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School of Leaders – December 2017

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And Upon this [School of] Rock. . .

As we like to say, we are not an Organization, we are a Movement.  We did not join an organization, but we did set out on our 4th Day Journey, a movement toward Christ with those we encounter.  We have no membership dues, no mandatory meetings, no rituals, no ranks or offices, no awards for “Cursillista of the Year.”

What we do have, however, is the Friendship Group, which gives life to our Movement.  Everyone in our Friendship Groups is equal in status, free to speak their minds, and committed to the good of the others in the group.  We all have equal responsibility to each other, to Christ and His Church, and to use our time, talent and treasure for the good of those near to us – – and to those far away.

But wait, you might say:  What about this “School of Leaders?”  Isn’t the Secretariat an “Organization?”  Don’t we have Committees and Chair people who have to go to meetings?  Don’t we have monthly Ultreyas that someone has to organize and run?

Yes, but these are simply larger “friendship groups,” which only exist to encourage and facilitate the forming of Friendships in Christ.  In the School of Leaders these past few months, we have been discussing and learning the meaning and effect of “Friendship” in the PreCursillo, Cursillo, and PostCursillo.  We have been studying the articles from the National Cursillo website and answering the question of what it means to “make a friend, be a friend, and bring your friend to Christ.”

Cursillo is not about adding up numbers of Candidates for the Weekends, it’s about developing friendships in Christ.  If you only have one friend, that friend may have two friends, and each one has more friends.  That’s the way God created us, and that’s the natural and authentic way we can share the Gospel, the Good News, that we are all loved, we can all receive forgiveness, and we are all friends in the Body of Christ.  See?  No mention of meetings, dues or committees –Cursillo is all about friendships, not about numbers, structures, fund-raising, or hierarchy.

The School of Leaders will be on “Christmas Vacation” until after the 2018 Weekends.  Our next meeting will be April 10, 2018, at 7:00 pm at St. Joseph’s Parish Center.  I wish all of you, your families and friends a warm and happy Christmas season!  Welcome the homeless, infant Christ into your home, and introduce your family and friends to Him.

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 2017

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As the newly selected Lay Director for Cursillo, I would like to thank Nick Lang for his Stewardship as the Lay Director for the past three years.   He has done a great job of guiding the Cursillo Movement in the Belleville Diocese.   Nick gave me a great turn over with a well-organized set of Cursillo records and has been available to answer my question since then. In addition to Nick, I would also like to thank everyone who has served in the Secretariat positions as well as those in the Sub Committee chairs for their Cursillo work.  We will need replacements for some positions: Evangelizer, Post-Cursillo, Cursillo and the Secretary whose terms of service have ended or are ending soon.  Thanks especially to Chris Leja for assembling the Evangelizer, getting our web site working and handling the 4th Day emails, to Julie Weber for handling the Secretary position,  to Tony and Sharon Gugliotta  for their work as the Post-Cursillo Chair and to Ann Haubrich, and Bob and Katie Emge for all the work they did on the Cursillo Chair.

My first action as Lay Director was to attend the Region IV Fall Cursillo Encounter which was held at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Cincinnati, OH on 13-15 October.  I was pleasantly surprised with the talks and the way the encounter was organized and run.  Many of the attendees did not speak English so the talks were conducted in English but simultaneously translated to Spanish for the Hispanic community.  The Mass was also conducted in both English and Spanish.

In my term as the Lay Director for the Belleville Diocese, I would like to continue providing great weekends for our candidates and I would like to move ahead with the selection of Parish Representatives for Cursillo which was started by Nick Lang.   To be realistic, we are not going to get representatives for all the parishes in the diocese but I would like to start the effort with some of our more active parishes.  This will also contribute to a second goal which is to improve the awareness of Cursillo in the Catholic Community.  I would like to improve coverage of Cursillo in Diocesan publications and I would like to see more of the 4th-Day community wearing shirts with “Cursillo” or “De Colores” logos.  Other ideas that will make the Cursillo better known in our Catholic Community are welcomed.   De Colores

Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – December 2017

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the 4th Day,

Once again, our Christian journey finds us at the beginning of the Blessed and Holy Season of Advent.  The weather is getting colder, the trees are bare, and the days are noticeably shorter, and there are obvious signs of change all around us.  The new Liturgical Year is another sign of change.

Advent gives us the opportunity to use the stillness and quiet of these weeks before the Incarnation to reflect, pray, and to accept Jesus in our lives in new and amazing ways, while we anticipate and await His return.

But despite our best efforts, the time leading up to Christmas is often filled with business, distractions, and stress.  We have our family traditions and gatherings, shopping, baking, wrapping, and yes all those “holiday” parties to attend.  So much for the stillness and quiet of Advent, right?

Such is the world we live in today, and this is what our culture has embraced as the norm for celebrating Christmas.  But these are not altogether sad reflections on society as much as they are occasions to show the face of Christ in an increasingly secular world.  Here’s why.

As Christians, and especially Cursillistas, at Christmas we celebrate much more than the materialism and commercialism that has so taken hold of this most blessed result of God’s love for us.  While we do, and should, take part in the festivities of the season–we celebrate Emmanuel—“God is with us” (Mt 1:23).  We celebrate the coming of The Savior who has come to us, is with us still and will come to us again.  We celebrate the One who gives us answers to the trials and evils of our troubled world.  This is truly cause for celebration!

We are not removed from the negativity of our world, we live as a Christian witness in it, embrace it with all its faults, and bring Jesus, and His unfailing message to it.  And by the Grace of God, perhaps we change it one person at a time.

We pray that this Holy Advent season be a time of reconciliation and change—change of heart for ourselves as well as our neighbor.  May this be a season that brings hope to the hopeless and healing to the wounded souls of our time.  And above all, may it be a season of the love and joy that the Prince of Peace makes ever possible, again and again.    O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Deacon Wayne

School of Leaders – September 2017

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School of Leaders – – We’re gonna need a bigger boat!          

The School of Leaders has been blessed with an awesome responsibility and an inspiring opportunity.

The Secretariat has been working towards the revitalization of the 4th Day Community, our Precursillo, Cursillo Weekend, and Postcursillo phases. The Secretariat has realized that one obstacle to the continued health and growth of our Movement is the fact that we have become centralized to the Metro East, Carbondale and Mt. Carmel areas, but we have difficulty traveling – – and even communicating – – to create a lively and enthusiastic Movement throughout the Diocese. We need to be sure every Catholic in the Diocese has the opportunity to “make a friend, be a friend, and bring your friend to Christ.”

One key to this effort is to identify the Cursillistas in all regions and recruit Parish Representatives in each Parish and for each Vicariate in the Diocese. This could be a huge and daunting task, but if we journey with Christ and do all things in His Name, all things are possible.

If you are willing to act as a Parish Representative in your 4th Day journey, or if you would like to help with this effort or suggest a friend who might be willing to serve, please contact me, or come to a School of Leaders meeting to see what’s involved. This won’t involve a lot of work or meetings – – – it just calls for your commitment to Jesus and love for your fellow Cursillistas to be sure their voices are heard.

Please join me and the other faithful 4th Day travelers who guide the Diocesan Cursillo community. As of now, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 pm at St. Joseph’s Parish Center in Freeburg – next ones are September 12th, October 10th, and November 14th. We are looking for suggestions, or invitations, to meet at Murphysboro, Mt. Vernon, Du Quoin, Mt. Carmel, Ruma, Red Bud, or ??? – – we need your support and sponsorship to have a Traveling School! If you can put together a group of Cursillistas in your town, we would welcome a chance to take the School on the road!

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 – September 2017

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My Dear Sister and Brother Cursillistas,

This will be my last article in the Evangelizer as my term comes to an end at the Secretariat meeting on Sept 26.  It has been a true blessing for me to have been of service to you and our Lord as we progress on our “Cursillo Journeys” in His wonderful church using the methods of Cursillo.

There is much work yet to be completed; however, I am very confident that your Secretariat and School of Leaders will be working hard to spread our message and to keep our many friends active on their journeys. Cursillo is in need of many workers; so please consider joining the teams, attend the School of Leaders and attend the secretariat meetings.

I thank each of you for all your support over the past three years and know you will support your new Lay Director, Bob McCormack.

Nick Lang (618-213-6391)

Spiritual Director – September 2017

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Fourth Day,

I hope this finds you well and in good spirits! I begin this message by offering sincere gratitude for the leadership and direction Nick Lang has brought to the Belleville Cursillo in Christianity Movement during his tenure as Lay Director. Nick has been a stalwart advocate for ensuring the mission, method and practices of the Cursillo are in place that we may experience an even closer walk with Our Lord and Savior. Nick, we thank you for your friendship, and your unwavering witness and Christian example. We also congratulate Bob McCormack, our new Lay Director. Bob, please be assured of our prayers and support.

“The Cursillo wants to accomplish, and by the Grace of our Lord it does, the Evangelical message – the Good News. Good for everybody and always new because it renews us.”

These are the words of Cursillo in Christianity founder Eduardo Bonnín Aguiló on the importance of reaching out to others. In doing so we hear Jesus’ great commission to, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)

We have so many opportunities to bring that rejuvenating message of love we find in the Gospel–The Good News–to others. We share this evangelical message in simple and ordinary, as well as demanding and complicated times—whether in our homes, within our families, at the worksite, or the office.

We need not look too hard to find these opportunities, in fact we need not look at all, as they will find us. They will most likely find us when we least expect, and when we feel least prepared; at the end of a long day, in the midst of a busy situation, or in the times when you think you have nothing to give.

But therein lies the beauty and the wisdom of our call as Christians, that God gives us these moments to be Good News, to be Christ to others, to be renewed in our commitment to live out our baptismal call in charity to others.   These are gifts for which we never know the time or place of their offering.

I have personally been lifted up by Grace in the moments with Christ that I simply didn’t see coming. Or when I had to push myself to carry out His mission. Without exception I’ve come away from these moments with a new sense of purpose and a renewed spirit.

Our rich Catholic faith offers us countless opportunities to experience the Love, Joy and Peace that flows so readily from the Good News of Christ. Our task is to stay open for these opportunities whenever we’re ready, but more so when we are not. “Go, and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”

De Colores!

Deacon Wayne

School of Leaders – June 2017

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School of Leaders – – The What of What??

My name is John Schaberg – I began my journey at Belleville Men’s #30 (2010), and I sat at the table of St. Guiseppi Moscati.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my thanks, and the gratitude of the School of Leaders and the 4th Day Community, to my predecessor, Terry Kostel. He served with great love as Chairman of the School of Leaders for his 3-year term, ending March 31. He brought his creativity, compassion, his great ability to listen, and fantastic organizational skills to this Chair. Big shoes to fill!

Second – – School of What? I said at the Reunion that this part of the Cursillo Movement should be named after something that attracts people, not those two unfortunate words, “School” and “Leaders.” I mean, the “of” part is OK, but the rest of the name needs to go! I suggested “Shareholders Meeting” or “School of Followers,” but let’s face it – – it could be “Flock of Sheep,” or “Focus Group” or “Jam Session.” Or “Finger Painting for Christians” – – a time to use our creativity, sense of wonder, and curiosity about why we are here, harkening back to when life was FUN! Jesus wants us to enjoy life, by loving and by using our talents as God intended, in loving service to our neighbors, our friends, our families, to Him.

We held our first meeting of the “School” on May 9th, and we opened the floor to any and all ideas for the next 3 years. I want to be sure the School of Leaders does what it’s supposed to do, to give direction and energy to the Cursillo Movement in the Belleville Diocese. We had some great suggestions, and we shared many loving thoughts for our Movement. I have some work to do – – pray, study, and take action!

It’s going to be wonderful to serve this Movement and to do my small part in the mission of the holy, catholic and apostolic church – – Worship, Formation, Outreach – – Piety, Study, Action. I am really, really looking forward to the challenges of bringing Christ to my environment, and to the Chair which has been passed to me.

Please join me and the other faithful 4th Day travelers who guide the Belleville Cursillo community. As of now, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 pm at St. Joseph’s Parish Center in Freeburg. Next meeting is June 13th. We are open to suggestions, or invitations, to meet at Murphysboro, Mt. Vernon, Du Quoin, or Mt. Carmel. We need your support and sponsorship to have a Traveling School!

If you envision yourself serving on the Team someday, or if you see yourself as a faithful member of a Friendship Group, you belong in the School of Leaders. If you are searching for Action, or a way to Study, or an opportunity to explore “spiritual aids to nurture your vital union with Christ” (Piety – see your little blue Group Reunion card), then the School of Leaders is the place for you. We would like to learn from you. 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