has unified us as did the terrible attack on September 11.

Third, it will show the power of God when the victory has been achieved.  For many years, our country has travelled a path that has taken us further and further from our democratic and religious roots. This is our wake-up call to turn back to God.

Let each of us here today resolve to pray and fast for the good of our nation and our world. Let us place our trust in Almighty God and live by the motto of our Great Nation: “IN GOD WE TRUST”.


Beloved Cursillistas,

Friday night at Diocesan Mass began (as Ronnie Martella says), our journey "back to the future".  It began with Father Ed once again reading the letter from the Bishop urging us, as Catholics, to speak up against what is an unconstitutional law forcing not only Catholics, but people of conscience everywhere, to conform to anti-life legislation. By going to the Right to Life website you can easily access your congressmen and make your feelings known. (Editor's Note: Here is a link to the United States Conference of Bishops to learn more about the HHS Mandate - http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm )

Secondly, Al Martella reminded us of the past influences on our environments and our attitudes (the Faith of our fathers and mothers and friends), which taught us to understand how BIG our God Is...how much HE loves us and how to respond to that Love (the witness can be found below)...and

Thirdly, the announcment was made of plans for an inter-collegiate cooperative Cursillo for our Diocesan colleges in the summer of 2013 (more information to come)

In order to respect the memory of those living and dead, who have helped us on our journey, be courageous and fight the  Good fight ahead of us, as well as prayerfully prepare for the collegiate Cursillos, we ask that all of us humble ourselves in prayer and palanca to God.  This palanca can be posted so all of our community can see it and be encouraged at our website where we have posted a prayer to St. Paul (the link is to the right column at the top of the page) which we can say as often as possible to beg God to help and strengthen us.  Be Courageous! (Palanca can be emailed to trentoncursillo@gmail.com.)

Forever Decolores!
Mary Ann xo


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