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Lay Director – March 2018

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The Cursillo Weekends were held at Adorers of the Blood of Christ Motherhouse in Ruma, Illinois, on March 8-11 and March 15-18, 2018.  Garry Range, Margie Reaka and their Cursillo teams delivered two wonderful Cursillo Weekends for our newest members of the 4th Day Community.  Both the men’s and women’s Cursillo hosted the maximum number of candidates.  There were more applications from women than we had lodging; so, for the first time in recent memory, we have a short waiting list which gives us a potential head start on next year’s women candidates.

A major turnover in the Cursillo Secretariat has taken place over the past month.  We now have a full Secretariat in position to guide our Cursillo Movement over the next few years.  Thanks to all the outgoing members for doing a great job.

As many of you are aware, Nick Lang passed to the “5th Day” on January 7, 2018.  Nick was a long-time proponent of Cursillo who served in many different ministries at St. Peter’s Cathedral and in Cursillo, his primary apostolate.  In addition to many other positions in Cursillo, Nick was Lay Director for Cursillo twice; the second term ending only several months before he went in the hospital.

De Colores!

Bob Mc Cormack

Spiritual Director – March 2018

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the 4th Day,

On this Easter Day, for just a moment, reflect on these words from the Gospel of Matthew.

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.”  (Matthew 28:8)

What devastating emotion the women must have felt upon hearing from the angel that Jesus was not in the tomb, where they had personally laid him to rest.  They most surely were afraid of what His missing body meant, while at the same time being overwhelmed by the possibility that what He had promised may have actually happened.  They are in a time between fear and joy, in a time between uncertainty and answers.

We experience these times also, don’t we?  When we get news too hard to handle on our own, when our doubt overtakes our faith, or when our frustrations get the better of our joy.

I suppose it is in the midst of these times, between fear and joy, when we must put our trust in God the most.  Because isn’t this where we come to know His immense love, where our faith grows stronger, and where our hope in Him is found?  For in that hope we rise from the tomb of anxiety and despair and all that gets in the way of our joy.

Our wonderful weekend themes this year help us to see the true joy which comes from “Trusting in Jesus” and “Letting God” take hold of those times in our lives when we struggle for answers or wonder what is coming next.

The Cursillo Journey is one of faith, enhanced by our piety, study, and action.  It is also an experience of resurrection, of sharing our own dying and rising in the real and concrete circumstances of daily living.  This is why we need one another, all of us, to help carry one another’s burdens and share in our joys.

Then Jesus said to them, do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Matthew 28:10)

So by the light of the Risen Christ, let us march onward, Ultreya, to our own Galilee, our own environments and beyond.  Then like those who first encountered the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid to run and announce what you have heard and seen.”

Blessed Eastertide to all, and De Colores!

Deacon Wayne

 

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