Do you wonder why a person would want to walk the El Camino? Is it for some personal reason, or a higher purpose? In the movie, The Way, one of the main characters said the he was walking the Camino because he wanted to lose weight, to be slimmer for his brother’s wedding; another was looking for a story and another looking for forgiveness. The main character, Tom was walking the Camino for his son who was killed in the mountains on his first day of his Camino. What happens when you are done? But the reason and the outcome are not as important as the journey.
Whether you walk one of the shorter routes to Santiago de Compostela or the longer path the Camino is not the end but a means to an end. Walking the El Camino, is living and so is the Cursillo tripod--piety, that leads to study which leads to action. In Piety we follow the example of Jesus to go away to a quiet place and there commune with a God who loves us more than we can imagine. Whether in silent meditation, awe at the beauty God has provided or just chatting with the Creator of all our goal is to become more like Christ. In Study we notice the little things in life--the fragrance of the flowers, the moist air on a dewy morning, the sweat coming from our brow but also the people around us. A head hanging lower than normal, a walk that is slower or faster than before, pain in the eyes, noticing life as it is lived around us. Action is the living out my communion with Christ, my knowledge of His desire for me and for the world around me and courageously living it, To walk all of the El Caminos of my life toward the ultimate end – union with God.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
O God, eternal shepherd, you govern your flock with unfailing care. You have given us a new Holy Father, Pope Francis. May his personal holiness mirror that of his beloved predecessors who have served you and your people throughout our lifetime.
May Pope Francis be given true and respectful hearing and following among the various people of the Church and of the world. May he help build your Church as did Francis of Assisi centuries ago. Protect and guide our Holy Father Lord God, and may the people of the world and of the Church ever come to more clearly see, hear and follow You under his leadership. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will celebrate a public Mass for the Election of the Pope on Tuesday, March 12 at 12:10 p.m. in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. All are invited to participate in this opportunity for prayer and community, set to coincide with the beginning of the papal conclave in Rome.
Bishop O’Connell encourages all members of the Catholic community to celebrate this historic occasion, and to share in a time of prayer for the election of a new Shepherd for our Church.
If you are unable to attend, please join us in a prayer for the conclave tomorrow at Noon.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
That was so evident on Friday night as community gathered for the celebration of the Eucharist and the installation of Rick and me as Assistant Lay Director and Lay Director. Your warmth, love, support and enthusiasm was evident and powerful, it lifted me and filled me with so many good things. To those who offered prayer and sacrifice and perhaps couldn't be there and those who were able to make it, my humble gratitude. As I said on Friday night, the Trenton Cursillo community is there for each other, in sorrow and joy. If one of us struggles-we all struggle and rare is the time that not only prayer is offered but help in all many ways.
You are all in my prayers daily and I ask for your prayers and your support. And I would ask one more thing....search your heart...pray and listen for the answer and if you believe God is calling you to a leadership role within Cursillo; Ultreya Leader, Secretariat section head, speaker at School of Leaders, respond to that call, trust that God will give to you all you need, often in abundance and step forward. Ask someone in one of those roles about what it entails, talk to me, talk to Rick.
I took small, sometimes very small, steps and often I tarried but God is good and God is patient and God has brought me to this place. Without God I can do nothing, but with God and the Trenton Cursillo community...great things can happen.
Ultreya and Buen Camino!
P.S. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
A wonderful opportunity is coming during this Easter season. On Saturday April 13, 2013 there will be a Day of Recollection. prepared and presented by Sister Simon and Father Ed for the entire community. It will be held at St. Denis, 90 Union Ave, Manasquan, NJ 08736. Details will be coming shortly but do put this date on your calendar, it will be a day to join with our sisters and brothers, listen, learn, share, break bread and enjoy fellowship.
Monday, March 4, 2013
TO OUR NEWEST LAY DIRECTOR,
ASSISTANT LAY DIRECTOR AND
HEAD OF SCHOOL OF LEADERS,
OUR NEWEST PAST LAY DIRECTOR,
MARY ANN DOWD
"May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you."
CHRIST IS COUNTING ON YOU!
Sunday, March 3, 2013
How often are we reminded by the old adage that "the only constant in life is change?" We will soon see this in the universal Church and in our diocesan Cursillo Movement: at the end of February: our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will step down to be succeeded by – as I write – only the Holy Spirit knows and
Mary Ann Dowd will soon be succeeded by Ronnie Martella as our Lay Director (interesting how they will both happen on the same day, isn't it?)
As much as we would wish things to stay the same, our experience and our intellect tell us that this is impossible. Even the Church, as it moves through time, seems to be subject to the forces that refuse to allow things in this life to remain static. We are most poignantly reminded of this when we experience life-changing events ourselves, such as a change in job, financial status or health; when our children start out on their own; the welcoming into or the loss of a loved one from our family. How can we possibly find an anchor to cling to when even what we find so dear to us – who and what we so often rely upon – seem to be in our lives only for a short while?
Well, we do know of two things that will never change: the truth and God's love for each of us. Even as the Church prays for and awaits a new Vicar of Christ on earth, even as we prepare to welcome Ronnie into her new responsibilites, we know that what each of these leaders represent remains constant. Maybe the reason behind even these changes is to remind us that the Church and – through its special calling and participation – our Cursillo Movement share the same unchanging mission: to continually live and present the immutable truth and knowledge of God's love to others and to respond to the challenges made by the world, in a way that remains vital and relevant at a time when values and priorites seem to change daily. Yes, the truth and God's love remain the same, but how the world will react and apply them (if indeed it chooses to apply them at all) changes. The faithful are called to interpret and present them in ways that both respects the inherent, transcendent meaning of those gifts and can truly, concretely touch the hearts of those who receive them.
With humble thanks to Pope Benedict and Mary Ann for their servant-leadership, we also pray for our Church leaders and our new Lay Director as they assume their duties. May God continue to give them the courage and the grace needed to truly reach people "where they live" and to bring us all closer to Christ!