"A blessed and holy, happy and healthy New Year to all! May 2019 bring you ever closer to the Christ child, deepening your faith, hope and love through Cursillo. I wish each of you to make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ in the coming year." De Colores, Mary


Year after year we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and yet year after year, our world seems to be crumbling with atrocities being heaped upon the human race.

Listen to the words of a Christmas Day message from one John Paul II: “Wipe away, Baby Jesus, the tears of children! Embrace the sick and the elderly! Move men to lay down their arms and draw close in a universal embrace of peace! Invite people, O merciful Jesus, to tear down the walls, created by poverty and unemploy - meant, by ignorance, by discrimination and intolerance. It is you, O Divine Child of Bethlehem, who saved us, freeing us from sin.”

In our world today, those same evils prevail along with added horrible atrocities. So why do we continue to celebrate Christmas, the feast of the Christ Child, Prince of Peace? The reason is FAITH! Now, we know that Faith is believing what we cannot see or understand. And we are speaking of supernatural Faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that Faith is “both a gift from God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. And the whole truth of our Faith is contained in the Bible as well as in Sacred Tradition. An example of Sacred Tradition is the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which cannot be found in the Bible. It was Pope Pius IX who proclaimed Mary’s Immaculate Conception a Dogma of Faith back in 1854.

But getting back to the birth of Jesus, everything we believe about His birth can be found in the Bible, starting in the Old Testament. In Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 5, we read: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, GodHero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.”

In the New Testament, starting with Matthew’s Gospel, chapter one, we read about how Joseph was greatly troubled about Mary’s pregnancy and how the angel told Joseph in a dream it was OK to marry Mary and he was to name the baby Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.” Then what Matthew tells us in verses 22 & 23 is what our Faith is all about. We read: Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” which means , “God is with us.”

Again, another prediction of Jesus in the Old Testament. But what a declaration of our Faith: GOD IS WITH US! In chapter two, Matthew goes on to relate the Visit of the Magi, also known as the Three Kings who were astrologers led by the star to the Manger to pay homage to the Christ Child. What Faith the Magi had!  They believed in something that was beyond their total understanding. Matthew goes on to relate The Flight into Egypt and the Massacre of the Infants which caused sorrow and fear to Mary and Joseph. Babies were being killed back then as babies are being killed today through the horrible evil of abortion. How we need our FAITH
today to keep us on the right path that our caring God wants us to travel!

In Luke’s Gospel, we read other details of the Birth of Jesus that are not in Matthew’s Gospel. In Luke’s account of the Announcement of the Birth of Jesus we read that it was the Angel Gabriel who informed Mary of the birth of her Son, Jesus. Matthew gives us no name of the angel. However, in regard to FAITH, Luke concludes his message to Mary by informing her that her cousin, Elizabeth, is also having a child in her old age. Angel Gabriel concludes this message saying; “for nothing will be impossible with God.” This is another declaration of our Faith; “FOR NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.” 

Now the Liturgical word for the Birth of Christ is INCARNATION. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that Incarnation is “the fact that the Son of God assumed human nature and became human in order to accomplish our salvation in that same human nature. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, is both true God and true man, not part of God and part of man.” It is only through our FAITH that we are a able to believe this and not understand it.

I love how St. John expresses INCARNATION in his first chapter, verse 14a; “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” And again in ch. 2 verse 16, John tells us; “For God so loved the world the he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.”

Think of it. Jesus, Son of the living God, left His celestial home in heaven  to be one of us — taking on our human nature with all its pain and sorrow. In the Bible, Paul’s letter to the Philippians ch.2 verses 6 to 10 give us a glimpse of what Jesus sacrificed for us. 

No one could have loved more! It is our FAITH that enables that us to truly believe this without full understanding. Just think about it…We all have a purpose in life. And so did Jesus! His purpose was to be one of us in everything except sin so that we can know God personally, not as spirit that we cannot see. Jesus told us in scripture from John, ch. 10 verse 30: “The Father and I are one.” Again in ch. 14, verse 7: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the the Father except through me.  If you know me, then you will know my Father.” The Infant Christ Child was born to live poorly, suffer greatly, die a gruesome death on the Cross and RISE triumphantly. We will also rise after we die and be united with our loved ones in heaven, God’s celestial home, only if we live the life God wants us to live. So let us all be grateful and faithful to our Faith that we first received in our Baptism as well as the Grace we receive from frequent reception of the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Penance, or Reconciliation,  throughout our lives. 

To conclude, I encourage you to celebrate Christmas not through sentimentality but through the eyes of FAITH. DE COLORES!


Robert Lauricella, Rick Klarmann, Bob Morris, Dick Hemler, Father Ed Blanchett,Dean Boturla, Deacon John Clymore, Mike Ivanko, Bob Burke

James Monks (Sponsor - David Riggio)
Luis Quinto (Sponsor - Adelaide Sangiorgi)
James Walsh (Sponsor - Dean Boturla)
Keith Daniels (Sponsor - Rick Klarmann)
Jay Daniels (Sponsor - Rick Klarmann


Scandal is nothing new to the Church or indeed to human understanding itself; it is as old as recorded history. The Old Testament is full of stories of individuals and kings from King David on, who behaved atrociously; just count how many times the kings of Israel made their children “pass through the fire”, a practice of sacrificing their children to the pagan god Moloch. At its very beginnings, the Church saw scandal in its leaders: Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied Jesus; all of the Apostles – except John – abandoned Jesus (probably with Peter leading the way out of town). In the 1500’s the behavior of many Catholic priests and bishops was so atrocious that an Augustinian priest decided the only way to deal with the situation was to separate from the Church. Although dedicated leaders such as St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Ignatius of Loyola led a true Counter-Reformation to address these failures, Martin Luther and others initiated the Protestant rebellion that continues to rock Christianity through today and into the foreseeable future. And, lest we think that the crisis was only about the money given for indulgences, St. Catherine of Siena bemoaned in her writing The Dialogue about the “stench of sin” coming from the papal court and prophesized that even the demons were disgusted by the sexual activity they had tempted priests into and the coverup by their superiors!

Given all this history and the current sexual scandals we find ourselves, how could the Catholic Church possibly be the “One, True, Church”? The effects of these scandals will also continue to rock us for the foreseeable future. First of course is the toll taken on the innocent victims devastated by the crimes committed against them by clergy. As we now know, some Catholic bishops, who were in authority over these men dismissed their behavior and took the pretext about how they were “just following the advice of mental-health professionals” of the time when re-assigning them into parish ministry, even in parishes with schools and contact with children. 

There is no earthly way to undo the damage done to the victims of these scandals. The goodwill, respect and trust that had been extended towards the Catholic Church in the 20th Century has largely evaporated, making an increasingly cynical and hostile attitude towards the Church by outsiders and confusion from those who have remained faithful. I and many of my brother priests have been shocked, embarrassed and discouraged at having to answer for the damage done by the “Judas priests” who have betrayed their vows and the trust given to them so horribly. 

How could the Catholic Church possibly be the “One, True, Church”? That is a question we need to look at closely if we can ever hope to move forward appropriately, both for ourselves and to those who challenge us. Acknowledging the tragic reality of scandals in the Catholic Church is the only appropriate first step towards providing an adequate response: showing that, in spite of these scandals, there remains a solid and compelling reason why people should be Catholic. Because – in spite of the scandals – the Catholic Church has the answer to all of life’s most urgent problems and challenges. The very fact that we are all justifiably shocked and horrified by the terrible things done by Catholics shows exactly what happens when Catholic teachings, in particular her moral teachings, are ignored and rejected, especially by clergy, given the fact that we have been in some sense been called to a higher and stricter standard of behavior.

That’s a first step, where does it go from there? The answer, frankly, is quite basic: we must remember that – in some form or another –the answer to the many problems in life is the gospel, the “Good News”, of Jesus Christ. Not in the sometimes overly simplistic sense that many of our separated brothers and sisters in Christ see it, and certainly not the way “prosperity Gospel” proponents preach it. Teaching, preaching and living the gospel message of Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church’s response to the world’s easy and shallow attempts to living a life immersed in pleasure, power and pride: what the Bible refers to as “the world, the flesh and the devil.” The Catholic Church is the ark of salvation because the head of the Church is Christ, not its sinful members. And speaking of boats, listen to Mark chapter 4:

 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”* The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” 

There have been and, sadly, there will continue to be times when it appears that Jesus is asleep as the wind and waves of life appear and toss the ark of the Church so violently that it seems it will capsize and sink. We must have faith in Christ and in his promises to be with the Church always, no matter what, no matter how misguided and malicious some of the members of the Church may be. Let’s listen this time to Matthew chapter 13: 

Jesus proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Jesus prepared us to realize that uncomfortable and even confusing circumstances would surround the Church, just like a field of wheat which has weeds mixed in it: those Christians who are genuine followers of Jesus and those who just have the appearance. That’s a real challenge: in the parable, Jesus used the word “darnel” for weeds, which look just like wheat. One detail which isn’t known to most non-farmers is that the head of darnel weed stands straight up, kind of like so-called Christians who are proud of their virtue, while real wheat droops slightly, in the way that true humility of followers of the holy One would be. 

Scandals are part of the life of the Church not because of its teachings and customs, but because individual Catholics choose to ignore and reject those teachings. Consider celibacy, one that mainstream media seems to be enamored in citing as a root cause for pedophilia. This gift, freely chosen by men for the sake of the Kingdom is not the cause of sexual misbehavior among priests. It is when a priest abandons his commitment, when he turns away from striving for the ideal, that he sins. Although priests are certainly not alone in this atrocity, what causes society to respond so strongly when the perpetrator is a priest is that, as much as outsiders will deny it, society expects Catholics to live up to the high moral standards imposed by Catholic teaching. This makes it all the more shocking when a priest or bishop betrays his solemn promise to be a chaste celibate.  

The cause of all scandal – both that within the Church and outside of it – is always traceable to one important starting point: when we say “yes” to serious sin, usually done as the result of a whole string of small compromises and rationalizations with sin. Scandal starts when someone makes a decision to take the easy path – usually one that promises and may even deliver a brief pleasure – with little or no thought to the later consequences to that action. It’s been that way since the beginning, when Satan chose to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden. And just like that long-ago test of humanity in its original holiness, let’s never forget that, first and foremost, this is a spiritual battle. It drives Satan crazy when we try to be virtuous, because that’s a sure sign that we’re not under his influence, that we’re headed for Heaven. He doesn’t care a whit about us, he only wants to keep us from God, to frustrate God’s plans: Go ahead, eat the fruit of that Tree, you won’t die but you will become like God! A lie our original parents bought at the beginning, a lie that we continue to buy, to our own destruction and to the grave harm of those around us.

Thank God and thank our Savior that, although our first parents said that first “No!” to God and we continue to say “No!” to Him in our own actions, He didn’t then – and He doesn’t now – abandon us. The voice of our conscience, the law “written upon our hearts” as is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, warns us against doing things we know deep down are bad and wrong and, after we’ve done them, it makes us of our guilt but then also prods us to repent and turn away from sin. God hardwired us to have basic virtue and to make good moral decisions. But because of our wounded nature, we can’t rely only on ourselves. We need more help and that’s why He gave us the Church. The teachings and most especially the sacraments of the Church repair and restore the damage that we inflict upon ourselves and give us the strength and guidance to avoid further damage in the future.

But we see what happens when some of its members – especially some who should know better – misuse the very instrument that Jesus gave us to continue his work in the world. As tragic as the scandal has been on those who have been victimized as well as to the world in general, its tragedy (and the furthering of Satan's work against the Church) will be most greatly realized in the number of souls who may be lost due to the trust betrayed and the despair that follows. We would do well to start any hope for recovery by praying for them and also for the souls of the shepherds who chose, either in action or by allowing, such action to continue and either have or will stand before God to answer for such deeds. 

Just as those responsible will have to stand before God's justice, we have to remember that our actions need to be in justice as well. Sometimes we are so caught up in the hype that, in the passion that our emotions generate, we lose sight of this. For example:

  • Following the Pennsylvania grand jury report, several states Attorneys General have announced their own investigations into accusations, and these have made headlines often in the past few weeks. One thing those headlines often fail to say is that accused does not mean convicted. Keep in mind that many of the incidents are accusations that still have the right to due process. Of course, one abuse is one too many but it does not do to assume that all abuse claims are true. 
  • The majority of abuse cases are decades old; in many cases the accused has died. It may not be possible - or extremely difficult - to determine the facts of such cases and determine how justice can be humanly determined. Of course, this does not preclude making investigation where possible; however, it does at least admit where it may not be possible. 
  • Just about every news article I've seen implies that the Catholic Church has done nothing to prevent this problem from recurring. Anyone involved in Church ministry - priests, staff and volunteers, most of you here today - know that the Church has implemented and continually monitors the VIRTUS and background screening programs to both identify individuals unsuited for ministry as well as how to identify when a situation of abuse might be occurring. Far from doing little or nothing to prevent abuse, the Church has created methods of combating this disease that has become a model for other organizations - religious and otherwise - to follow.
  • The conclusion - whether implied or outright stated in news items - is that a large percentage, possibly even a majority, of clergy are culpable or complicit and are not to be trusted. This is - literally - a damnable lie. If we turn away from our faith leaders, the shepherds who have been called by the Holy Spirit to lead us, despite their human flaws, to the Kingdom of Heaven, we must keep in mind what Peter said to Jesus when so many disciples turned away from Jesus when he told people that they must eat his body and drink his blood (the famous "Bread of Life" discourse from John chapter 6): "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." It would be a mistake - one that may have eternal consequences - to leave Peter because of Judas. While we may come to know some aspects of God through our own reason, we will never get sufficient knowledge of God without His grace and revelation - grace that we receive primarily through the sacraments entrusted by Christ to His ministers, the clergy of the Catholic Church. Please pray for the many bishops, priests and deacons who work tirelessly in guiding those entrusted to them closer to Christ every day.  
We are a deeply wounded Church and expect those responsible to be brought to justice. No one is above the call for justice, no matter how high up in the Church leadership they may be; in fact, it is right to hold them to a higher standard and accountability. But also remember that the Church is and always has been, not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners - and we should thank God that this is so. As we picture those who have perpetrated this atrocity standing before God's throne, let's not forget that we too will do so, maybe not for sins of such grave scandal, but certainly ones that are an offence to God's justice. As we trust in God's mercy for ourselves, let's not be too quick to deny His right to extend mercy to others - God's mercy and justice are in perfect balance, even if ours is not. In the meantime, we should also call for and work for justice balanced by mercy, as imperfect as that work may be, because that's how we are called to do God's work while in this life. 

As a priest, I will try to keep in mind the words that Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Minneapolis St. Paul-Minnesota gave in his homily at Mass for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recent meeting in Baltimore regarding the sexual scandals: “This is our moment to give it our all, to listen attentively to those who are hurt, to listen deeply with discerning ears and hearts to each other as we share the fruits of our prayer, the fruit of our discussion, the fruit of our experience. And to act in a way that convincingly shows our commitment to change.” 

That’s what I intend to do as a priest. As a Catholic, as a member with you of the “One, True, Church” even with all its problems and sinful members, I’ll remember that she teaches us the truth that will set us free, even though not every Catholic obeys those teachings. As I mentioned before, the Church throughout her history has been called “the New Ark of salvation” and I think that’s an image that works on many levels; think about that for a moment. Noah’s Ark: a boat full of animals; can you imagine what it must have smelled and sounded like? But at the time of the great Flood, it was also the only safe place on earth for those creatures, from the gentle dove to the powerful and ruthless predators such as lions and tigers. As long as they stayed on board, they were safe. The scandals may be seen as Catholics – priests who committed these atrocities and the bishops who covered them up, those who ignored and disobeyed the Catholic teachings on proper moral behavior, individuals who have given in to despair – who have abandoned ship and have dived overboard. And we see where it gets them. Those who stay onboard the Ark may have to endure cramped, smelly and sometimes frustrating conditions, but they will be saved in the end. 

!De Colores!  


Prayer: Lord your Cursillistas gathered before you this day ask for courage-the courage to live out in our daily lives the faith we profess with our lips.  Amen

I want you to close your eyes and think of one thing-your first love.  When you fell in love you wanted to know everything about that person.  What makes him or her happy what are the joys sorrows and most of all how to please that person.  Well, the author of those feelings, God, is no exception.  The most amazing love that we can imagine is exactly how God loves us.  Beyond our wildest dreams and he holds nothing back from his beloved.  One of the first commands he gave us was Love to "Love one another as I have loved you"....there is no greater love than this to lay down your life for your friend."   Isn't that what we do when we forgive the hurt that someone has caused us.  We  put aside our "self-love" for sacrificial love "Christ-like love"

Now it is very important to say right here and right now that the first forgiveness is reserved for ourselves-- we cannot go beyond ourselves to forgive another until we are able to internalize the realization that God forgives us as long as we are truly sorry for our sins and avail ourselves of the sacrament of reconciliation. 

"Our Father - forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"  When we sin against God we are trespassing against our own souls.  forgive yourself as HE forgives you.  In this way we free ourselves to go beyond ourselves to forgive others.

Our Lord doesn't ask us to be complicit in sin and error.  Listen to what He said:  "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."  This prayer may seem overly simple at first glance but think about it.  He is asking His Father to bless them because they truly did not know what they were doing.  Do we?  Think about it-does any one of us REALLY know what we are doing when we sin.  I am talking about the true cost of offending God?  If the agony in the garden, the scourging and the crucifixion came to mind every-time we sinned, would we still persist in our sin?  It was very deliberate on my part not to talk about all the repercussions of sin: (All the Jewish Babies are Crying.)  Sin and its aftermath of destruction is very real and present in our world today but for every evil there is also a very real way out that God has provided to us.

No, only God knows the true cost because only HE paid the price. When we pray for our enemies we are placing them in His hands and only God can do what is best for the salvation of their souls.  The souls HE loved and died for so only HE can know the true disposition of that soul.  When we turn it over to God we are truly praying for our enemies.

This was the whole reason Jesus left the glory and perfection of heaven to come to earth to suffer and die for each and everyone.  Even the most unlovable.  He came not only to die but to live as the perfect model of the perfect human being.  Jesus' words: "I am the Way the Truth and the Life....come follow me."

"As we measure out to others so shall it be measured to us"

Lord how many times should I forgive 7 times?  Seventy times 7 times.  Or, in other words every single time we are offended.  Again Jesus is not only telling us how to live but revealing Himself to His beloved.  This is why I believe that true forgiveness is a sure arrow straight to the heart of God.    Forgiveness, my dear brothers and sisters is a MASTER CLASS IN JESUS CHRIST. 

Every night before we go to bed, we should make an examiniation of conscience and then ask Our Lord to forgive us.  He told us to forgive 70 times 7 times He revealed His Great Mercy so of course He will forgive you.  If we die that night we go straight to HIS loving Arms and if not he gives us another chance each day to begin again not to offend.  How can we then deny that to our brothers and sisters when it is so important to the one we love?  

He was our first love and he will be our last.  The Alpha and the Omega.  And yet, we put all kinds of qualifications on forgiving others.  Jesus told us not only to forgive but to pray for our enemies...Pray for them...surely Jesus doesnt expect us to pray for  the boss who treated my husband so unfairly, the corrupt politician? The couple who cheated us in business? and especially not those horrible terrorists-- pray for them?  The very people who are persecuting Christians, destroying their shrines and antiquities and murdering them in the most horrific manners.  Do you know who I just described to you St Paul, the patron Saint of Cursillo.  Jesus forgave him for he knew not what he was doing.  Perhaps it was the prayers of St. Stephen, as he was being martyred, that saved Saul and made him a Saint.  The very Saint we Cursillistas invoke every time we gather.

"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Now here is even a harder truth about forgiveness to think about.  We are all familiar with the commission of the apostles to forgive sins when Jesus said:

"whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven-whose sins you shall retain they are retained."

There are two ways to look at this statement God gave to his priests the power to forgive sins in the sacrament of Penance.  When we go to confession and the priest administers the grace of the Sacrament we have the assurance of the words spoken from Our Lord, HIMSELF, from HIS own lips that we are forgiven.  I realize many of you are familiar with the story of St. Margaret Mary who explained to her confessor that Our Lord was appearing to her -- the doubtful priest asked her to ask Our Lord what the mortal sin was that he had confessed the week before in confession.  The dutiful nun did ask Jesus about this and when she returned to her confessor he asked her....well did you ask Jesus about my sin and what did HE tell you.  To this question Margaret Mary said yes Father I asked Jesus what the mortal sin was that you had confessed and Jesus responded: "I forgot".  At this response her confessor realized that the apparitions were authentic.

This is perhaps the most telling of all the truths of God on forgiveness--that HE not only forgives us but "forgets" our transgressions:   The Sacred Scripture says:  "As far as the east is from the west so far will HE put our transgressions from us"  --"though your sins may be as scarlet HE will wash them white as snow!" 

Could any news that we poor sinners receive be any better than this.  To have true contrition for our sins and confess them and receive the Grace of the Sacrament!  If there is a better way to get to heaven I beg you to let me know.  God's goodness is so good that we have a hard time to take this into our hearts and soul and dear brothers and sisters we must, under grave consequence take this great truth into our hearts.

This great marriage of forgiveness and forgetfulness is not false humility but simply an imitation of Christ.  As Christians we are called very simply to imitate Christ.  There is a direct correlation between our ability to forgive and attaining eternal happiness in heaven.  The Master class in Jesus Christ.  (masters degree, drive, focus-hard work-persistence great accomplishment) God in HIS Great Mercy has provided a very simple way for us to be with Him both in our earthly journey as well as our eternal life.  "Forgive one another as I have forgiven you".  How often have we prayed at the foot of the cross thanking Our Lord for His great love that washed away our sins but where do we draw the line.

It is true that evil deeds committed against us are sinful but so are all the sins for which Jesus gave HIS last breath on the cross.  Jesus did not ask us to be complicit in sin but to forgive the offense and not hold it against the person so to free ourselves and allow the sinner to be able to avail themselves and us of the Mercy of God.

Probably one of the hardest ideas to understand is that God didn't have to shed HIS last drop of blood to save the world.  We have heard this many times. So why did He?  Yes, because of the great weight of sin, yes because of HIS great Love and because of both of these things, he wanted to teach us....  How God looks at sin and forgiveness.  If Jesus had not come to teach and to save there would be no way for us to gain eternal life.  This is a frightening thought perhaps the scariest realization ever.
The consequence of Our Lord's death and the unimaginable love with which HE forgives and forgets was done only to show us how to forgive and forget.  Love one another as...............

If we can by God's Grace forgive those who have hurt us and if even more so we can ask God for the Grace to forget even the most hurtful of transgression because we love Our Lord is that it?    There is yet one more saying of the Scripture to contemplate and this is of utmost importance please think about this very carefully:  whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven and those you shall retain they are retained...whose sins you shall retain they are retained...  These are not words of a great theological translator or Doctor of the Church.  They were spoken from Christ's own lips and give us not just the power to hold our brothers and sister's bound in their sins but if I read the text correctly, in a very real sense, they tie God's hands, so to speak, we are saying we deny God's Mercy to that person.  Now follow me in this.  I am not suggesting that this person cannot be forgiven by God if they are truly repentant.  But by binding them in their sin within our own heart, we are binding ourself to the unforgiveness by refusing to forgive.  So in our stubborn unforgiveness, we in a very real sense, are doing great harm to our soul.  "Forgive us "as we forgive" those who sin against us".  We are making ourselves "prisoners" of our own unforgiveness.  "forgive us as we forgive"  At our Ultreya a few weeks ago we shared what forgiveness and unforgiveness means to us personally.  One of the very inciteful answers was "when we refuse to forgive its like taking poison and expecting someone else to die from it.  Another said forgiving is setting ourselves free and another that forgiveness is not about us.  How true forgiveness is not about us but truly about the one Who made us.  It is a master class in Jesus Christ.

This was the lesson of Christ's life and death "come follow me" not just when its easy and please don't misunderstand following Jesus is not easy(God knows it is not easy)  but it is simple.  Look at what He did how He lived His life that's the whole point.  Today we are looking at a truth about Jesus that is not easy but infinitely simple.  Forgive one another which is just another way to say love one another as I have loved you.  When we forgive as Jesus did we set ourselves free because we give our enemy up to God's Mercy.  It is probably one of the most liberating things we can do for ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  Jesus said He has come that we may have life and have it abundantly.  The generosity of forgiveness is not only a gift we give our brothers and sisters but it is a gift to ourselves and Jesus wants us to be good to ourselves because He loves us so much.



Saturday we had a wonderful SOL, with an inspirational spiritual talk about Surrender from Deacon Tony Martucci. Mary Weis gave the technique talk on Beautiful Hope. If you have Hope you have Faith. 

Please take the time to read the talks below, they are truly inspiring. Come to the next SOL on November 17, 2018 for your Spiritual fulfillment!



"Prayer of Surrender" by Deacon Tony Martucci

Mk 10:17-30: "As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother."

He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"

The disciples were amazed at his words.

So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." 

This gospel touches all of us. This young man is seeking the way to eternal life. He is a good man, keeping all the commandments but he wants MORE. Christ asks him to give up all that he owns tn to follow Jesus. He finds that too difficult.

We often look at this story and ask what it is that we must give up to follow Christ. Our possessions? Our treasures? 



Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint.

And hope does not disappoint. That was from Paul to the Romans Chapter 5. I’m here to talk about hope. That’s really a tough subject. Why? Because it’s so hard, so hard to have hope! Firsthand I can tell you that these past few weeks I have had to call upon the Holy Spirit for strength and hope in dealing with the upcoming Cursillo weekend. 

I have also read and reread this book to sustain me and keep in line with God’s plan for me. It’s a wonderful book and it’s titled, of course, Beautiful Hope.  And it is beautiful and encouraging. Has anyone read it? It will definitely satisfy your Study of the tripod.

It’s an uplifting book comprised of personal stories of hope.

Kelly has enlisted the help of several people, some well known, and others who have never written anything before. All of them are American Catholics trying to live the gospel. Matthew has asked these people a few thought provoking questions as to their contributions to the book: 

What gives you hope?
What sustains your hope?
Where does your hope for the Catholic Church come from?
What are your hopes for the Catholic Church and humanity?
How do you bring hope to others?

Kelly only writes the prelude. Matthew Kelly says we need hope now more than ever before. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without. Matthew Kelly feels strong about the virtue of hope because he has based his mission of Dynamic Catholic on it. The mission of Dynamic Catholic is to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism. That sounds like a lot of hope to me. 
The book is divided into four parts: Choosing Hope, Hope in the Church, Hope in Action, and Becoming Hope. In the first part, Choosing Hope, Sister Miriam Heidland, a sister of the Society of the Most Holy Trinity, who has written books and speaks publicly, states that for people of faith, the truest meaning of hope is not ultimately a feeling or longing toward a vague temporal goal, but rather a gift from God that orders us toward eternal goodness, truth, and beauty. For a long time she thought that hope was just wishing for something to happen or not occur. Aren’t many of our hopes like that? I hope that God will hear my prayer and I can live long enough to dance at my granddaughter’s wedding, or have good weather for my vacation or get that better job I applied for.

These are all good intentions but that’s not what hope really is. Hope is the surrender of ourselves to God’s will, accepting that realization through everything we do, knowing full well that through Him, the promise of eternal salvation will be ours. Sister Miriam talks about cracks in our foundation, cracks in our lives. Does anybody here have any cracks in their lives? Yes, we all have plenty: deceit, jealousy, shame, envy, whatever they may be, and we must face what they are. We face them in front of Jesus. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can fix these cracks. It is only through complete acceptance into God that our lives begin to build and take on structure. And we can only accept what He gives us through hope. It only occurs with hope. Hope for us is in living our lives with Christ. We must look into ourselves first before we can begin to know what hope is and bring hope to others.

What about hope in the church? Can we find hope there? We can, in so many ways: in our times at mass, sharing and making friends with our fellow parishioners, praying with our men’s or women’s groups, coming to the aid of others through Catholic Charities, a giving tree at Christmas and the unborn who have no one to speak for them. What about our exceptional priests who never ever tire of listening to our ills, problems and issues? It is only through the church and in our own methodology of Cursillo, where we survive spiritually. And it is in the church that we associate hope with generosity. I can tell you personally, it brings tears to my eyes seeing the donations pour in whenever we ask, no matter what. 

Hope comes from people such as yourselves doing extraordinary things through your charity, good will and love! None of this would happen without our church. Why shouldn’t we have hope through our church? We would certainly be lost without it. 

Having hope within ourselves and gaining hope from the Church enables us to bring hope to others. I’d like to share one of the stories that stands out for me and touches my heart.

It’s from a priest who receives a call at 9:30 at night from a young man who wants to speak with him. The priest doesn’t know the person on the line at all, but agrees to meet with him the next day at the Catholic high school nearby. When they meet, the boy could only cry. The priest, Father Meyer, told him ‘You need to talk to somebody. I don’t know what you’re going through, but people can help you. I don’t know what church you belong to but I’m available.” The young man, Will, met with Father Meyer every day for two weeks after that, finally breaking down and talking about his anxiety and frustrations of life. Encouraged by Father Meyer, Will eventually joins the youth group at the parish and starts to attend mass. He gains hope in his life to carry him into the future. But it doesn’t end there. Five years later those moments are still felt.

We can become hope in action. We can change the world by our small actions but it has to start with ourselves. As Saint John Paul II said, “I plead with you – never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” 

So now I ask you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, how are we to be hope in action? How can we be the beacons of light God has made us to be? For God wants us to be joyful and hopeful.

Again, I quote from Saint John Paul II, “It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal…the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society…” Sound like something you heard in Cursillo? 

De Colores


My felllow cursillistas, once again I am asking for donations to fund our upcoming Men’s Weekend December 6-9 2018 at San Alfonso Retreat House, Long Branch. Only through your contributions is this possible. We have increased the weekend fee to $225 but we must add an additional $60 for each and every person attending. San Alfonso charges us $285 per person for the weekend (and that’s at a discount!) We also don’t turn anyone away who cannot pay.

Considering that we only had two diocesan masses this year with collections, your donations are the prime support of Cursillo. Monies we collect at School of Leaders go to food and drink.

We incur both National and Regional dues as well as a stipend to Epiphany for the use of their venue. Please be as generous as you can, anything is appreciated.  Thank you again and may God bless you abundantly! You can send your donations to our Treasurer:

JoAnne Henderson 
48 Berkshire Rd
Whiting NJ 08759

Also, Our Diocesan Mass/Team Send Off  will be Friday, November 30 2018 at 8pm at Saint John’s Church, 619 Chestnut St, Lakehurst NJ, Off Route 70. 

DeColores, Mary


Mary Weis, Lay Director writes: "We are pleased to announce that Trenton will be having a Men’s Weekend in December from December 6-9 2018 at San Alfonso Retreat House, Long Branch, New Jersey.

We only have 5 candidates so we’re praying that God will provide us with more. Candidates are: 

James Monks  (Sponsor - David Riggio)
Luis Quinto  (Sponsor - Adelaide Sangiorgi)
James Walsh  (Sponsor - Dean Boturla)
Brian Morgan  (Sponsor - Marisel Kemper)
Anthony Cecala (Sponsor - George and Mary Weis)

Please pray for these candidates and for the team of Trenton 127.


The September 20, 2018 edition of the Trenton Monitor includes an article titled "Cursillo members enjoy evening of prayer, renewal, fellowship."

The article, written by 
Rose O'Connor opens:

"The Cursillo community in the Diocese of Trenton gathered Sept. 7 in St. Raphael-Holy Angels Church, Hamilton, where they prayed and supported each other on their journeys of faith."

You can read the entire article at this link. Thank you to Rose and the Trenton Monitor for this article.


Deacon Joe Moore of the Trenton Monitor staff
took 29 wonderful pictures
of Friday's Diocesan Mass
at St. Raphael/Holy Angels Church.
You can see the pictures at this link.



Oh, what a night! The Diocesan Mass on Friday, September 7, was such a joyous, heartwarming and emotional event. The community was blessed by having three, yes, three priests con-celebrate: Father Ed Blanchett, pastor Visitation, Brick, Father Jay Bowden and Father Jerome Guld from Saint Joseph's in Toms River. Many cursillistas came out and brought their friends, curious to know what Cursillo is about. 

Father Ed's humble and relevant talk on recent events had most of us teary-eyed. It also gave us hope and inspiration to continue in our faith and love of the Church. 

This was followed by the installation of our new Post Cursillo Section Head, Terri D'Andrea. Adelaide Sangiorgi had already extended her term on Secretariat as the Post Cursillo Head and Terri was gracious enough to say yes to replacing Adelaide. We want to thank Adelaide for her devotion, hard work and untiring efforts working with the Ultreya Heads and Secretariat. Adelaide will be missed. We also want to welcome Terri to the new position and extend our prayers and best wishes as she takes on this new role.  

To complete our dedication to Trenton Cursillo, the entire Secretariat team renewed their commitment to the community for another year.   

It didn't end there. Robert Lauricella gave a beautiful witness to why we are all here (at Cursillo), knowing we have all been touched by this personal experience as he has been and admits that he continues to be affected by Cursillo every day.

Putting us over the top was Marie Garrett who had found a touching, beautiful writing about our priests. The priests were asked to look at their hands and never forget that those hands were consecrated to Christ and able to transform ordinary bread and wine into His Body and Blood. The Church and its followers are depending upon our priests to carry out God's work on earth: "Do this in remembrance of Me". How else would we attain salvation without our priests who are so precious to us?   

It was so apparent that the congregation was on fire from the Holy Spirit, fellowship afterwards was a chorus of voices making friends, being friends and bringing friends to Christ. De Colores!


Hello Region 2 Cursillistas!

I pray that your summer has been going well – I know mine has gone too fast!  I was so glad to see so many familiar faces at the 28th National Encounter last week in Seattle!  It certainly was a spirit filled group of people all gathering together in the name of the Lord.

I am sending you this email to invite you to the Region 2 Fall Encounter scheduled for October 19-21, 2018 in Vineland, NJ.  All Cursillistas in Region 2 – in all Dioceses in their respective language groups – are invited.  So please spread the word!

What is a Region 2 Encounter?  This is a joyful event in which leaders from the Cursillo movements in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, DC gather together for a weekend of food, fellowship, learning, sharing, prayer, Mass, rosary, and mutual support in friendship towards our common endeavor of bringing our friends to Christ in our own dioceses. Cef Aguillon, National English Coordinator, will be presenting rollos at this encounter! Won’t you please join us?

The website (http://www.cursilloregion2.org/) will be updated shortly with an agenda.  Please sign up today!

29th National Encounter in Scranton, PA 

We are pleased to announce that our Region will be hosting the 29th National Encounter in Scranton, PA.  We will need lots of volunteers from our Region!  We also have a date and location for our Spring Encounter.  SO PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS SO YOU DON’T MISS OUT!

“Many hands make light work” and a successful National Encounter is the result of the service of many talented and committed people.  It is never too early to start looking for volunteers to assist us next summer.  Here are the list of the committees we are forming:

·       Registration
·       Hospitality
·       Transportation
·       Liturgy
·       Music
·       Photography/Videography
·       Equipment
·       D├ęcor
·       Ultreya
·       Fiesta
·       Book Store
·       Support

Please review the list above and shoot me an email back if you would be interested in being on any of the committees.  THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!

I look forward to seeing you at the Region 2 Fall Encounter in October!


Sue Wenzlick
Region 2 English Coordinator


Copyright 2000 - 2024, Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Trenton, a non-profit organization. Images, sounds, and text contained are for non-commercial use only. Each item is the property of their respective owners. No challenge to their ownership is implied in any way. This page is the sole responsibility of the Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Trenton. Material contained within may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Trenton. Please direct any inquiries to trentoncursillo@gmail.com

MCC Trenton - Movimiento de Cursillos de Christiandad de Trenton