• DNA OF A CURSILLISTA by Al Martella
  • SOWER AND THE SEED by Deacon Tony Martucci
  • COME TO ME by Deacon Tony Martucci
  • THE GIFT OF LIFE by Arny Dupont
  • A NEW IMAGE OF MARY by Ronnie Martella

Who am I, who are we, what should people know about us when we say "I am a Cursillista?

At April, 2013 School of Leaders, Al Martella urged us to join him as a CSI (Cursillista Soul Inquiry.) Using the song DeColores, he broke down the DNA of a Cursillista. He presented a complex, complete follower of Jesus, a sister/brother to others, a servant and friend. And where did he get his "evidence" of this DNA? From Cursillo writings that are available to us all. Take a look at these qualities, this way of living-a good look. Think about whether you see these qualities in yourself and if not, why not. Is it time to go back to the core of the message, God's message, the message of each weekend and refresh yourself.


(ARE) AWAKE AND AWARE (Source: Fr. David Smith, Spiritual Advisor – OMCC)



(ARE) FULL OF ENTHUSIASM (Source: The History Of The Cursillo Movement Written by Fr. Gaston Rioux – In speaking about Eduardo Bonnin)

(ARE) FULL OF JOY (Source: Cardinal Juan Sandoval, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Homily at IV World Ultreya, August 1, 2009)

HUNGER FOR CHRIST (Source: Fr. David Smith, Spiritual Advisor – OMCC)

LIVE AN ORDINARY LIFE (Original Charism – Eduardo Bonnin)

LIVE IN LOVE (From the Cursillo Charism)

LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT (Source: Victor Lugo, August 2007 Newsletter, National Executive Director)

LIVE THEIR BAPTISM (Source: Juan Ruiz, President – OMCC)

LOVE GOD AND THE CHURCH (Source: Cardinal Juan Sandoval, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Homily at IV World Ultreya, August 1, 2009)

(ARE) NATURAL (Source: Leader’s Manual, Page 19)


(ARE) OUTWARDLY FOCUSED (Source: Cardinal Sandoval, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Homily at IV World Ultreya, August 1, 2009)

(ARE) TRUE FRIENDS (Source: Fr. David Smith, Spiritual Advisor – OMCC)


Jesus often used parables to teach his disciples and to make a point. Some of the better-known parables are The Prodigal Son, The Lost Sheep, The Good Samaritan, to name a few. Often we have to explain the symbolism that He used in order to apply the parable to our lives. That is not the case in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matt. 13:1-23). Jesus explains to us, His disciples, exactly what each symbol means. All we need to do is to decide what “kind of soil” we are. We may be critical and think we are amidst the weeds.

I believe we are rich soil. The fact that we are here today means that we want to know more about Christ, and to deepen our faith. 0nly 30% of American Catholics attend Mass each Sunday. That puts us in an elite group, ready to receive the seed. So what else is there to talk about?

I’m sure that most of you have small gardens or plants around your homes. What do you do if you want those plants to thrive? You care for them, water them, feed them fertilizer, trim off the dead leaves, etc. that is what we need to do in our lives if we want to bear more fruit.

To water our plants we need to make greater use of the sacraments: Reconciliation and Eucharist. This will keep our lives fresh and vibrant. Reconciliation is especially important. We seem to stay away from it longer than we should. Since Vatican II, we seem to have drifted away from Confession. Fear and pride make us think that we don’t need the sacrament of reconciliation. Many think that they can confess their sins directly to God. You can, but do you hear God say to you, “Your sins are forgiven. I absolve you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”? In the Sacrament, you have the priest to guide you to avoid those sins in the future.

Our Holy Father goes to confession every day. Is he a greater sinner that we are? It is in that sacrament that we encounter Christ who gives us forgiveness and grace to go forward as better Christians. I always feel so much better when I come away from confession. I feel lighter, cleaner, and more aware that Christ is with me.

My soil at home is sandy and needs a lot of help. I continually have to use topsoil and fertilizer in my garden. For fertilizer in my life, I am fed with spiritual readings. The Bible is full of wisdom and explanations of who God is, how He works in my life, and what He wants me to do to help spread the Good News. I can also read other Spiritual books and magazines that will strengthen my understanding of the Catholic Faith.

In order to trim the dead leaves and weeds from my life, I use prayer. Start and end each day with prayer; use driving time in the car for prayer. Talk to God, and then listen to what He has to say to you. God is always trying to speak with us, but most of us surround ourselves with a lot of noise: radio, TV, etc. They drown out God’s voice. Talking to God, then listening for his voice is a wonderful way to live your life and it’s helpful in guiding the decisions we make each day. Prayer keeps us connected to God and helps keep us away from those situations in the world, which separate us from Him.

On July 9, 2011, Derek Jeter became the first Yankee to have 3,000 hits. He did it in grand style. His 3000th hit was a towering home run. He ended the game going five for five and driving in the winning run. Did Derek just wake up one day and say, “I’m going to get 3000 hits some day!”? No. He worked hard to become a great ball player. He took batting practice every day.

You and I are called to be good Christians and to bear fruit. We are to share our faith with those we love, those we meet. Shouldn’t we practice our faith and live up to the ideals of Christianity as least as diligently as Derek Jeter worked to attain his goal?

I have found that by following these simple steps, my life is richer, fuller. I have a closer relationship with my God and my family and my neighbors.

“But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Let everyone heed what he hears.”


“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.”

In our society, most of us don’t have a clear understanding of a “yoke”. We don’t often see work animals yoked together. The concept is for two animals of equal size to be joined together to share the burden in order to lighten it. That is just what Jesus offers to us today, as He offered it to His disciples more than 2,000 years ago. He asks us to take on His yoke, with its light burden. He also shares our burdens.

We have all had a burden in our life at one time or another, especially in these days. Some of us are facing financial problems; others are having difficulties with a relationship. Some are struggling with health issues. And the list goes on. How can we get through this and keep our faith? Jesus offers to help us take them on. He offers us His yoke to bear some of the weight of our worries and woes, while we carry a small share of His burden. Does that mean we will not have any trouble or that we are free of them all together?

No, that isn’t what He says. We have to bear our cross, but only a very small portion of it. When we face hardship, our faith in Christ will help us to bear it. Remember the gospel story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. The apostles were in the boat as it was tossed around by the storm, the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “"Hush, be still."” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “"Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Why were the disciples afraid and Jesus was not? It was because Jesus knew that God was in control of the situation. He had faith and he put Himself and the entire situation into His Father’s hands. God is always in control, especially when we are not. We like to think that we are in control, when n fact we are not. Can we control our health, the weather, or the economy? All of these things are out of our hands. We need to surrender them to God and ask His guidance and help. That is something most of us find hard to do. But Jesus offers to help us if we have faith in Him.

THE GIFT OF LIFE by Arny Dupont (Written in 2004)

Life is the greatest and least accepted gift that we have. To see the leaves changing, to feel the cool breeze, to smell the fresh air - all of these are gifts. To awake to a new day and look forward to all that God will give us this day-this is a gift. I can imagine the conversation that I had with God before I was born. I believe the conversation might have been like this:

"Please allow me to take on human form. I want to experience all that would be around me."

"Are you also willing to experience the pain of human life as well as the joys?" God asked.

"Oh yes. I know that You would be with me in all of it. I would love to experience all that life has to give - to feel it alt and-to know what it is."

"Are you sure that you could bear it all?" God asked.

"I can't say with certainty that I could but I -would like to see what it is like. I may fail but I want so much to try."

"Then I shall give you life- and when you return to Me, we. shall talk face to face about your experience and rejoice together in the gift of life. Enjoy your time and remember that I am with you through it all."

So what is my greatest sin? Perhaps it is my inability to be present to the gift of life - to see and experience its fullness each new day - to thank God for the experience, both its joy and its sadness and to be fully present to all of life as it is given to me. And finally, to know that you too, have also asked for the gift and to walk together in our experiences so that we can remind each other of the gift that is our life.

Your brother in Christ, Amy

A NEW IMAGE OF MARY by Ronnie Martella (Written in 1996)
There are many images of Mary that I have. Some were presented to me from the time I was very young and some have come with experience and time. Last December I remembered, as a small girl, that Christmas was always a special time at our house. It was then that I came to know Mary as the mother of Jesus. I would love to hear the Christmas story over and over.

When I was a teenager and able to more fully comprehend the details of that story I wondered how it was that God chose such a young woman to be Jesus mother. Even though I wasn't really aware of it, I think I knew how I was and felt at that age, and the older I got the more incredible it seemed to me that this young woman was asked to make such a commitment.

Becoming a mother gave me a different and powerful image of Mary, one that brings me to an almost overwhelming place each Cursillo weekend I've ever been involved in. Reaching the Station of the Cross where Jesus meets His Mother, and realizing again that she had to endure seeing Him go through all of that, unable to do anything to stop it had to have been excruciating for Mary. I have often been at my most assertive and even aggressive when I even think one of my children is in harms way. I want to do anything to spare them hurt of any kind, and I know what it feels like to hold back myself and let what is going to happen to them happen.

How Mary got to that place, where she had to and was able to endure seeing her child put to death is the image that has been the strongest lately, the one I identify with most. What had to happen for Mary to become the mother of God? The shortest, clearest answer I know is that she had to say yes. She had to say yes without any guarantees, any idea of how this would be carried out and what to expect. It meant that she had to trust so totally in God's plan for her that she would not give in to despair, even when Jesus was put to death, even when it appeared that everything had gone wrong, she held fast to what she knew to be true. Her example is for me very powerful in its simplicity. Listen to God however you can and wherever you find Him and He finds you, and then trust what you know to be true.