Showing posts from 2015


A Message from Mary Weis, Assistant Lay Director Our Day of Reflection was so different and thought provoking! For those of you who weren't there, you missed a great one! We saw a video of what it would look like if Jesus was born today! Aaah, questions!! Would you have the same faith?? Also, consider Christ's birth:  how does that relate to our tripod? What about mercy and how can we bring that to our own daily lives of living our 4th day??? Many thanks and blessings go to our speakers today - Father Ed, Deacon Tony and Sister Clara who made this all possible!  God bless you!! Merry Christmas!! DeColores, Mary 


At yesterday's session, Marie Garrett shared a document about the Year of Mercy: The Holy Door and its meaning. A document about the Holy Door can be found at this link .  A list of the thirteen Holy Doors in the Diocese of Trenton can be found at this link . 


The cover story in the December, 2015 issue of National Geographic Magazine is "How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman." The opening line of the article reads "Mary barely speaks in the New Testament, but her image and legacy are found and celebrated around the world."  The issue is currently available at stores or can be read  at this link . An accompanying TV show will be shown on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday, December 13 at 8PM.


As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a time to reflect on the gifts we have enjoyed during the past year while we look to the future.  My life is blessed each of you, my Trenton Cursillo family.  I am truly grateful for each and every one of you; without you all there is no Trenton Cursillo.  Thank you for your prayers and your willingness to serve.   Each of us, during our Cursillo encounters heard the words, "Christ is counting on you." To which we replied, "I am counting on Christ."  As Christians, we are other Christs, so not only do we rely on our Lord and Savior but each other (other Christs).  Thank you for being there, sharing your talents and your heart.   We have an awesome community, that comes together in prayer when someone needs it. A community that comes together in celebration, but also comes together to be strength for those who need to be lifted up.  Please continue to pray for our movement. God bless and keep you and may you all have awesome Th

SCHOOL OF LEADERS by Mary Weis, Assistant Lay Director

"Our School of Leaders today was exceptional! Father Jay gave us a talk about how to live our Fourth Day in the jubilee year of Mercy and urged us to read the pope's bull on declaring 2016 the Year of Mercy. We are called to evangelize, not alone, not only with Jesus, but with our faith community. All of this on his very birthday! God bless Father Jay!  <<  Editor's note: You can read Pope Francis' "Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by clicking on this link . >> <<  You can also read or listen to Bishop David O'Connell's Pastoral Letter about the Holy Year of Mercy at this link. >> We also took time to memorialize our "spiritual ancestors" who have helped us to live our Fourth Day by sending them messages of love. Please join us December 19 for a Day of Reflection when we can prepare for the coming of Christ during the Advent season, 9 to 1pm."


SAVE THE DATE Please join us on December 19, 2015 from 9:45am (after 9am Mass) to 1pm for a Day of Recollection at Epiphany Church In place of School of Leaders, we will be celebrating a Day of Recollection. What a wonderful gift to our baby Jesus to spend quality time with Him during the season of Advent and prepare for the coming of Christ. Please join us for prayer, talk, and reflection. Your presence is appreciated.


The Metuchen Cursillo Movement will have the Metuchen #26 Women's Weekend October 22-25. "Behold the Lamb of God" is the theme. A candidate from Trenton, Amy Sechiano from Mary, Mother of God, Middletown will be on the weekend.  ALL Cursillistas from Trenton Cursillo are welcome to attend: Sponsor’s Mass  on October 22nd  at 7:00pm at the Days Inn, 1260 US-22 East, Bridgewater (entrance in the rear of the building). The  Closing Ceremony  will be held on Sunday, October 25 at approximately 3:00pm.  Please come to support and hear the witness of our new Cursillistas.  You will surely feel the encouragement and a reminder that our Lord is present among us. Our prayers and best wishes go to the candidates and the team.


A Centurions for Christ weekend at Malvern Retreat Center will take place November 6, 7 and 8. If you know a Veteran of any conflict era who suffers from PTSD and would like to experience this weekend, please contact Len Capobianco 732.308.7277 or 732.600.1286. The mission statement for Centurions for Christ best describes the three day experience: "Our mission is to provide a three day retreat for veterans of all eras/conflicts, who are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder where they can find peace of mind, relief from stress and the unburdening Love of God."


Photos from the 2015 National Encounter are available at photos/nationalcursillo/show/

SCHOOL OF LEADERS UPDATE By Mary Weis, Assistant Lay Director

Today's School of Leaders was inspiring, enlightening, fulfilling and challenging. We heard Sister Clara speak of Pope Francis' Joy of the Gospel chapter on evangelization. "To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world...Peace harmonizes every diversity" and the new evangelization calls us to be peacemakers. Renewed, we then recommitted ourselves to Christ using our service sheets from the weekend.  Our large group heard from Ronnie Martella and Pat Burke what the National Encounter meant to them as well as a beautiful, powerful witness from Bob Burke. Johnny and Roe DiStefano, the dynamic duo, challenged us to be friends with God and each other. We walked away with goodie bags of "Friendship" containing helpful reminders to use along life's journey. What a morning!


Beloved Cursillistas, Where are your THOUGHTS? Where do you spend your TIME?? Where do you spend your MONEY?? These three hard-hitting, yet simple questions were posed to us in the Ideal Rollo; the very first talk on our Cursillo adventure.  Seeing everyone at the picnic this past Saturday brought to light how we had all answered God’s Call in so many unique ways and how gently but persistently God reminds us of our service sheets and the commitment we made to HIM Alone on our weekends. Recently we had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Rick and Lisa’s son, John Klarmann and the wonderful mission The Lord has given him as a lay missionary to college students at Montclair State right here in New Jersey.  As we spoke with John the image of St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta came to mind.  No, John wasn’t going off to India as so many have, but he was serving the Lord right in his environment, in a way unique to John and the person Our Lord created him to be--working


Matt Oleynick suggests this site that includes Daily Reflections and Online Retreats and other resources from Crieghton University.


Our School of Leaders Saturday was awesome. We heard from our beloved Deacon Tony Martucci who spoke about the Pope's book Joy of the Gospel, Chapter 2. The Pope states that profits are more important than the environments, and the world suffers from a lack of ethics. As Catholics we must take the gospel and give it "flesh". We must evangelize our culture and not hide our faith in the workplace or with the family. Challenges exist to be overcome! Let us be realists without losing our joy, our boldness and our hope-filled commitment. Pat Burke followed by confessing how much she loves this book! The Pope's book coupled with The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly give her the formula for living a Christian life, following Christ's way, and developing a better understanding of being a true disciple. Editor's Note: Pat shared a daily "prayer process" from Matthew Kelly that can be found at this link . We grouped on how our fathers and


Kathy Vlcej and Jean Santiago remind us to “Stop” and pray for candidates and for each other.  (Picture taken at Jeremiah House, Keyport, New Jersey in 1999) 


I want to thank Ronnie and the community for your confidence in me. With the Grace of God and your continued prayer I am hopeful that I can be the servant you need. In my nervousness Friday night there were some things that were left unsaid. As Friday approached, I had been inundated with doubts and concerns. Thoughts like, “Lord, what were You thinking?” Followed immediately by, “What was I thinking? I can’t do this.” I am fairly certain that just about every person who was installed as Lay Director has had the same thoughts. Well, I don’t know if what I am feeling is fear or nervousness or apprehension or maybe a combination of all of them. In my head, I know that God is with me, but I must tell you there are other voices that are often pretty loud. So many times in the bible we hear God or an angel say, “Do not be afraid”. I think that is because God knows how we are wired, and that often our confidence is just an illusion. I think being anxious might be a good thing; keep


On Friday, June 5, 2015, Father Ed Blanchett and the Trenton Cursillo community installed a new Lay Director, Rick Klarmann, a new Assistant Lay Director, Mary Weis and new Cursillo Section Head, Kathy Tucker. They also gathered to thank outgoing Lay Director, Ronnie Martella, for her service and dedication. Thank you so much to Father Ed for an inspiring homily and a beautiful installation mass, to the musicians and to Father Dave Swantek, and the community of St. Martha's, Point Pleasant, especially Dick and Jean Andrejack for their hospitality. The newly installed Lay Director, Rick Klarmann,  with new Assistant Lay Director, Mary Weis  and new Cursillo Section Head, Kathy Tucker. The newly installed Lay Director, Rick Klarmann  with outgoing Lay Director, Ronnie Martella  as Ronnie gives Rick the Lay Director's Cross Secretariat presents a beautiful gift to Ronnie - a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Left to right - George Weis, Pat and Bob Burke, Kathy


Mary Pellecchia writes: "I wanted to share with you that there is an article about Cursillo in the May/June 2015 issue of the Maryknoll missionaries's magazine. It's a really nice article & it's titled Cursillo: The Little Course In Christian Love & it's written by Gabriella Romeri. You may access it at http://www. php/magazines/612-cursillo- the-little-course-in- christian-love .  God is truly alive and at work & one of His instruments is Cursillo. God bless all of you. DeColores." 


Last weekend Region 2 was once again a joyous celebration of our diversity and our unity in our love of God and our journey with each other.  It was a weekend of prayer, song, laughter, dance, fellowship, fun and food.  The staff at Pope John Paul II retreat house in Vineland is always so welcoming, gracious, generous and attentive.  Father Rene Canales gave a talk on Saturday morning “Listen to my Voice”.  In speaking about the Good Shepherd and we as the “sheep”, Father was full of the Holy Spirit, joyful, engaging, funny, insightful and challenging.   Father Canales stressed the importance of responding only to the voice of the Good Shepherd and not to be distracted or led away by any of the other voices.  He reminded us that we have to live in the kingdom, not just visit there. The sharing/reports from other diocese in Region 2 always give insights, ideas and a sense that we all have triumphs and challenges and we can rejoice with each other when things go well and lift


The National Encounter will be July 23-26 at Villanova University, outside Philadelphia.  There is still time to register, the cost if you are staying overnight is $325 if you register before June 15, and then the cost is $400. If you choose to commute, there is a reduced commuter rate of $250 which includes meals, workshops and other events.  Anyone registering for National Encounter will be reimbursed $100 by Trenton Cursillo, making the cost $225 before June 15 and $300 after.   Volunteers for the various committees are always welcome and needed.  Committees include; hospitality, decor, transportation, ultreya, fiesta, liturgy, book store.  If you’d like to join one of these groups or learn more about any of them please contact Ronnie at the Trenton Cursillo e-mail - . Here are some more details about this encounter:  Keynote Address:  Friendship with Christ: Key to Evangelization by Dr. Ralph Martin Workshops include: Charity in the 21


Just in case you missed the EWTN airing of Pope Francis' meeting with Cursillistas today in Rome, here is a link to a story, photo and radio announcement of his key points: news/1140905


The second of two episodes, "Bringing our Friends to Christ", is scheduled to be broadcast on EWTN's The Church Universal program on the following dates:     •  May 12, 2015 - 5:00 a.m. (EDT)     •  May 15, 2015 - 10:00 p.m. (EDT) If your TV set does not receive EWTN,  you can watch it live at these times from your computer. The DVD of 2 episodes will be available at Cursillo bookstore for $10/copy shortly after the airing of 2nd episode. Will keep you posted.


Since Palm  Sunday  and Holy  Thursday  I've had two lines from scripture in my mind.  On Palm  Sunday  the homily focused on the short but powerful piece of a verse… “The Master has need of it” Mark 11:3.  Father asked us to put ourselves in the place of the apostles- how could we just walk up to someone and start to take their donkey?  How can I do that, what if they said something ??  Tell them the Master has need of it, that is all we need to know, the master has need of us, our gifts and our willingness to serve Him and each other. On Holy  Thursday came  the beautiful call to follow in His way, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” John 13: 14-15.  What a beautiful and powerful image, Jesus bending down to wash dusty, dirty feet.  I asked a while back for you to send a list of all the ministries in which you serve.  The re


" I pray that each and everyone is filled with the love that our Lord has shown and continues to show us. Have a blessed Easter"


From Loyola Press , here is a short two-minute video on "Deepening Friendships" with God and Others. The video can be found at this link . The speaker is  Vinita Hampton Wright. Other Lenten Videos from Loyola Press can be found at the right of the page. Please don't forget that Loyola Press also offers a daily 3-Minute Retreat that is found at this link . 


A beautiful prayer from Father Paul Brian Campbell, SJ


FOR YOUR LENTEN REFLECTION Every Lent is a chance for us to do a little “life laundry,” as Paul Brian Campbell, SJ, explains in this video. This video is from LIVING LENT DAILY by Loyola Press - a series of short videos to inspire your journey through lent. Find it at this  web site . +++++ A RETREAT FOR THE SERIOUSLY ILL GENNESARET, a retreat designed to provide a spiritual and temporal oasis for men and women suffering with a serious illness, will be held the weekend of May 1,2,3 2015 at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center, located in Kearny N.J.  The retreat will begin Friday at 1:30 P.M. and end with a closing Prayer Service Sunday at 1:30 P.M. There is no cost to you for the retreat. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: HILARE REINOLD @ 732-566-7237 PEGGY WALSH @ 908-654-5575 MAIRE MERRITT @ 732-670-5980 LINDA CAPOBIANCO @ 732-608-7277

For Your Piety and Study During Lent

Here are three resources to deepen your Lenten experience: WORD ON FIRE: Mary Ann Dowd and others recommend Father Robert Baron's daily Lenten meditations at this link . (The sign-up link is towards the bottom of the page.) IGNITING OUR VALUES: The Jesuits offer “Igniting our Values,” a Lent 2015 digital prayer experience beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, through Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015. Each evening, material for the following day’s prayer will be posted at this web site . BEST LENT EVER: Don and Kathy Geiger recommend "Best Lent Ever" as a source of renewal at this web site . NEW! LIVING LENT DAILY: From Loyola Press, a series of short videos to inspire your journey through lent. Find it at this web site .

A Note from Ronnie Martella, Lay Director

Like many of you, we read the "Word Among Us" reflections.  Often they give exactly what is needed, sometimes a particular day really hits on something or helps in our discernment.   The readings at the end of January focused on the work of evangelization.  They included the call,  "Jesus went up to the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted, and they came to him. Mk 3:13"; "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.Mk 1:17 "; the method, "God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.2 Tim 1:7 ";  "The sower sows the word."Mk 4:14;  "Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."Mk 4:23; "The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.Mk 4:27 "; and the best reality of the best news...God loves us. "The one who had made the promise was trustworthy.Heb 11:11"   The reflections on two days really made me think..."did a Cursillista write this

FOR YOUR STUDY by Deacon Tony Martucci, Deacon Spiritual Advisor

Are you a carrot, an egg or a tea bag? Think about that for a moment. We’ll come back to it later. We read in Mark's Gospel that in the synagogue in Capernaum “all who looked on were amazed.” How many times in the Gospels do we hear that the people who listened to Christ’s teachings and or witnessed his miracles were “amazed?” Just what does that mean? Have you ever watched a magician and wondered “How did he do that”?  Did you stand there with your mouth open in total shock? Being amazed by something is like looking at beautiful fireworks. We say, “Ooh” and “Ahh” when we see it; but when it’s over we walk away just the same as we were before. These people in today’s Gospel were very much like that. They loved to hear the words of Jesus, to see His miracles, but they didn’t change the way they lived or the way they thought. Contrast that with the Blessed Mother. The Gospel tells us in numerous places that “Mary pondered these things in her heart.”  She listened to the me

SCHOOL OF LEADERS SUMMARY by Rick Klarmann, Assistant Lay Director

Deacon Tony Martucci and Dick Hemler did an awesome job talking about the right to life and the charism of Cursillo.  I asked Dick if it was okay to put his talk on the website. He said it was okay and it is below. The numbers were small but the spirit was definitely present in the talks and sharing. We started off the evening with the Prayer of Reparation for Roe vs. Wade  and a short meditation.  In the Doctrinal Talk, Tony walked us through the birth of Jesus, the angel warning Joseph to take the child Jesus to Egypt, and what Herod did. I could see in his words how little has changed in 2000 years; Herod thought it was acceptable to kill innocent children to keep his way of life. And if it meant killing hundreds of innocent children to kill the newborn baby (Jesus) it was okay. Why didn't anyone see anything wrong with what was happening and say, "This is wrong! I won't do this!" I sat there wondering how many times I didn't stand up for what is right b


Charism is a word we have heard a lot in the movement in recent years but what exactly is a Charism? Paragraph #798 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "The Holy Spirit works in many ways to build up the whole body in charity by the many special graces (called Charisms), by which He makes the faithful fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church." The Foundational Charism of the Movement would be the special graces given to the founders of the Movement. That’s nice but we already have the movement so why is it so important for us to know? Any idea or movement that gains any sizable following always runs the risk of having followers who want to modify or change the original with “improvements” that they think will make it fit better into their purpose. The problem is that these “improvements” or changes to the original also change the goals and purpose for which the original was developed. While these new or mo

Invitation to all Cursillistas from Terry A. Ginther. Executive Director, Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, Diocese of Trenton

Invitation to all Cursillistas from Terry A. Ginther. Executive Director, Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, Diocese of Trenton Our Diocese has sponsored a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC every other year since the early 1970’s.  It has been a wonderfully enriching experience of prayer and solidarity for participants of every age.  During my tenure as President of the Catholic University, I witnessed millions of pilgrims coming and going to pray in this magnificent basilica church.  I recall with special fondness the visit of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI to the University Campus and the Shrine. This year the faithful from our Diocese of Trenton will make the pilgrimage on Saturday, November 7th 2015.  I ask that you reserve this date in your personal schedule and your parish/ministry calendar.  There are no particulars available at this time.  The Shrine Staff will be hosting an orientation session for Diocesan C


From Hoang Tran, National Cursillo Service Administrator: The 2015 National Encounter will be held at Villanova University in Philadelphia area, PA. The registration form and Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) are now available to download at:   Thanks to your donation to the $3/yr campaign, the registration fee can now be reduced to $325 per person, which is $60 less than what you paid for at 2013 National Encounter in Hofstra, NY.  If a language group can register at least 150 Cursillistas by April 30, they will get the simultaneous translation during the event. There are only 750 seats available at Villanova University. It is expected to be a fully packed National Encounter.     Thanks to your donation to the $3/yr campaign, Cursillistas in the affiliated Dioceses can enjoy an additional 10% discount for each book order, effective February 1, 2015. That means they can get a total of 20% discount as a benefit of being affiliated with the