• THE ROOSTER by Deacon Tony Martucci
  • WHAT THE ROSARY MEANS TO ME by Deacon John Orlando
  • MY PRAYER by Joe Vella, Sr.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
For sometime now the families of Newtown have been in my heart and prayers. As I was thinking of them today my heart is heavy as I realized what lies ahead in the next few months, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, First Holy Communions, end of school celebrations, summer gatherings. I ask you to consider joining my Prayer group in praying for these families. We take a family a week or one a day and start another round when we come to the end of the list.

Dear Lord please Hold and Comfort the Families of:

Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Madeline Hsu
Catherine Hubbard
Anne Marie Murphy
James Mattioli
Grace McDonnell
Chase Kowalski
Jesse Lewis
Rachel Davino
Dawn Hochsprung
Emilie Parker
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison Wyatt
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Lanza Family
and all the first responders and investigators

The road ahead is going to be so difficult for all these families, perhaps we could pray for a family per week or one a day and keep repeating the
names through out the year

A PRAYER BLESSING :  Response;   Amen

May the God of healing protect and console them
May God grant them the health, help and hope they seek 
May God look upon them with kindness and compassion
May God shelter them, and bring them solace
May God surround them with angels to shield them
May God come to their aid with healing Grace
May God care for them, body, mind, and spirit
May God gladden their hearts and turn their hurts into joy
May God refresh them and renew them
May God hear their prayers spoken and unspoken
May God's light and peace dispel all darkness May God the giver of all good gifts provide for their families and friends and supply all of their needs 
May they always praise God from whom all blessings flow. AMEN


Sometimes I think God, takes fatherly delight in teasing and challenging His children.

First time on NJ team: Liturgist.
Never heard of Liturgist.

Learned I was to lead music.
Can’t sing a note.
So bad, Heard singing is praying twice.
St Peter, We can only give you half credit.
Sing loud and you get none.

As usual, God bailed me out by putting two great musicians on the Team.

A few weeks ago, Mary Ann called me and asked if I would speak tonight.  I said yes.

My talk: The Leaders Prayer. All I knew about The Leaders Prayer is we pray it at Leaders School. So I prayed it maybe twenty times. Scrambling to get a copy Look in Pilgrim’s Guide from my last weekend. No Leaders Prayer

Finally, praying about where to find it, the Holy Spirit whispered in my brain. Look in the Pilgrims Guide from your original weekend Voila “The Leaders Prayer.” In the newer Pilgrims Guide “Prayer of the Cursillista” I guess the rationale for changing the title is that we are all expected to be leaders. Since the purpose of Cursillo is to develop Christian leaders

The original prayer opens with: Help us to understand the necessity of depth in our movement rather than surface glory. Convince us of the truth that colorful programs do not constitute success.

Back in 1979, that opening made sense, as the weekend’s generated tremendous emotion that could sometimes get in the way of developing rock solid faith.

Today, at least my experience on last few weekends, and particularly last September, is that while the numbers are fewer, the spirituality of candidates is more firmly grounded in faith.

The new prayer skips the original opening and gets right to the point.

Lord help us to use our time talent and lives for building up your Kingdom

In other words help us to live the ideals presented in the first Rollo. The prayer closes by invoking our patron St Paul. This talk will briefly look at St Paul’s life and some of his writings to examine where our Cursillistas Prayer is grounded in him and his theology. From his conversion as told in chapter 9 of Acts he lived for one thing, to spread the gospel. By verse 20 he is proclaiming Jesus as Messiah in the synagogues. Picture the reaction of the Jewish leaders. They have crucified this dangerous trouble maker Jesus and are now intent on wiping out the Christian heresy. Now Paul, a prominent Rabbi, Roman citizen, student of Gameliel and Sanhedrin agent charged with killing Christians has turned traitor. No wonder by 9:23 they were plotting to kill him. And the quality of his life is downhill from there.

In 2 Corinthians 12:23 – 28 Paul describes the suffering Jesus foretold in Acts 9:16

Imprisonments, beatings, brushes with death, stoned ship wrecked, sleepless nights, hunger, thirst, anxiety and pressure

Ultimately he is beheaded in Rome. Paul gave his time, talent and his life for Jesus. He is a great, but scary model for us as we reflect on and pray for the grace to live our ideal. The Leaders Prayer continues:

Instill courage into our initiatives, good judgment in our choice of means and determination which assures success even in times of seeming failure

Courage, good judgment, determination. In 1 Corinthians 12:7, Paul writes:

“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit”

He then names the Holy Spirit’s gifts:

Wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, mighty deeds, prophecy (speaking God’s word) discernment

Paul goes on to say “One and the same Spirit produces all these distributing them individually to each person as He wishes”

Later he instructs his young protégé, Timothy “Do not neglect the gifts you have”

We, the Cursillo community, have already been gifted by the Spirit with courage, discernment and perseverance.

Each of us received them in Baptism and they have been strengthened through the graces given to Cursillo. Our prayer then is to recognize, rely on and use the power given us.

Our prayer continues:

Move us above all discourtesy, sensitivities and rivalries that not only discourage and divide us, but lead us away from loving you and each other. Help each one strive for the gift of your unselfish love, that will embolden us to prefer the more humble tasks and rejoice in the good done by others

Again we turn to Paul for example and teaching:

2Corinthians 4:5 he writes “we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as slaves”

In Corinthians 12: 27 – 31:

“Now you are Christ’s body and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be first apostles, then prophets, third teachers, then mighty deed, then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles, are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way

He then goes on to Corinthians 13:1-8:

 “If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or as clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, if I have faith to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

So, when we pray against discourtesy and rivalries and for unselfish love and acceptance of the more humble tasks, rejoicing in the good done by others. We are praying to recognize that we are part of the Body of Christ, alive in our Cursillo community. Who are charged with humbly and lovingly performing the vital function given specifically to each of us to enliven the body? As we recognize our own gifts and rejoice in those of our brothers and sisters.

Finally we pray

 Let all see your attractive goodness, marked on all our faces, your warm accents in all our works and in our community a unity and holiness that proclaims your living presence in our midst

In John’s gospel, chapters 14 -17 are my favorite passages in scripture. It is here that I fall over and over again in love with Jesus. It is His last will and testament. Just so human, full of love.

16:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you this so my joy may be complete. This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you”

John 18:20 “I pray Father not only for them, but also those who will believe in Me through their word so that they may all be one Father as You and I are one so the world will believe you sent Me.”

In Romans 14:17 Paul writes: “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

So we conclude our prayer asking for peace, joy and unity so that through us, the world may believe in Jesus Christ

In Romans 15:17, Paul writes: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

And we say  Amen 

De Colores

THE ROOSTER by Deacon Tony Martucci

In October, Pat & I made a Pilgrimage to Rome, Fatima, Lourdes & Paris. It was a grueling, but very spiritual journey. While we were in Portugal, I noticed a plethora of images of black roosters with many brightly colored designs on their bodies. There were statues, paintings, dinner-ware, flags, etc. all with the same image.

I asked a salesperson what the meaning of the rooster was in Portugal. Here is his explanation.

The rooster is the symbol of Portugal, much as the eagle is the symbol of the United States. There is a legend that a pilgrim was making his way to Santiago de Compostela, when he was stopped by some locals and accused of a serious crime. The pilgrim protested that he was innocent, but they did not believe him and sentenced him to death.

The pilgrim told the people that there was a dead rooster hanging down in the market place. As proof of his innocence, the pilgrim told the people that in the morning, the rooster would come to life and sing.

The following morning, the rooster did, indeed, sing and the pilgrim was released to continue his pilgrimage to Compostela.

I was very impressed with the story and recalled the words of our song, De Colores. “Sings the rooster, sings the rooster with his kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri.” Could it be that our roots go back to the legend of the Portuguese pilgrim?

MY PRAYER by Joe Vella, Sr.

Author of creation I am grateful for the dawn, 
Because of you I am able to meet the morn.
Thank you for including me in your divine plan. 
A role for each of us to play since time began.

I am set apart because you are a kindly God,
Justice seeking as from Aaron’s rod. 
Your kindness and patience is never ending.
Forgive me for being misguided and offending. 

Restructure my errant attitude,  
Replace it with oceans of gratitude
Permit me to be fruitful and of use
Rid my brain of obstacles and excuse.

Assist me to reassess and grasp your Word,
So that your call is distinctly heard.
Free my senses, enhance my intellect
That I may be among the elect.

Would your thoughts infuse into mine,
And our spirits eternally combine.   
Let me not bleat or snivel at your appeal.
Rather your beauty and love reveal

WHAT THE ROSARY MEANS TO ME by Deacon John Orlando (Written in 1999)

“Your entire rosary is like an immense chain of love and salvation with which you are able to encircle persons and situations, and even to influence all the events of your time…the rosary is the prayer which I came down from heaven to ask of you.” (Our Lady to Father Gobbi, October 7, 1979)

Up until seven years ago, I was not devoted (nor did I know what that meant as a religious term) to the Blessed Mother or Her gift of the Rosary. I can’t recall ever reciting a single five-decade Rosary, no less a fifteen-decade Rosary that Our Mother urges us to recite. So you see I did not and could not pray as Jesus and Mary call us and challenge us to pray. In fact, if we are all honest with ourselves, the first time and/or subsequent times we have attempted to say the Rosary, we have failed miserably. “It is too long”; “I can’t concentrate”; “It’s so boring”; “Fifteen-decade Rosary? I thought a Rosary was only five decades – one mystery for each day of the week.” Hmmm! I think that covers the basic excuses we’ve all had for not praying the Rosary. And that’s another thing, the Rosary is a prayer; a thinking prayer; a meditative prayer; a powerful prayer; a healing prayer. A prayer composed, written and directed by Our Blessed Mother Herself, and with it a symphony of graces bestowed upon those devoted to Her greatest gist to us next to Her Son, Our Savior Jesus, and the Eucharist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

During the Protestant Reformation, the reformers denied honor to Mary, the Mother of God, so the church hired the talent (genius) of Michaelangelo, who in turn was inspired to pain “The Last Judgement.” In this painting, the artist put Mary in the place of honor at the Right Hand of Her Son. Then, just beneath her, Michaelangelo painted a huge Rosary hanging down over the ramparts of Heaven on which two souls are climbing up into Heaven. In this way, the great genius hoped to reflect his own devotion and that of the church to Mary and Her Rosary.

In her last apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, October 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared as the Queen of the Holy Rosary. In one hand She held the Rosary and in the other the Scapular. Once She told Saint Dominic that the Rosary and the Scapular would one day save the world. I believe that day is today.

One of our Mother’s messages to the visionaries in Medjugorge says, “He who meets God finds a joy from which peace comes. Start to recite at least seven Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Glory Be’s and the Creed. At this time, I wish for people to pray as much as possible with me. Recite at least one entire Rosary: The Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.”

To Father Gobbi on October 7, 1983, Our Lady said, “Beloved Sons, in the battle in which you are daily engaged against Satan and his crafty and dangerous seductions and against the mighty armies of evil, apart from the special help given you by the Angels of the Lord, it is necessary for you to employ a weapon which is both secure and invincible. This weapon is your prayer. Prayer possesses a potent force and starts a chain reaction in good that is far more potent and starts a chain reaction in good that is far more powerful than any atomic reaction. The prayer of my predilection is the Holy Rosary. For this reason in my apparition, I always ask that it be recited.

The Rosary to me is an everlasting prayer. A prayer of love which helps me to focus on the life of Christ; a prayer which brings me ever closer and more in love with Our Heavenly Mother and a deeper faith and love with Our Lord Jesus. Next to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, the Holy Rosary brings me peace. What else can one ask for.


Lord, help us to use our time, our talents, our lives for the building up of Your Kingdom. Instill courage into our initiatives, good judgment in our choice of the proper means, and that determination which assures success even in times of seeming failures.

Move us above all discourtesy, sensitivities and rivalries, which not only discourage and divide us, but lead us away from loving You and each other. Help each one strive for the gift of Your unselfish love that will embold us to prefer the more humble tasks and rejoice in the good done by others.

Lord, let all see Your attractive goodness marked on all our faces, Your warm accents in all our works and in our community, a unity and a holiness that proclaims Your living presence in our midst. Amen.

St. Paul, Patron of the Cursillo. Pray for us.