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School of Leaders – September 2019

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We have learned some new words in School of Leaders this summer!  It IS a School, right? 

One of those words is “Mañanitas!  Another word we knew before, but failed to appreciate, is “Charism.”  Now, why are these words important?  The Cursillo Movement in our Diocese is changing for the better – to reshape our Fourth Day to fit the original “Charism” of Eduardo Bonin – the gifts he was given by the Grace of God, and the gifts he shared with the Church in the Cursillo Movement about 75 years ago.  To meet his original vision, we are adapting our Three-Day Weekend, our Precursillo and Postcursillo in compliance with guidance from the National Cursillo Secretariat.  It is eye-opening to see how much deeper and more meaningful our Movement can be – beyond candlelight dinners and stand-up art critics!

So . . .  “Mañanitas?”  (Midwestern pronunciation:  mon -ya- nee- tas)  You’ll just have to pay attention and join the Fourth Day in an early morning (rooster-crowing early!) serenade to our newest Cursillistas on Sunday, October 27, at 7:10 a.m. at King’s House Retreat Center.  We’ve never tried this before, but, believe it or not, this is a part of the Weekend that impressed Mr. Bonin as part of the Charism of Cursillo.  Watch your “PrayersRequested” emails for details.

Our School of Leaders will meet on October 8, and November 12, 2019, at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.   Please join your fellow Leaders in these challenges! 

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 2019

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In the last Evangelizer, I mentioned new guidance being downward directed to the Cursillo Movement by Eduardo Bonin and his staff in Mallorca.  These updates are aimed at aligning the US Cursillo with the original Cursillo concepts put in place 50 years ago, which was to bring people closer to God through mutual support and friendship.    We appreciate how this strikes a sensitive cord with many of us who are very passionate about Cursillo.  We have had long and thoughtful conversations in the School of Leaders and Secretariat meetings concerning how to handle these issues. Some parts of the Weekend have been deemphasized or eliminated in favor of increased time or emphasis on other parts.  For example, we will no longer have a Cursillo theme and poster.  Cursillo is the theme and the poster is the same picture of Jesus that is in the office of Eduardo Bonin.   The Weekend will now allow more time for spiritual direction and reflection.  Plans to meet and know candidates prior to the Cursillo will be made.  Candidates will become Cursillistas and receive their crosses earlier in the Weekend to emphasize that we are all Cursillistas and one body in Christ.  Cheryl Rajski, the Rectora for the next Women’s Cursillo, which will be held October 24-27, 2019, at the King’s House, has been leading the effort to identify the new Step-by-Step procedures and how to include them in the Cursillo Weekend Schedule and activities.  

At the local level, we are in the process of moving the Weekends from the spring to the fall. Relocation to the fall was made because support from priests and deacons during Lent and Easter has been increasingly difficult.  This move has received strong support by nearly everyone.  As a part of the change in season, we also have considered a change in venue from ASC Ruma to the King’s House.  We currently have Cursillos scheduled at both the King’s House and at ASC Ruma for the fall of 2020.  Terry Kostel, the Three-Day Chair, and I have had some very positive discussions with the ASC Leadership in Ruma about hosting our Cursillos.  They have offered some good suggestions on how we can better use their facilities.  In addition, the feedback from the Women’s Cursillo, which will be held at the King’s House this October, will help to finalize the decision on location.  The Cursillo Weekend venue is still an open issue that will require further discussion.

 I ask the entire Cursillo community to keep an open mind.  The road ahead has been well thought out and approached with caution and should have a positive effect on our Cursillo program in the future. 

Love, Joy, Peace, and De Colores!

Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – September 2019

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May God, the source of our hope, fill your hearts with peace as you believe in Him.  Romans 15:13

We all have those times in our lives when things just seem to be in turmoil, or we are preoccupied over some conflict or task that seems to use up too much of our energy.  In a fast-paced world, where taking time to slow down isn’t in keeping with meeting the demands of the day, turmoil and conflict can take hold of our daily agendas.  It is in these times when we need an example of a disciple at peace, a witness of trust.  We have such an example in Mary.  Her heart was filled with peace as she put her total trust in God.

The Second Vatican Council teaches us that Mary, “While leading an ordinary life among men, one filled with family concerns and labors, she was always, and constantly united to her Son, and cooperated singularly with the work of the Savior in a manner altogether special.” (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, No 4.)

In this Marian month of October, we turn to Our Lady of the Rosary for her constant help and source of peace.  The rosary gives us a quick study on the Gospel of Christ, and a reminder of who brought God’s saving grace to the world.  In her life she was at peace in her unwavering care and devotion to her Son, even at the foot of the cross—without question, that’s peace in time of turmoil and conflict!  Let us never cease asking for her intercession to the one who is the Prince of Peace.  There’s Palanca in every bead.

De Colores!

Deacon Wayne

School of Leaders – June 2019

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We have had some lively and thoughtful conversations in School of Leaders so far this year.  A giant THANK YOU to all of the 4th Day who have come to share and listen!

The National Cursillo Movement has published an article on its Website that not only sheds light on the School of Leaders, but also offers an encouraging “warm-and-fuzzy” about the “Leaders.”  It is really a “School of Thought, where we come together to “explore and deepen” our understanding, and gain wisdom and insight from each other.  These are people who “want to understand the WHY of things. . . . They do not teach by preaching but rather by being living witnesses to the very essence of the Charism.”  The School is a “group of friends, where we deepen our own understanding of our own role as leaders in our Environments.  “The School of Leaders is first and foremost, a School of Listening, not teaching.”  As a group of friends, our service to others flows from friendship. When we put something into Action, it is no longer a service, a chore, but an act of love.  “Secretariat and School of Leaders: Reaching a Unity of Purpose and Understanding,” John Ciliberti, Region VI English Coordinator, August 18, 2018. https://www.natl-cursillo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Unity-of-Purpose-Understanding.pdf

So, there you have it.  We listen, we learn.  We learn, we act. We act, we love.

Our School of Leaders will meet on July 9 (in the Parish Center), August 13(in the Parish Center), and September 10(location TBD), 2019, at 7 p.m.,at 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 – June 2019

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By now, I believe many of our Cursillistas have heard that changes are being made to our Cursillo program in the Belleville Diocese.  Some of these changes have been promulgated by the National and Regional Offices and some are changes which we are making at the local Diocesan level.

First, we had a large number of women applicants for the Spring Cursillo Weekend who were unable to attend, so the Secretariat has elected to hold a Cursillo for Women at the King’s House in Belleville on October 24-27, 2019.  We are currently in the planning stages for that Cursillo.  We have also discussed moving the regular Cursillo Weekends to the fall to avoid problems with the Lent and Easter activities of the Church in the spring and possibly to a new location.  These changes are still under consideration, so a final decision has not been made.

Second, we have the Step-by-Step Manual changes, which will affect our Weekend schedule and the Rollos.  We have a team, led by Cheryl Rajski, in the process of methodically going through the changes promulgated to us through the National Cursillo Office and modifying our local program and schedule.  These changes will affect the Weekend schedule, the Closing, and the presentation of the Rollos. 

Change is a difficult thing to deal with sometimes.  I ask everyone to reserve their opinion on these changes until we know exactly how the changes will affect our Cursillo program in the Belleville Dioceses. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are going forward with a positive attitude to accommodate these changes into our local program. 

Love, Joy, Peace, and De Colores!

Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – June 2019

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“He said to them, Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31

The days of summer are certainly upon us. Although there’s been much rain and many storms, we’ve also been truly blessed with some wonderful days as well.   Through it all, we need not look far to see how God provides in so many ways.  The beauty of His creation, helping hands in time of need, the gift of family and friends, and our skills, talents, and treasures to care for all are ever present.  Summer is the time God gives us to refresh ourselves from the daily grind of our work and commitments, and to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

As work is a right and blessing in and of itself, we mustn’t forget that rest and relaxation is vital to our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.  The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches us that “Rest from work is a right.”  As God “rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had done” (Gen 2:2), so too men and women, created in his image, are to enjoy sufficient rest and free time that will allow them to tend to their family, cultural, social and religious life.  (Compendium, No. 284)

A summer retreat is a great way to renew ourselves and draw closer to God.  We have some very fine Catholic retreat centers nearby.  I’ll list a few good ones you may want to consider: 

Kings House Retreat Center in Belleville – http://www.kingsretreatcenter.org/

White House Retreat House in South St. Louis – http://www.whretreat.org/

Chiara Center in Springfield, Illinois – http://www.chiaracenter.org/

St. Meinrad Guest House in St. Meinrad, Indiana – http://www.saintmeinrad.org/retreats/

Our work is often demanding and rightly requires our full time and attention.  And surely the work of evangelizing our environments asks us to be ready and alert.  Alert to the many in need of Jesus’ mercy and ready to share what we, too, have received by grace.  If we fail to take care of ourselves, we risk losing our Joy in the great mission Christ has entrusted to us – his disciples in today’s world.

I hope this summer you may find time for some renewal of mind, body, and soul – if for only a brief time, to unwind, and unplug from the stress and busyness of your lives – whether on retreat, vacation, or time spent with loved ones.  Christ and His Church need us to be rested, healthy, happy, and well.  But above all, Joyful!

De Colores! Deacon Wayne Weiler           

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