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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

School of Leaders – September 2018

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Lead your Environments to Christ!  This is what Cursillo is all about, and the School of Leaders is where we learn from each other to achieve that Ideal.  In September, we talked about the challenge we have been suffering for decades – the sins of a small minority of priests and hierarchyWhy do we remain Catholic?” is what our Environments ask of us

To whom shall we turn?  The Church is the Body of Christ, offered to us for the forgiveness of sins, and for the promise of eternal life.  If only we forgive as we are forgiven, and love as we are loved.  It is our responsibility to love and minister to those children who were abused, and to minister to the sinners who preyed on them.  But their sins do not deprive the Church of God’s love.  God is asking us to love even more!  This is a job for the 4th Day and the friends they make!

Do not hide your faces, Cursillistas!  This is Christ’s Church, and we receive the Grace of God and the prayers of Mary on behalf of the Church.  The sins of certain individuals cannot take that away.  We must continue to bring that message to our Environments and to our friends.  Make a friend, be a friend . . .  The Church will prevail against the Gates of Hell.  I want to be a part of that – – I can’t wait to see what God has in store for his children.  How can I do my part?

Our School of Leaders will meet on October 9th, November 13th and December 11th at 7:00 pm in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  Please join your fellow Leaders!  And pray for all of our Priests and Bishops!

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 2018

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Susan and I attended the semiannual Cursillo Region IV Encounter which was held at the Franciscan Spiritual Center at Mount St Francis, Indiana on September 7-9.  Region IV is comprised of sixteen Dioceses in seven Midwestern states, most of which were represented at the Encounter.  The Regional Encounters are open to all Cursillistas.  I encourage everyone to consider attending a future Regional Encounter.  The next Encounter will be held on April 5-7, 2019 at St Joseph’s Retreat and Conference Center in Tipton, Indiana.

A short report was given by our Regional Service Team members who attended the National Encounter in Seattle, Washington in August.  The theme of that Encounter was Unity in Diversity. Talks given at the Encounter are available on the National website including a discussion entitled “Step By Step” which is about a new 3-Day Manual that will be released soon, probably later this year.

Although details are limited we were told that the Manual will not be published but will be available on the National Website.  The actual changes to the Weekend Schedule, including the Rollos and their sequence, will be minor so it should not significantly affect our weekend this spring.

Preparation for the Cursillo this coming March is moving forward.  Planning is underway and teams are being formed.  So now is the time to complete the application for your potential candidate and submit it to Laura Veach, our Pre-Cursillo Chair.

De Colores!   Bob McCormack

Spiritual Director – September 2018

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De Colores to the Fourth Day Community!

Hear ye! Hear ye! We will gather our Fourth Day community for our annual Grand Ultreya and Potluck.  This year’s Grand Ultreya will be on October 27th from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Saint Liborius Catholic Church located at 911 Sparta Street in St. Libory.  Reserve this date on your calendars, and please spread the word to all cursillistas. If you know someone who does not communicate via e-mail, please share this information.  Thank you!

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” Luke 10:2

While the autumnal equinox occurred only a few days ago, we’re once again beginning to see the wonders of God’s creating hand in the change of seasons.  The brisk mornings to come, the shorter days, and beautiful fall colors, remind us that it is harvest time.  And we surely can’t overlook the dutiful farmers working well into the night to bring in their crops.  We pray for a bountiful harvest of the fields that all are nourished and fed by their labor.

But we too have a harvest field to tend to.  Daily, many in our communities, whether urban or rural—experience a lack of some of the most basic of resources—things many of us take for granted.  We would do well to use this “harvest” time to reflect on our many blessings and give constant thanks to Our Creator who makes them all possible.

The abundant harvest field require us laborers to put our faith into action.  To look out for the lost, the lonely, and those searching for what we know Our Lord openly and freely gives—Hope.  In doing so we truly express the beauty and meaning of the Christian message, and bring to the world what is so visibly lacking all around us.  We give witness to Jesus and the reign of God, “On earth as it is in Heaven.”

The work of evangelization is a Christian duty, but also a joy.  The Cursillo helps us to recognize this important demand of our faith and so grow in holiness.  What could bring more joy and peace to a disheartened neighbor than for them to gain a glimmer of hope brought to them from a true Christian pilgrim?  Never under estimate the power of your example in a society troubled by doubt, mistrust and disappointment.  May we always be ready and willing to share the benefits from the great harvest of God’s love for us all!

The world and the Church still desperately needs the Christian message to be told.

De Colores!

Deacon Wayne

School of Leaders – June 2018

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Do you find yourself in groups or in conversations where you desperately want to lead the discussion to something more positive, more life-centered, more fruitful, more about love than about divisions, gossip, negativity or spite?  You are a leader!

Can you lead your work or social environments, your moveable square yard, the people and ideas that surround you, to a closer awareness of Christ?  If you have Christ’s love in your heart, even if it’s deep down, then you can bring it to the surface at the times it is most needed.  You are a leader!

Do you shy away from committing to an organization?  That’s okay– you just need to be your authentic, natural self and lead others to Christ.  This is what the School of Leaders is all about – bringing to the surface our hidden abilities to Make a Friend, Be a Friend, and Bring a Friend to Christ!  You are a leader in Christianity!

Our School of Leaders will meet on July 10th, August 7th, September 11th, and October 9th at 7 p.m. in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  We want to take this Show on the Road!   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 2018

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In March, we held our Men’s and Women’s Cursillo Weekends, which were wonderfully led by Gary Range and Margie Reaka.  On April 14th the Teams, the new Cursillistas and many of the 4th Day community came together for a Cursillo Reunion which was held at the Guild Center at Our Lady of the Snows.    We look forward to our next event, a Day of Recollection, which will be held at Sacred Heart Parish in Du Quoin, Illinois, on Saturday July 14, 2018. Put this date on your calendar and let’s look forward to a great turnout.

Unusual but true!  We do have a waiting list for next year’s Cursillo weekends.  Laura Veach, our Pre-Cursillo Chairperson, has candidates that were unable to go this year on the waiting list for the next Cursillo Weekend.  This is the first time in recent memory that we have had a waiting list for Cursillo.   The fact that we have a waiting list, as well as a number of other potential candidates, is a reminder that it is not too early to start thinking about your invitees to the Cursillo Weekends in March 2019.   Get your applications completed and submitted to Laura as soon as possible.  I will not be surprised if we again receive more applications than we have space available.  We should be talking with potential candidates now.

De Colores!

Bob McCormack