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School of Leaders – March 2019

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Well, it was nice to use the extra “spare time” to pour myself into Novena, Formation, Men’s Weekend #38, and learning how to be an Altar Server at my Parish.  (As a convert, that was not part of my grade school experience!)  But I don’t want to live in the past. By the time you read this, “right now” will be “a few weeks ago.”  So let’s look ahead . . .

That was my frame of mind . . . . until last night.  I finally worked up the courage to watch Mel Gibson’s 2004 masterpiece, “The Passion of the Christ.”  Watching a film last night, from 15 years ago, about a time 2000 years ago – how is that NOT living in the past? To put it simply, what Christ suffered 2000 years ago is “right now.”  Jesus’ agony, from the Garden to the Cross, for my sake and yours, will never again, for me, be something long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. The awesome love of our God for us is . . .   right here and right now!

Jesus chose us by name, as he chose his apostles, to witness his love to those in our environments.  Let’s learn how, to the best of our ability and to the depths of our souls.  This is what the School of Leaders is all about – praying, learning, sharing (Piety! Study! Action!) on our journey together.  Let’s share the beauty and the intensity of the Passion of our Lord as we walk together into the Easter Season and on to Pentecost, the Third Glorious Mystery.

Our School of Leaders is back on April 9, May 14, and June 11, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  Please join your fellow Leaders! 

Romans 1: 12:What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.”

De Colores and Peace!

John I Schaberg

Lay Director – March 2019

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The Cursillo Weekends were held at the Adorers of the Blood of Christ Motherhouse in Ruma, Illinois, on March 7-10 and March 14-17, 2019.  Tony Gugliotta, Bernadette Charlton, and their Cursillo teams delivered two wonderful Cursillo Weekends for our newest members of the 4th Day community.   Please join me in welcoming those new Cursillistas to the 4th Day community.  This was the second year in a row that both the Men’s and Women’s Cursillo hosted the maximum number of candidates, and we still have potential candidates who, unfortunately, had to be put on a waiting list for next year’s Cursillos.  

Deacon Wayne Weiler, Bernadette Charlton, and I, along with our spouses, will represent the Cursillo Program in our Diocese at the Cursillo Region IV Spring Encounter on April 5-7, 2019, at St Joseph’s Retreat and Conference Center in Tipton, Indiana. The primary agenda item for this Encounter will be a workshop for the new “Step By Step” process, which will replace the 3-Day Manual.  Details are still limited, but we will know a lot more after this Encounter.  I was told that the 3-Day Manual will not be published but will be available on the National Website.  I was also told that the actual changes to the Weekend schedule, including the Rollos and their sequence, will be minor.  More information will be available shortly after the Region IV Encounter.

Love, Joy, Peace, and De Colores!

Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – March 2019

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“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.”  Luke 8:15

We find ourselves well into the Lenten season, and in a few short days our spiritual work of increased prayer, fasting and almsgiving will bring us to the day of redemption that Jesus promised us and gave his life for. 

Now we ask ourselves, what impact will this time of Lent have on us after Easter?  Have these days been a time of conversion of heart and mind?  Will we be able to persevere in these works of mercy beyond these 40 days?

This has been a time to focus on those areas where Christ’s light may have become dim or where the darkness of the world has been allowed to seep into our thoughts and actions, where we no longer feel the presence of Jesus in our lives. 

If this is your story, do not despair, you’re in good company.  The apostles, too, fell prey to darkness when things got tough—recall Good Friday.  But as we have been reminded time and time again, He does not turn away from us, quite the opposite is true.  He leads us and others back to him in a new light, in renewed hope for the world—the light and the hope of eternal life that is Easter.  

By their Weekend experience, I have to believe that the 36 new Cursillistas experienced His light and a renewed sense of hope in a profound way.  I know I did! 

Saint Teresa of Calcutta said it best, when she said, “He will always look after us.  So we must cleave to Jesus, our whole life must simply be woven to Jesus.  Jesus in the Mass, Jesus in my Sisters and Brothers, in the poor, and at adoration.  It is the same Jesus.”

Not unlike the apostles, we meet that same Jesus, the Risen Christ, in all circumstances of life.  We will soon hear these accounts in our Eastertide readings.   The Acts of the Apostles give testament to how the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, shared His message in a world often unwilling to hear it, very similar to our own time.    We would do well to focus our study on St. Luke’s Acts of the Apostles. 

May we find Him as we go about our daily business, seek him with a generous heart in word and in the sacraments, and continue to persevere in faith and holiness. 

De Colores,

Deacon Wayne

Recommended Reading:  A book by William S. Kurz, SJ, which gives an excellent commentary on The Acts of the Apostles.  ISBN 978-0-8010-3633-0.

School of Leaders – December 2018

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As we enter the New Year of our Lord 2019, looking both forward and backwards from the present moment, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on my personal Cursillo Journey.

To put it plainly, I am having an absolute blast chairing the School of Leaders!  Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to be a sincere, authentic, child of God.  I had a hard time following the fad or fashion of the day, unless it was sincere. I could not enjoy a friendship unless it was authentic.  And I could not imagine my life without the love of God to guide me, to inspire me, to admonish me, to drive me forward, and to rein me in from time to time.

The School of Leaders allows me to be that sincere, authentic, child of God.  Like an Olympic skier visualizing theturns and gates, before strapping on his skis, I have spent my life “internalizing” this opportunity to offer my witness, my voice, my heart, and to open my eyes and my ears in this service for Christ and His Church.  My goal is to make the School of Leaders a welcoming place where all Cursillistas can offer up their sincere, authentic selves as children of God, to lead their environments to Christ.

Our School of Leaders is on vacation during Formation, but we will meet again, after the 2019 Weekends, on April 9, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  Please join your fellow Leaders!  Happy New Year on your Journey!

Romans 1: 12:What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.”

De Colores and Peace! John I Schaberg

Lay Director – December 2018

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December Ultreya

With the Cursillistas in Du Quoin from last year’s Weekends and the new Cursillistas anticipated to attend the Cursillo Weekends this spring, there are enough Cursillistas in Du Quoin and the surrounding area to support a regularly scheduled Ultreya.   To start this process, an Ultreya was held, with support from the Belleville Ultreya, in the Parish Center at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin, IL, on December 8, 2018.  The Ultreya was well-attended and should serve as a good example to follow for future Du Quoin Ultreyas.

Plans are on schedule for the Cursillo Men’s and Women’s Weekends at the Adorers of the Blood of Christ Motherhouse in Ruma, IL, in March 2019.   However, the number of applications received for the Women’s Weekend exceeds the capacity of the Motherhouse in Ruma.   A second Weekend for women is being considered in anticipation of additional applications that will be added to the waiting list of women candidates.  A host of issues such as date, location, team, and spiritual direction need to be resolved before a second Cursillo Weekend can be held. 

The Belleville Ultreya closed 2018 with a fun-filled Christmas social run by Jerry Palmisano.  In addition to the usual grouping and goodies, we enjoyed a Christmas Trivia session and a wonderful Christmas songfest accompanied by the guitars of Terry Kostel and Steve Hughes.

I want to thank everyone who has worked to make 2018 a successful year, and I look forward to working with everyone in 2019.  

Love, Joy, Peace, and De Colores

Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – December 2018

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“…they departed for their country by another way.”  Matthew 2:12

The story of the Magi making their way to find the new born king is one for us to ponder with great hope for our own journey of faith.  Led by a sign from God, a star, they find Jesus the One sent by God to rescue and redeem the world by a message of Love, Joy and Peace. 

The journey of the Magi was surely one of uncertainty and many questions.  What would their search lead them to?  What would they report back to Herod, and what would his response be to what they found?  Who would they meet along the way?  Would there be doubters trying to sway them from what they sought?  Would the star occasionally be overshadowed by clouds?  Would they need to correct their bearings or even change course?  When they arrived would something more be asked of them?

The obstacles the Magi may have encountered are not different from what we encounter in our search for Jesus.  Fear, uncertainty, doubt, distractions and questions can overshadow our signs, our stars.  Likewise, what the Magi found is not unlike what we too find–the pure love and wisdom of God in our Lord Jesus Christ.  They would not encounter a king on a throne, but rather a king in an unusual and humble setting—a manger.  They would meet a king who comes to rule by humility and compassion. 

Scripture tells us that the Magi would not return from this meeting by the same route.  So too is our journey of faith and encounter with Jesus.  When we truly meet Him, we simply cannot return from where we came in the same way.  When we receive Him in the sacraments we’re changed.  When we give of ourselves, and offer our self-gift in the service of others, we too experience an epiphany.  And like the Magi, our pilgrimage takes us on a different road than from where we came. 

We, too, will find Christ if we are willing to search for and recognize the signs from God in our own time that lead us to Him.  As this Christmas Season comes to a close, we’ve once again experienced the great mystery and the reality of Emmanuel—God with us.  May they bring about our own Epiphany in this New Yeara closer walk with the One who comes to save all of mankind!   

De Colores!

Deacon Wayne