Tuesday, July 21, 2020

LIVING THE CURSILLO METHOD DURING THE PANDEMIC by BILL GRIPPO, FORMER LAY DIRECTOR

DeColores,

This morning I had the wonderful weekly opportunity to share with Al Martella and a regular group of men who have been on a conference call weekly since the Pandemic began.  It is truly enriching.

Today Al asked each of us to share how we are coping with the pandemic personally!  The responses were heartfelt, emotional, personal and prayerful.

I was the last speaker, the clean up “batter” so to speak.

I based my thoughts on the Tripod (Piety, Study and Action)

My first step in coping with this is to continue and strengthen my own prayer life… I attend 2 weekday Masses and one on Sunday and made myself useful by assisting the Church team in organizing the return to Church effort.  I start my day with morning prayer, and do a good amount of spiritual reading.  I try to go out of the house and sit in a park, by the complex pool or outside of Dunkin Donuts (cannot give up that first Cup!!)  I am reading the biography of John Paul 2!  It is 1000 pages and I read it as spiritual reading and Study.  His life is amazing, inspirational and gives me strength and guidance!  That first step of Piety is an absolute in handling this pandemic for me personally.

The next step for me is the discipline and a study of my own physical and mental health.  I have made a significant effort to improve my health at my Baby Boomer age.  I made the commitment to lose some excess pounds and lost 10 to date. I have visited my physician for a check up and she was really happy with the results of the visit. I have committed along with my daily reading and spiritual growth to do some form of exercise “daily”, walking a measured distance or swimming and some light weight lifting.  The benefit of exercise is extremely helpful for your mental and emotional state during this very stressful time in our lives.  I find that if I watch too much TV, especially during the day it encourages depression to occur over this pandemic.  Shut or limit the TV!!  Use the sun that God gave us to energize yourself, the Vitamin D is significant in building up the immune system in your body and it is “free”!!


The final point I made in my witness is Action!  I take action with my family, checking in with them and preparing meals for the more local siblings!  I find being present, social distancing with a backyard picnic or just sitting around a fire pit are simple ways to promote family life.  I also find that preparing and delivering a bowl of Italian meatballs lifts everyone’s spirits very high.

I have also remained very active in my community without meeting with people in large groups.  I attend zoom meetings, raise money for the food bank, continue to develop plans for a YMCA in my community and I keep my finger in the life of our school system.  Reaching out to others in whatever way you can will take your thoughts off yourself and put your energy with others!

 

So let’s close, thanking God daily for all of our gifts and family.  Let’s continue our daily prayer and study, while taking care of our health to the best of our ability!

 

DeColores and as Bishop Sheen would close: GOD LOVE YOU!!!!


Saturday, July 18, 2020

WATCH JULY SCHOOL OF LEADERS


You can watch the July 17th
School of Leaders
on YouTube at this link.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

REFLECTION ON THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME by DEACON TONY MARTUCCI


Some of you may recall that from December 2012 to December 2014, I underwent a series of medical issues that threatened to take me. I was homebound for much of that time with nursing care from my wife and visiting nurses. I spent weeks in the hospital. Many of you prayed for me and helped lift my burden. During those difficult times, I turned to God and had some of my closest moments to Christ. I knew I was not alone. My greatest concern was for my wife who had to take care of me and who worried about me. She needed our prayers as well.


For most of that time I was unable to attend Mass. As a daily communicant I missed being there and receiving the Eucharist. I watched on TV but it isn’t the same. For the past three months we all experienced the loss of Mass and communion. Somehow, it was worse for me this time than when I was sick. I know Christ is still present in our lives, but I longed so much to return to Mass and communion.


Our entire society has also changed during this pandemic. Uncertainty surrounds us. There are protests, violence, anxiety and fear. Some people are still out of work; some are still confined to their homes for fear of contracting the virus.


We would all agree we are living in very trying times. Uncertainty is all around us. We wear masks, and avoid crowds. We have changed many of our habits. Even here in Church, we are distanced from each other, and are warned to avoid congregating after Mass. It is as though we are living in a different world and we wonder if things will ever get back to what we called NORMAL.  


Only one thing remains constant. Jesus is with us, guiding and protecting us. In the Gospel today He offers to help us carry our burdens and troubles. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” When I think of a yoke, I remember the yoke borne by oxen and mules, heavy wooden objects placed on their shoulders. I shrink from taking something like that upon myself. But it is Christ’s yoke, and He promises to help bear OUR burdens. His yoke is easy, and He helps us carry our burdens. What a great deal He offers us!
As I was undergoing my surgeries and recoveries, I knew that Christ was helping me to bear them. Your prayers and the love and the care of my wife made Christ real and alive during that crisis.


Today, as I look around at the mess that the world is in, I remember what I went through in my illness and I recall what helped me get through it. I continue to trust in Christ and you can, too. God is in control and we, Catholic Christians can turn to Him in prayer and trust.


Last week, Vice–president Pence said, “Even when things don’t seem like they’re going the way we expected, they’re going the way [God] expected.” He continued, “If we will but hold fast to Him, we’ll see our way through these challenging times, we will restore our nation’s health, we will renew our freedom, and we will inspire people across this land with our witness of the love and compassion and strength that comes in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”