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Sunday, May 27, 2012

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!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A MESSAGE FROM RONNIE MARTELLA, ASSISTANT LAY DIRECTOR


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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

THANKS, PAT AND JIM!

 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!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SPECIAL EVENTS COMING SOON

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. 

JOIN US IN A DAY OF CELEBRATION - SATURDAY, JULY 21
* 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.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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