Sunday’s readings resonate the theme of loving God and our neighbor. To accomplish both we must open our hearts. As cursillistas we are called to bring God’s love to others through the Cursillo Method and that, often, is not easy. It takes time and understanding, patience and cooperation, work and money.
I am appealing to my fellow cursillistas to show your love to the team and candidates of the upcoming weekend for men that is scheduled for December 7-10 at San Alfonso Retreat House, Long Branch. We have been blessed with candidates (currently 8-10) but our team is small, only 4-5 men, not including our Father Ed Blanchett and Deacon John Clymore. The team will be tasked to do double duty with talks, facilitating, and accomplishing all that the weekend entails.
With only a few men to accommodate the candidates it is impossible for any of the team to pray in the chapel for the speakers as they give their talks. We need cursillistas (both men and women) to come forward and pray for the speakers as they give their talks, all three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
You can enter through the back stairs and pray in the chapel as long as you want. Kathy Tucker will be coordinating times and schedules so that, with your help, all the talks will be covered. Kathy can be reached at 908-415-6006.
We have defrayed the cost of the weekend to those attending by covering part of the expense through your donations. For the last several weekends we have been asking each participant to pay $200 while the cost is actually $285. This difference, coupled with those with financial difficulties, has dwindled our account. We are asking every cursillista to give $30 (or whatever you can afford) to fund this weekend. I am also asking every Ultreya Leader to take up a collection at your next meeting. Please send all money to our Treasurer: JoAnne Henderson, 48 Bershire Road, Whiting NJ 08759.
Only through your love of God and neighbor can this be accomplished. I am certain that as cursillistas we will rise to the task. God bless you for all that you do and thank you so much. De Colores.
A WITNESS FROM MARGHARITA DeGREGORIO
It was in the year 1988 that dear friends of me and my husband began talking to us about living a Cursillo weekend. Needless to say, I was not impressed; but, my husband was hooked. We began hearing words that I never heard before: Cursillo, Ultreya, Rector, Lay Director. I was thinking is this some kind of a religious cult!?
As husband and wife we did many things together, went on retreats, workshops, Marriage Encounter, Pre-Cana with these same friends for many years. Being shy and timid, I found it hard to mingle with a group of strangers without my husband by my side. Well, to make a long story short, being an obedient wife, I finally consented to go on the all women's weekend: Trenton #66, in Bordentown in 1988. Guess what? Who was the one who got involved and stayed involved for over 29 years?
In the past I have been privileged to serve on teams for four Cursillos in Christianity with these titles: "Birds of the Air", "Change of Hearts", "Earthen Vessels" and "Be Not Afraid". I have also sponsored four of my friends to make a Cursillo.
We are a community of women and men throughout the Diocese of Trenton and all over the world with Cursillos being held on five continents. We meet for Masses, School of Leaders, Ultreya and social events. So many friendships have developed since the motto of the Cursillista is "make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ". Whenever we meet Piety, Study, and Action are things we share to strengthen each other on our walk with and for Our Lord.
What follows is my Action and Piety which have taken place over the years:
For a number of years I attended Ultreya in the home of dear friends. Ultreya is a faith sharing group which continues to meet after the Cursillo weekend. It is scheduled at a particular time and place and is on-going. There came a time where these friends could no longer continue our meetings in their home and we were without a place to hold our permanent meetings.
About the same time, we moved to a larger house in Tinton Falls and I was asking God: why am I here in this big house, new area, new Church, new neighbors, what do you want me to do? Well, the light bulb went on. Open up your home to Ultreya meetings and this is how Tinton Falls Ultreya got it's name. Be careful with prayer-God can be funny at times. we not only opened our home to Ultreya, My husband had a bible session every other Saturday morning as well. My husband belonged to a prayer group and the men alternated having the meeting at different homes.
Every year in January on the same day as the March for Life, we would have a prayer service for Life for anyone who was unable to attend the March in Washington D.C. Time marches on in our spiritual life just as in our physical one and so after my husband went home to The Lord, it was necessary for me to move to a smaller home and I was concerned that we may not be able to accommodate the Ultreya. But once again, God answered my concerns and we have been able to continue just as before in my new home.
Age is creeping up on all of us and over the years some people can no longer attend the Ultreya and some have gone home to The Lord. I stand before you and I see a new generation who will be taking over the movement in the future. To all of you I offer my blessings and the hope that God will continue to shower HIS Graces and blessings upon each of you.
A NOTE FROM MARY ANN DOWD
To all cursillistas who may read this:
I was struck by the tripod I witnessed at the Columbus Day Parade this afternoon. While so many are trying to tear down our statues and destroy any good which they represent not just of Columbus but so many other heroes who while they may not have been perfect men, are honored for various honorable things they did or traits they possessed.
I was amazed at how on this Columbus day I witnessed our tripod of piety study and action at this year's parade:
PIETY - The parade started with a prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral (something I never realized)
STUDY - Thousands of copies of the Constitution of the United States were handed out at the parade. STUDY what it really says and does NOT say
ACTION - all of the various charitable works of amazing people both Italians and non-Italians alike who give back to this country out of love and gratitude for what they and their ancestors have received. Maybe God meant the tripod for everyone - not just cursillistas or maybe, with the help of God, everyone can become a Cursillista!
PS: Big shout out for that amazing St. Pio float!!!
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