Friday, June 16, 2017

FOR YOUR ACTION - A WITNESS by PAT BURKE

(Shared at the June 7 Diocesan Mass)

We just celebrated Pentecost Sunday…..a few weeks before our Grandson - Logan made his Confirmation I never saw him so nervous to receive the Holy Spirit and we have all heard Pope Francis keep encouraging us to take the Holy Spirit seriously and that we need the power of the HOLY SPIRIT- IN ORDER TO  EVANGELIZE!!


How would we change!


WE IN THE TRENTON DIOCESE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE ON EVANGELIZATION ON June 24 at St. David the King Church in Princeton Junction. Well isn’t that WHAT Cursillo is all about?  EVANGELIZING….. Bringing CHRIST INTO OUR ENVIRONMENTS.   With Piety, Study of our Environments and the Holy Spirit leading our Actions.


Recently I had a few experiences in doing exactly that – that was not in my plan for the day or week.  My time has been nothing but chaotic, at our age to be selling our home of 30 years and having only 6 weeks to find a home and to pack all our belongings – buy life goes on.  The only plan I had was to Pack and find a new place to live. 


A PLAN


We make plans and God laughs…. The buyers for our home backed out  after the Inspection report which was loaded with lots of miss-information and outright lies about our home and property that he reported 11 days prior to closing on the homes and moving.  


But in God’s Plan - Our oldest daughter scheduled surgery on both her eyes and asked me to take her to the surgical office and wait for her – Not in my plan that day I was going to do more packing and organizing. Now the office called and asked if we could come in earlier and when we arrived an hour earlier a patient came in and was 91 years old and had to have immediate surgery on her face.  So we sat and sat and sat and waited for two hours.  Finally, she goes in and now I wait and wait – not my plan… Another patient came in and her friend was going in for surgery.  We started up a conversation as the Holy Spirit would have us. She said it is so hard to just sit and wait then notices the cross I had on and asked about it.  I HAD ON MY Cursillo cross – as we talked in that waiting-room she shared that she is from St. Mary’s in Colts Neck and runs a program there.  I SHARED ABOUT CURSILLO – she stated she did not know Cursillo was still having weekends, and thought it died out. She shared her parents made a weekend years ago.  She went on to say she finds it hard to evangelize to people not in the Church.  Of course - I explained what Cursillo was.  I have her name and number and she is interested in making a weekend.  An application went out to her. Not my plan for the day but I left that office knowing why God had me 

sit there all that time.

That week I went into Ulta, you girls know that place.  Makeup and perfume and hair products.  I went to the makeup counter and a gal was ringing me up and she noticed my pin.  My Associate Mercy pin and told me since she moved to Hazlet she lost contact and would like to get involved again.  We exchanged phone numbers and she would like to get reactive with the Sisters and a Christian Community.  So I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS AND EVANGELIZE AGAIN – Not my plan!  Not with Bob sitting in the car waiting for me in-patiently as I was just running in for one item.


Now let’s talk about the electronic age and how that played into evangelizing recently.  While reading a FACEBOOK MESSAGE A GAL I DID NOT KNOW BUT WAS A FRIEND OF A FRIEND – COMMENTED ON WHAT I WROTE, and asked if I would befriend her.  I WENT INTO HER  ACCOUNT TO SEE WHO SHE WAS FRIENDS WITH… SHE WAS A FRIEND OF A MERCY SISTER – SR. JUDY…SO I BEFRIENDED HER AND ASKED HOW SHE KNEW Sr. Judy.  She explained that she graduated Mercy Academy in Watchung.  I had the opportunity to ask if she ever thought about being an Associate to the Sisters.  Not my plan ….  God working through the Holy Spirit.  Now I have a new friend to invite to the Orientation program of Mercy Associates and also Cursillo.


When I retired from my practice, our Priest ASKED if I would run the new Maturing Adult group, that was starting up in our parish.  I prayed and said yes.  So for five years Bob and I organized the group once a month and talked about Cursillo and Gennesaret asking if anyone would be interested in possibly attending either one.  No takers!   It appeared to be an apostolic failure.  One of the gals used a walker and would often come late after making

her famous Irish Soda Bread, or sometime could not make it if bad  weather.  I really felt drawn to EILEEN AND WE EXCHANGED E-MAILS. She recently moved into a senior housing and I had time to go see her and go to lunch, as we were now not moving June 1st.  As we were having lunch Janet Moscuzza came in and joined us.  As we shared Eileen told us she was a Cursiesta and made her weekend in New York years ago.  I knew why I loved her! She was just such a Christ centered women, always offering something positive to a conversation or discussion.  

What I WOULD like to leave you with is what I learned these past three weeks.  


Evangelizing:

1. Wear a piece of jewelry that identifies what you are about. People notice.
2. Strike up a conversation.  Remember:  “Make a friend, be a friend and bring that friend to Christ”
3. I would add bring God into every conversation.  I heard a Cursiessta say recently “Oh I never say God Bless You because some people are offended.”  Please always say God Bless you, not just when someone sneezes but on the phone when you are saying good bye , or when leaving a friend
or family member.
4. Make sure your smiling – it is an welcoming sign of friendship and an invitation to conversation. 

In closing keep in mind you are never too young or too old to sharpen your skills on Evangelizing.  So make a Date and come out on June 24. Now go out and be disciples!  Oh what an awesome God we have! De Colores!