Sunday, October 29, 2017

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.