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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 –

White House Retreat House in South St. Louis –

Chiara Center in Springfield, Illinois –

St. Meinrad Guest House in St. Meinrad, Indiana –

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

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.