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Monday, September 18, 2017


An article about our recent Cursillo installation "Prayer Key Lesson as Trenton Cursillo Movement Installs New Officers" can be found at the Trenton Monitor website at this link.

A Photo Gallery of 20 pictures from the Mass can be found at this link.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Wow! I’m really surprised! Looking around I realize no one has left yet. I guess that’s the reason why we don’t serve the cake until the end. Well, get ready, you’re in for it!
Let’s pray together: O Lord our God, you have called all those who bear the mane of your Son to serve one another and the world around us by the works of faith and love. Renew our zeal for the tasks you have given us, that we may serve the coming of your kingdom, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Here I am! And I have big shoes to fill, big shoes. Rick Klarmann has done such a tremendous job serving as lay director these past two years, it’s just incredible. We had several weekends and have expanded our horizons. We were published in The Monitor and we have been on the radio! We have funded two weekends and looking to do a third. What accomplishments! Applaud.
When I first got to work with Rick I found him to be a teacher, coach, guide, supporter, true friend. I also knew him as holy, gentle, kind, understanding and loving. We worked so well together, I would tell Rick we were like bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly. And it didn’t matter who was the peanut butter, we just melded. I could not have picked a better lay director and a better person to work with. Being Rick, he would tell it like it is but in his own gentle, kind way. I still remember asking him what I would do at School of Leaders if a speaker didn’t show up and he said simply, “You go to plan B.” I asked him what was plan B. He said, “You are plan B.” That’s when I realized I needed to have a backup in my back pocket just in case. And sure enough, it happened. And we got through it, together. Thank you, Rick, for that.
I am also so grateful to Rick for all the prayers and the 59 day novena said over the last few weeks for me and secretariat. What a beautiful, prayerful, loving gift! What could be more cherished? What could be better than prayer? Thank you, Rick, for that, too.
Rick, you are an incredible individual but an even better Catholic, an awesome cursillista. I can only hope to continue the ministry and to be as devoted, caring, hopeful and energetic as you have been. All of us here are grateful and thank you for your service. Applaud.
But time moves on and here I am. What a journey it has been for me! Twenty years s it has been since I made my weekend, yes, it was 1997. Did I think then for one second I would be up here today? No, not at all.
Since that time, I have experienced many changes, many joys, sorrows, too. I have made friends and lost them. I have expanded my family while leaving others behind. I have felt truly blessed and I have felt discouraged, hopeful and frustrated, love and sadness.
All of these emotions are experienced by everyone sometime in their lives so I can’t really say I had an extraordinary past twenty years. But my reactions, my responses, my attitudes, to these moments I had in my life were different; they were unusual, they were extraordinary, all because of Cursillo. Cursillo, you say, made the difference? Why would a three day weekend and a few meetings with fellow Cursillo friends make that much of a difference? But it did!
Because of Cursillo, I was closer to Christ than ever before, knowing what my life on earth is meant to do. I had purpose, and I had understanding. I knew what God had called for me to do: to act like Him as best as I could and to spread the work of Him who sent to me so that we all may profit from His love.
It was different because I not only knew what God wanted from me; I was willing to give it. I was surrounded by people that didn’t abandon you at the first sign of adversity, that didn’t say let’s get together but never do, that say if you need anything ask, but are not available. I was now part of a group that made a difference, got involved, helped each other, worked together, prayed for each other and truly loved one another unconditionally.
Because of Cursillo, I was able to handle drastic changes in my life: sickness, work, loss of family, all with an attitude that it is Christ’s will and He will get you through it. I felt safe, secure and loved. This was evident in the responses I received from my cursillistas. In Cursillo, you are never alone. Cursillistas are like angels that come to help you, attend to you and comfort you in your time of need. And they never give up, they never stop caring.
Because of Cursillo I felt a greater joy than ever when I was blessed: retirement, new house, health and grandchildren. I felt so privileged, so joyous that God would give me so much in so many ways. The joys stayed in my heart and they were shared with fellow cursillistas who were not jealous or envious but so happy to see good things happen. The joys became infectious and lasted long after the events became the norm.
Because of Cursillo I experience life differently. I am aware of my surroundings. I am amazed at God’s work in everything I see. I share along with my fellow cursillistas their trials and hopes and successes and I rejoice in their lives, knowing that God has his hand in everything. I have a new appreciation for the surprise of each new day and how can it bring me closer to God. I reflect often on my fellow cursillistas and how they are coping with their tasks and I pray to God for them.
In this, another milestone in my life, I can only ask as Pope Francis did, to pray for me. May I be your worthy servant in this task that I am truly blessed, honored and privileged to accept.
This short article from author Jeannie Ewing sums up how I feel as the Cursillo Lay Director:
In the spring, a female robin began building her nest on our neighbor’s porch, within view from our kitchen. My husband, two daughters, and I followed this little bird’s journey into motherhood as she patiently and diligently sat on her nest for weeks without much respite. Finally, her eggs hatched, and the full-time feeding frenzy began.
My oldest daughter, Felicity, squealed in delight as the fluffy baby robins stretched their necks and opened their beaks for food. Mama and Daddy robin were rotating the feeding schedule, and we were privy to the details that God provided for us.
Within two weeks, the four young robins, spotted and red-breasted, seemed eager to fly. They practiced flapping their wings, and the girls and I were certain on a few occasions that we’d witness their departure from the nest. Suddenly, the birds were gone, and we’d missed the entire pivotal moment.
Later that day, I saw a quote that reminded me of the family of robins. “What if I fall?” Oh, dearest, but what if you fly?” The robin family reminded me of my own vocation to motherhood – waiting, learning, changing, and letting go.
Everything in our lives has the potential to evoke fear or hope in us. We may fall, but we may fly. What we risk by trusting God during the growth spurts of life is what we gain in heaven. If we don’t step into the unknown and risk failure, we will never know if we can fly. Don’t be afraid to fly.

So how do I feel now? I’m ready to fly. Are you with me? De Colores!

Saturday, September 9, 2017


A beautiful treat for all!

Our new Lay Director, Mary Weis

Our new Past Lay Director, Rick Klarmann

Mary Weis and new Assistant Lay Director,
Kathy Tucker

Mary and Rick

Past Lay Directors - September, 2017
Front Row: 
Mary Weis, Ronnie Martella, Mary Ann Dowd, 

Middle Row:
John DiStefano, Rick Klarmann, Pat Martucci, 
Cynthia Diamond, John Cifordella

Back Row: 
Len Capobianco, Al Martella, 
Dick Hemler, Dick Andrejack, Bill Grippo


"I’m forwarding the latest news from our Sr. Ann Crawley in Haiti that was sent to Sr. Sheila, our Congregation Leader, that I’m requesting you to send out on the Prayer Tree.  There are also photos attached. Please thank the Cursillo Community for all their PRAYERS. Many thanks, Sr. Clara

Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

Pursuing justice, we seek God's gift of peace.
September 8, 2017

Dear Clara,  

Thanks, all, for your prayers.  This email arrived from Sister Ann today along with some photos below.

Sheila, your prayers have been answered; we have weathered the storm and have come through safely though exhausted.  Thanks too for the prayers and support of all our Sisters, Associates and Friends. Our people of Haiti are fine. They have lost crops and many houses are in ruins but they are alive and well and that's what matters.  

Thanks be to God for our newly built houses which gave protection and shelter to many poor families. I have been visiting with families this morning bringing  food packs  which contain all the essential nutrients and vitamins . All were absolutely delighted all to get the food which can be prepared in minutes!  My band of helpers aided in the distribution to about 1000 families.

Sheila, once more thank you for your prayers and support at this critical time and for the prayers  of our many friends and Associates.  

God bless all. Ann

Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, 399 Hudson Terrace, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Some photos taken this morning.   Houses in ruins after the storms. Fallen banana trees which these people depend on for food.  Distribution of food packs.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Adelaide Sangiorgi invites all to attend the Champion for Life Dinner to honor Deacon Ed. Jennings at 5pm at Doolan’s Shore Club (700 State Highway 71, Spring Lake, NJ 07762). Deacon Ed Jennings will be honored as the group’s “Champion for Life.” There will be a Cursillo table there. In order to attend, you must complete a request form. The form can be downloaded at this link. IMPORTANT: Please write on their reservation “Add me to the Cursillo table with Adelaide Sangiorgi”

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Our August School of Leaders was such a fitting end to summer. It included two talks on evangelization but from two different perspectives:

Father Jay Bowden gave us a synopsis of his trip to EWTN and a history of Mother Angelica's quest for spreading the Word through mass media; Al Martella recounted the diocese Evangelization Day and its emphasis on personal Catholic commitment, leading by example, while bridging the gaps between different ministries. 

What a thoughtful and inspiring day to start us all on the work that lies ahead for us cursillistas.

May our weekends be full. Wouldn't you like to sponsor someone?

Thanks, Mary

Friday, August 25, 2017


On Wednesday, August 23, Deacon Tony Martucci and Al Martella were interviewed about Cursillo on Domestic Church Media's "TGI Friday Live" program. Conducting the interview was Jim Manfredonia and Gabriella Furmato of Domestic Church Media. (If you listen, you can hear Mary Weis, Ronnie Martella and Father Jay Bowden praying in the background!)

Thank you, Jim and Gabriella and Domestic Church Media, for your hospitality
and all the work you do for God!

Monday, August 7, 2017


Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

When we (Secretariat) reached out to you trying to raise money to defray the costs of the upcoming weekends, I should have explained why we asked for money last year and are asking again this year.  The short answer is we receive less money than we pay out.  Secretariat strives to use your gifts to the best of our ability; here are a few examples of what your donations were used for:

  • Defraying the cost of the Weekend
  • Weekend supplies, books, Bibles, pens, pencils, etc.
  • Annual dues to National Cursillo and Region 2
  • Annual donation to Epiphany
  • Coffee, tea, and rolls at School of Leaders
  • Other charitable giving
We still have some funds available but we are a long way from reaching our goal of $4000 in order to defray the cost of the weekend.  I believe we will reach our goal with your help.  Please pray about it and give what you can, when you can.  You can give your gift at the upcoming School of Leaders, the Diocesan Mass (September 8th) or via mail to:

Mary Weis
20 Silver Maple Lane
Howell, NJ 07731

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support for our movement. God will take everything you give--your time, your talent, and your prayer--and multiply it.  God bless.


Sunday, August 6, 2017


Our readings today give us an amazing and almost fantastic picture of Christ and His Father. In our first reading from Daniel, we see Daniel’s vision of God the Father on His throne, with Christ  coming on a cloud. Daniel is seeing with the eyes of faith. He is not actually in heaven seeing God, but the Holy Spirit of God has given him this vision to share with us

Our Gospel reading from Matthew shows us Peter, James and John on top of Mount Tabor speaking with Jesus about their journey to Jerusalem when Christ suddenly shines like the sun and is then joined by Moses, the great Lawgiver and Elijah, the prophet. The disciples overheard the converstion about Christ’s upcoming passion and death. Peter is so overcome that he wants to stay there on the top of Mount Tabor. When they hear the voice of God the Father, the disciples fall down in fear. Looking up, they see only Jesus as He was before the transfiguration. This was NOT a VISION. They actually saw this with their own eyes. I suppose that this would have had a deep, long-lasting effect on their faith lives. Yet, when Christ’s arrest, passion and crucifixion came, all of the Apostles fled, except John who witnessed the Crucifixion along with Mary and some of the women who had accompanied them.

The Apostles went into hiding even after Easter, until they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost Then they become bold and fearless. They preached the message that Jesus had given them. They travelled through many parts of the world, sharing the Good News of Christ: the Love and mercy of God, and the invitation to enter the Kingdom of God. All of them suffered martyrdom for their faith, except John, who survived his torture and was exiled to the island of Patmos for the remainder of his life.

Now, let me ask you: if you were able to witness this great event of the Transfiguration, would your life be changed? Would you do or say things differently?

Every weekend we come to Mass. We hear the scriptures tell us of the stories of our ancestors and of the life of Christ. We are instructed on church doctrine and the truths of our faith. We worship God together in song and prayer. Then the gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar and we witness a miracle occur right before our eyes. As Father recites the words of consecration, the same words spoken by Christ at the Last Supper, the bread and wine  transform into the body and , soul and divinity of the Risen, Living Jesus Christ. We don’t see the change. We can’t taste the change but our faith, and Christ Himself, tell us it is so.

Does this make a difference in how we live, act and speak? Are we as awed and amazed as the Apostles were on Mount Tabor?

Sadly, I know many people who come here to Mass on Sunday, out of habit. They say they are “bored”. It is the same thing week after week. Would they also be bored watching the Home Run Challenge and seeing Aaron Judge hit homerun after homerun?

Some people come to receive Christ casually walking as though they were picking up movie tickets at the box office. A few receive the Eucharist and walk directly to their cars to avoid the traffic out of the parking lot. Some leave before the final blessing. Some take time after communion, to speak with Jesus in prayer, thanking Him for His love and grace. They leave the Church different from when they entered. Hopefully they bring Christ with them into their homes, neighborhoods, schools or workplaces.

There s a beautiful song in our hymnals that my musc group used to sing when we led the music for Mass in our last parish. The refrain was:

“Look beyond the bread you eat

See your Savior and your Lord;
Look beyond the cup you drink
See His love poured out as blood.”

My brothers and sisters, we have been given a great gift, a miracle. May the grace of God fill us with awe and wonder. May we be changed and challenged by who we receive today and at every Mass.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


To all my Cursillo Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First of all thank you for your prayers.  I know it has made a huge difference in that the pain is less and I have been able to hold off any major surgery on my back or neck.  God is good.

It's been a blessing to be Lay Director over the last two years. It's time for a new start.  Mary Weis and the new Secretariat need your prayers and support. Please join us on Friday, September 8th at St. William the Abbott for Mary's installation.

We have two weekends tentatively scheduled - in December and February.  If there are men or women whom you have been praying for and you believe would benefit from the Cursillo method please invite them. So please give your applications to any one from Secretariat as soon as possible.  We need to plan for the weekend and form the team(s).

Also, We still need to raise enough funds to defray the expense at San Alfonso.  We have set an ambitious goal of $4000 which is about one-third of the cost of the weekend for team and candidates.  Those funds also enable anyone regardless of their means to make their weekend and begin their Fourth Day.  Please help us in any way you can.

Thank you all for all you do.  God will take whatever you do and multiply it 20, 50, a 100-fold.

God bless, Rick