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Showing posts from 2014

FOR YOUR STUDY - RAKING LEAVES by Joe Vella, Sr., Trenton 67

Editor's Note: Joe gave the "Study" talk on my weekend, Trenton 71. I will never forget that talk and Joe.  Raking Leaves Now that my wife has taken up residence with the Lord, I live with my daughter Barbara and son in law. Allan. They have a large piece of property and I have become the self appointed groundskeeper. With twenty four giant oak trees on the premises raking leaves in the Fall is a gargantuan project. You might say I'm the 'fall guy'. Raking has afforded me the opportunity to mourn, pray, and reminisce, while all the time raking leaves. I pander to a little amusement, “I'm finally 'big time now' I'm really raking it in.” Yes I pray, why not I have the occasion? While partnered with nature I am inclined to the natural, the supernatural and unexpected, But I ask a contemporary question like should I be wearing my “Life Alert”? I see the birds and for no solid reason old phrases come to mind. “Birds of a feather flock together

FOR YOUR STUDY

Offered by Loyola Press, Sunday Connection offers background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings. It can be found at http://www.loyolapress.com/sunday-connection.htm . Thanks to Matt Oleynick for sharing this link. 

FOR YOUR STUDY: ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS by Deacon Tony Martucci, Deacon Spiritual Advisor

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In Ireland, Father Kelly addressed his congregation one Sunday: “If you want to go to heaven, stand up. Slowly, one by one people began to stand. One man remained seated. Father Kelly said, “Reilly, do you mean to sit there and tell me you don’t want to go to heaven?” “Oh, no, Father. I thought you were leaving right away.” “Everyone sit down,” continued Fr. Kelly. “Anyone who wants to go to hell stand up.” Very slowly, Reilly rose in the pew. “Reilly, now I know you’re daft,” said Father Kelly. “You mean to stand there and tell me you want to go to hell?” “Oh no, Father, but you looked so lonely standing by yerself.” …. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there. All life is precious: whether in the womb, in illness, or at old age. It doesn’t matter to God what our contribution to society may be. All of us are created in the image of God with an immortal soul. Our destiny is to know and love God and to live a life worthy of Him. Christ came to earth to s

EVENT UPDATES

Upcoming Retreat: Everyone is invited to our next diocesan Mass which will be held Friday Dec 5 at San Alfonso Retreat house.  Following the Mass and fellowship our retreat will start that evening and finish on Sunday Dec 7th.  The cost of the retreat will be $150.  The retreat will include talks by Fr. Ed, Sister Simon and Deacon Tony, along with reflection and private time. More information about San Alfonso's can be found at  http://www.sanalfonsoretreats. org/ If you would like to attend, you can let your ultreya leader know or send an email to us at trentoncursillo@gmail.com.    National Encounter in Philadelphia 2015: The next National Encounter will be held July 23-25, 2015 at Villanova University, outside of Philadelphia.  Region 2 will be very involved in the planning and all the lay directors of the region are asking the cursillistas in their diocese to consider volunteering at the encounter, as a matter of fact  Jacquelyn DeMesme-Gray,  Region II Coordin

A MESSAGE FROM RONNIE MARTELLA, LAY DIRECTOR

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At School of Leaders last Friday evening, Pat Ivanko shared a reflection on how God gifts us with others as we travel together. Several examples of the way in which God paired people up was given and two things stood out for me. One was the mention (I think if was in reference to Moses) of them “checking their maps” and the other was hearing about how sharing the journey benefits all of us. After grouping and fellowship, Deacon Tony gave a talk on “what does God want from me?” and how the 3 Glances of Christ showed the ways in which the 3 people were given the chance to find out the answer that question. Some were able to do it, others could not. What do we need to discern the answer to Deacon Tony's question “what does God want from me?” We need to be open to Him when He glances at us. Mike Ivanko used the Ideals talk to illustrate how we can see in the lives of others that aiming toward our ideal keeps us on the right track. He gave a beautiful, touching witness to bring home t

FOR YOUR PIETY AND STUDY FROM MARIE GARRETT

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Marie Garrett writes: "A  l ive production of Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy" will be performed by actress Maria Vargo and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of St. Luke Productions at St. Magdalen dePazzi Parish Center in Flemington on   Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 7 PM .  This drama is a riveting modern story that makes Divine Mercy remarkably relevant and urgent for our world today.  It runs 90 minutes and is suitable for ages 13 and up.  Admission is $10.  For tickets and additional info visit  www.stmagdalen.org .   Below is the trailer. You can learn more at   www.DivineMercyDrama.com Marie adds: "I have seen his productions and they are marvelous." Marie also suggests dinner at St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Hillsborough. They resume the Slavic Dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 4-7 p.m. The dinner will be held in the St. Mary Parish Center, 1900 Brooks Boulevard, Hillsborough. The cost is $12 for adults (ages 9 and up) and $5 for Ch

EVANGELIZATION THROUGH FRIENDSHIP

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Read this wonderful talk presented by Jackie DeMesme-Gray, Region 2 Head, at the National Cursillo Encounter held at Chapman University in Orange, CA - August 1, 2014. The talk can be found at this link. Other uplifting talks from the 2014 Encounter, can be found at  http://www.cursillo.org/resources/

AUGUST, 2014 NATIONAL NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE

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The newest National Cursillo newsletter, which has highlights from the 2014 National Encounter can be found at  http://www.cursillo.org/news/ nmail0814.pdf

FOR YOUR PIETY FROM DICK ANDREJACK

Divine Presence and You,  Grace, Silence, Solitude, Thanksgiving and Forgiveness,  Change and Everlasting Life A men's silent retreat at The Loyola Retreat House ,  Morristown, NJ,  September 5 to 7, 2014 For further details, please call: Richard Andrejack (732.892.4721) or Lou Commisso (732.840.5357) or Robert Morris (732.295.1103) or Michael Tuohy (732.920.7339)

SCHEDULE UPDATE

A reminder - there is no School of Leaders in June. The dates for the next two SOL are Saturday morning July 26 and Friday night August 22.  On July 26 we will start with Mass at  9 AM and then move over to the parish hall for the morning. The August 22 evening will be the same time as a School of Leaders.   More information will be coming in the next few weeks about both of these dates. 

FOR YOUR STUDY

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The May, 2014 National Cursillo Newsletter has a wonderful article about the Methodology of Cursillo written by Michael Ciccocioppo. The newsletter can be found at  http://www.cursillo.org/news/nmail0414.pdf . You can watch a video version of Michael's talk at  http://vimeo.com/73860904 . You can find a full archive of newsletters at   http://www.cursillo.org/news/  

SIGN UP NOW FOR THE 2014 NATIONAL ENCOUNTER

Hoang Tran, National Cursillo Service Administrator, reminds us that the National Encounter is coming July 31st - August 3rd, 2014  at Chapman University, Orange, California.  You can get full details about it at  http://www.natl-cursillo.org/ encounter/encounter.pdf If you register before June 1 you will save $50. ($335 until June 1, $385 after June 1.)

FOCUS ON EVANGELIZATION

Jo Anne Henderson invites all to join the upcoming Evangelization Music Mission Come at St. William the Abbot on June 8th. Join us for an evening of music, testimony and sharing the stories behind the songs. The purpose of these concerts is to evangelize with music to inspire others to go out into the world and bring others to Christ. Full details can be found at:  http://www. stwilliamtheabbot.com/images/ features/evangmusicmission.pdf Matthew Poole, Ministry of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Diocese of Trenton invites us to read the New Evangelization Newsletter, Issue 2 for May 2014. It can be found at: http://www.dioceseoftrenton. org/new-evangelization/ evangelization-newsletter- issue-2-may-2014/

WALKING THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO WITH FATHER DAVE

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Read a wonderful article from The Monitor regarding Father David Swantek and 13 of his Princeton University students walking the Camino de Santiago during Spring Break 2014. Each of them did palanca Father Swantek said. "Each carried a pyx with names and intentions of classmates, alumni, relatives, (and) people of our Diocese in them.  They served as a physical, tangible reminder of how, when on pilgrimage, we carry others with us and offer up our suffering and prayers on their behalf.” The article, Princeton University students devote recess to prayer o n the TRENTON MONITOR at this LINK.

SAVE THESE DATES FOR UPCOMING EVENTS

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Our next School of Leaders is Friday, May 16 @ 8PM at Epiphany Parish Hall, Brick, NJ. The next Diocesan Mass will be at St. Mary's in New Monmouth on June 6 at 8PM .  So mark you calenders, gather some fellow cursillistas and join us for the celebration of the Eucharist and fellowship with the Cursillo community. Our National Secretariat invites Region 2 to participate at the Catholic Ecclesial Movements and New Communities First National Convention of Catholic Movements in the US on Saturday, August 9, 9:00 am-6:00 pm, at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. Cardinal Wuerl will celebrate Mass. The Next Region 2 Encounter will be held October 24 to 26 at Pope John Paul Retreat Center, Vineland, NJ. Further details can be found at  http://www.cursilloregion2.org/ .

A MESSAGE FROM RONNIE MARTELLA, LAY DIRECTOR

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Last Saturday about 45 Cursillistas gathered together to hear the stories of 3 figures from the New Testament, stories we have heard many times  We listened to the Gospel stories of Bartimaeus, the Rich Young Man and the Call of Matthew, then listened again as Father Robert Barron took us deeper into the story, deeper into the meaning and deeper into our own examination of our call to conversion.  Fr. Barron started by talking about metenoia which he defined as going beyond the mind/attitude you have.  Instead of living in the small soul, it is time to live in the great soul, to be linked to Jesus Christ, others and to all creation.  In his Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis asked three questions; "Has my life fallen asleep?", "Am I like Pontius Pilate, who, when he sees the situation is difficult, washes my hands?" and "Where is my heart?"  Reflecting on each of those questions opens us to a deeper examination of our call and how we are living our li

FOR YOUR STUDY

The Diocese of Trenton is offering one-day Theology Talks open to the General Public. An offering of $10 is asked, bring your own lunch. Topics include: April 26th - Nourishing a “Love of Prayer” in Ministry with Presenter, Dianne Marie Traflet, J.D., S.T.D.  May 3rd - “God’s Tool Box:Encountering the Lord Jesus” with Presenter, Rev . Msgr. Gerard McCarren, S.T.D. Full details can be found at this link . 

JOHN XXIII and JOHN PAUL II: A PAIR of PAPAL SAINTS

What does it mean to make a saint? Why are these two popes being canonized—and why together? Join us as we explore the history of saint-making and the story of a pair of papal saints for our times. The Adult Faith Formation Committee of Saint Robert Bellarmine invites you to join with Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto, Associate Professor of History at Kean University, as he outlines the process of canonization and the implications of such an event for the Church today. A Pair of Papal Saints will be held on Wednesday, May 7th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall of the Parish Family of St. Robert Bellarmine, 61 Georgia Road, Freehold, New Jersey 07728. All are welcomed.

AN INVITATION TO ALL CURSILLISTAS

From St. Robert Bellarmine in Freehold On Sunday, April 27th, Pope Francis will canonize Pope John XXIII and Pope John  Paul II as Saints in the Catholic Church. This ritual will be broadcast Sunday morning on EWTN. On Saturday, April 26th at the 4:30 Mass, Bishop David O’Connell will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Pope Saint John XXIII here at Saint Robert Bellarmine. The faithful are invited to participate with Bishop as we celebrate the Mass in thanksgiving to God for “Good Pope John.”   A similar Mass will be celebrated at Saint Hedwig in thanksgiving for Pope Saint John Paul II at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, 4/27/14 at Saint Hedwig Church in Trenton. The faithful are also invited to participate with our Bishop in this special celebration."

FOR YOUR STUDY: SISTER ELIZABETH ANN SETON by JOANNE HENDERSON

St Elizabeth Ann Seton and a small band of sisters moved to Emmitsburg MD in 1809. A friendship was born between Mother Seton, as she was known then, and Father John DuBois. Her small group accepted Fr. DuBois’ hospitality and lived for six weeks in his mountain cabin while their first home in the Valley, the Stone House, was readied. Elizabeth and her sisters founded Saint Joseph’s Academy and Free School, which eventually evolved into St. Joseph College. When I moved to Whiting and St Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in December, I felt like I’d come full  circle. You see, I was a student at St. Joseph College in the late 60’s. I’ve walked the ground St Elizabeth Ann Seton trod with her sisters and her children, and I’ve climbed the mountain where she stayed in Fr. DuBois’ cabin. When I arrived freshman year, I was a Protestant. I wasn't require to take the Scripture classes or to attend mass, but I did. There were the usual college campus distractions, but I was hearing a clear c

FOR YOUR PIETY

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Thanks to Sister Clara for this beautiful, thought provoking video on gratitude.  (Full narration begins at :43) 

CURSILLO UPDATE by RONNIE MARTELLA, LAY DIRECTOR

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SCHEDULE UPDATE:  We received word from Epiphany that due to work being done in the church, they have had to rearrange meeting locations for the various ministries and groups.  Because of this we will not be able to meet for School of Leaders on Friday March 21.   With Lenten observances and parish activities during this time, it has been decided that School of Leaders for March will be cancelled.   MARK YOUR CALENDARS:   We hope you can join us on April 12 for a special day to listen, discuss, reflect and share on three stories from the series by Fr. Robert Barron, "Conversion-Following the Call of Christ".  We will start our day at Epiphany's 9 o'clock Mass, and then gather at the parish hall (little white church on the corner).  Following light refreshments we'll watch the first of three segments and have group discussions. We'll do the same with two other segments.  More details will be coming.   There will not be a School of Leaders in April 

SCHOOL OF LEADERS RECAP by RONNIE MARTELLA, LAY DIRECTOR

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February - School of Leaders   With Ash Wednesday on March 5, Father Ed gave a wonderful talk on Lent.  He reminded us that we are never alone, that wherever we are or whatever we are experiencing, Jesus has been there and is there with us.  Fasting, prayer and giving alms are all ways to unite us closer to God and are ways to help us detach from the things that imprison us.  Father spoke of three possible ways to go; 1st, the way of John the beloved who sat close to Jesus, stood with Mary and points to God.  This is a deeply personal and spiritual way.  2nd, the way of Judas who saw Jesus as a means to an end and when he tried to force action and it didn't happen, he despaired.   And 3rd, the way of Peter.  One of the closest followers of Jesus but so very human.  He walked on water until the fear turned his head away, he denied Jesus but was first among the apostles and shows how God can use us even with our weaknesses. I spoke about the Pastoral Plan which was updated in 2

FOR YOUR PIETY

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Deacon Tony Martucci recommends  http://www.lentreflections.com/ , the website of   Father Robert Barron for free daily Lent reflections. Click on the li nk below to hear Father Barron.   

FOR YOUR STUDY By RONNIE MARTELLA, LAY DIRECTOR

The Ministry of Catechesis and Evangelization is sponsoring a discussion forum on the New Evangelization in 4 parishes in the diocese, one is each county.  Each two hour session will have a short introductory lecture on the theology of the new evangelization followed by an open discussion forum.  Matthew Poole, Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and New Evangelization will lead the sessions which are for all catechetical leaders, clergy and laity involved or interested in evangelization. Each session will be held from 10 am to 12 noon. Saturday Feb 22,    @ St. Vincent de Paul Church Hall, Hamilton Saturday March 1   @ St. Denis School Cafeteria,  Manasquan Saturday March 8   @ St. Joan of Arc Church Hall, Marlton Saturday March 15 @ St. William the Abbott Church Hall, Howell For further information you can call Rosemarie Constable at  609-403-7183 .  I met with Matt at the Pastoral Center last week and spoke with him about Cursillo.  He looked at the website, a

FOR YOUR PIETY

“The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson (Thank you to our beloved Sister Clara for this thought.)

FROM THE ARCHIVE: I REMEMBER by BOB LEONE, TRENTON 9

In just a few months I will celebrate the 25 th year of my Cursillo weekend in October of 1973, at Divine Word Seminary. Years have passed by and I am so thankful for that weekend when my life was turned around 180 degrees and when “I Made a ‘U’ Turn to Heaven”. Praise be to God!!! As a young boy between the ages of 10 to 11, I used to ride past Divine Word on Saturdays during the school year and weekdays in the summer. Of course, it was not Divine Word Seminary at the time and little did I know that one day I would come to know Jesus as my Lord & Savior there on Park Street . My two uncles, my mother’s brothers, had a grocery store and meat market in Fieldsboro , NJ , just a couple of miles south of Bordentown, and I worked there summers and Saturdays during school time. Even then God had a plan for my life! As an “old timer” in Cursillo, many of you have heard my testimony but I would like to share some of it with the newcomers. When I was sponsored for Cursillo b

CURSILLO UPDATES (INCLUDING WEEKEND POSTPONEMENT) FROM OUR LAY DIRECTOR, RONNIE MARTELLA

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Sisters and brothers in Christ, If anyone were to ask for an example of the Cursillo community in the diocese of Trenton, I'd love to be able to show them a video of Friday night's School of Leaders.  Better still to have been able to have them there.  The Holy Spirit is always with us but there are some times when we are open and bubbling over with Christian joy that the Spirit is literally visible.  That was Friday night. So it seemed contradictory to announce to community that the Men's weekend-scheduled for Feb 27 to March 2- has been postponed.  There were only a few definite yes responses. But I believe that God's plan for us is unfolding and when we look and listen, we'll see what He wants us to learn and ultimately do.   At last November's School of Leaders we remembered the Cursillistas who have died and many shared a certain special connection with one or more of those people.  That, along with the women's team sendoff, was a very touchin

FOR YOUR THOUGHT FROM OUR DEACON SPIRITUAL ADVISOR, DEACON TONY MARTUCCI

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The Magi looked to the stars and found the Star that told them a new King was born. After a long, dangerous and arduous journey, they found Christ with Mary and Joseph in the house in Nazareth. They found Him because they were looking for Him. Have you ever put on a jacket or coat, or picked up a purse that you haven’t used in long time and found a few dollars in it that you forgot that you had? Like the woman who found her lost coin, you’re ready to celebrate. When that happened to me, I thought that somehow God has given me a blessing. How amazing that we can often see God’s hand in the good things that happen to us, but when we fall on hard times we may think that God is far away! Yet even in our darkest times, God loves us and turns everything to good for those who love Him. This year, Pat & I have been on a roller coaster since my first surgery in December 2012. Many people commented that we don’t deserve to suffer like this, as though we are too good to have someth

A MESSAGE FROM LAY DIRECTOR, RONNIE MARTELLA

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Blessed Christmas Season and Happy New Year! What a gift to have this season following the excitement of Christmas day to reflect of the incredible reality of the Incarnation.  As we read in Matthew 1:22-23 "Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."    Take time - during this wonderful season and beyond - to keep that reality close to you, let it enter into and impact every part of your being, every decision you make and every act you take. God is with us, and as Catholics and Cursillistas we witness every minute of every day to that reality in our lives.  Let us continue to radiate that joy, love and reality to all with whom we come in contact - our moveable square meter.   DeColores & Ultreya, Ronnie