Category Archives: Spiritual Director

Spiritual Director – March 2016

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Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!!

He has Risen as He said, Alleluia!!

Greetings and a Blessed Easter Season to one and all. We enter these fifty days of celebration and rejoicing, realizing that the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah who came into the world as one like us, has offered Himself for us. He who is the Mercy of the Father was given up to death that He might rise to bring us life, life to its fullest, life in the Kingdom.

I hope that your Lenten Season was one that gave you new or renewed insight into the mercy of our God. I pray that it was a time for you to once again find, for yourselves, what it means to be a Baptized follower of Jesus Christ. A time to deepen your relationship with Christ: Piety. A time to come to know more fully your relationship with Christ: Study. A time to share the beauty of your relationship with Christ with others: Action.

Now as the springtime of this year opens to us in its fullness, may you blossom in your faith and love of our God, sharing the beauty of this Holy Year of Mercy with all those whom you love.

To all who made the weekends this year graced moments of God’s mercy and love, thank you for your prayer, work, and witness that was shared with our newest Cursillistas. To those newest members of our Cursillo, welcome and may you continue to grow in your relationship with our Christ, the Son of our Loving and Merciful God.

De Colores,

Fr. Gary

Spiritual Director – December 2015

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Advent and Christmas is a time to prepare and to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world, the Word made Flesh.

But what does that mean to us who seem so caught up on things like “Black Friday” that is now happening almost a week before. Or, how about the stores that are getting the jump by opening at 6pm on Thanksgiving night, is that the type of preparation and anticipation that we should be celebrating?

You all know the answer to that, so why do we in the Church take this time of Advent, to anticipate, to prepare? What we are doing is recalling the patience of our spiritual ancestors, who looked forward to the coming of God’s anointed One, the Christ.

So, what are you doing to make this time special for family? Perhaps taking some time to tell the stories of past Christmases in which you, maybe not so patiently, waited for the gathering of family or on a more basic level, the anticipation of coming gifts.

Take some time to recall what it is that we are waiting to celebrate, and how we can make that celebration a true encounter with our Christ, by the encounter we will have with family and friends.

So as we begin this new Church year, let us make just one resolution, to deepen our encounter with Christ, as we encounter his sisters and brothers in the Church. This would be a good time to also, in those encounters, practice the gift of Mercy. Remember, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has established a Holy Year of Mercy, beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, to run until the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2016. In what ways can you make the year of 2016 more profound by your practicing of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?

May you and all those you love have a spirit-filled Advent, a joyful Christmas, and a New Year filled with peace, joy and love.

De Colores,

Fr. Gary

Spiritual Director – September 2015

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We have entered into another school year, a time for many young people to try to gear up once again, for the task of studying that we hope leads to learning.

Studying, one of those three legs on which Cursillo is built and maintained. How is your study going? Spending time getting to know better what Cursillo is about? Attending the School of Leaders? Reading about the movement? How about something spiritual like what helps you to better understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? What Church teaching do you need to better understand? How about Pope Francis’ new encyclical on the use and care of our home we call Earth?

So, as the teachers and students return to the classroom, let us remember them in prayer, and let us come to know how important study is for all of us who experience and try to live Cursillo.

I hope everyone had a good summer, and that this beautiful weather we have been having the last couple of days is a taste of good things to be experienced this Autumn.

Blessings to you all,

De Colores, Fr. Gary

Spiritual Director – June 2015

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From Fr. Gary Gummersheimer:

Since the last time I penned a missive for this newsletter several very interesting things have taken place. The first is a two-part interview of the national leadership of Cursillo that aired on EWTN. You can watch what aired on the National Cursillo Web page (www.Cursillo.org) under the “resources” section of the Web page. They reminded us of the importance that Cursillo can and does play in the Church’s call for a “new” evangelization. I would encourage you to go and take a look at it.

The second is that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for a Holy Year to be celebrated: an “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.” This Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and will close on 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Pope Francis, in calling this special time in the Church, said: “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. The word, mercy, reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity; the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us; the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life and the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”

So we have a unique and wonderful time ahead of us in the Church. The Bishops will meet this fall to continue the discussion of the role of the family in society and the Church in this time of strained understanding of what it means to be family and Church.  Let us pray that the gift of the Spirit of God may guide them in their discussions.

We are reminded, time and again, by our Holy Father that the ultimate gift of God’s love and mercy are what calls each of us to be children of God. It is also what calls each of us, in the gift of the Holy Spirit in our initiation, to become the disciples that Christ calls us to be. Make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ.

As I write this in the week before the Solemnity of Pentecost, my prayer for all of you as we enter this summer season, is that the Spirit of Christ may be with you to guide you and keep you always in the love and mercy of God.

De Colores, Fr. Gary

Spiritual Director – March 2015

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From Fr. Gary Gummersheimer:

Most of you, if asked, could probably answer the question of what is the preamble to the US Constitution. But how many of you could tell me how the Declaration of Independence begins? The answer: “When in the course of human events…” Now why would a spiritual director begin his remarks with something such as this? The simple answer is that “human events” over the last several months have reminded us that we still have a long way to go in making this world we live in a reflection of the Kingdom of God.

The random and brutal slaying of so many, especially the Coptic Christians, by ISIS; the killing of media people in France; the slaying of young black men in this country; all of which leads us to realize that we still have a lot of work to do if we are going to change our environments to reflect the love of Christ Jesus. On this last issue, if you have not read Bishop Braxton’s letter on racism, I would highly encourage you to do so. I believe that it is one of the best articles that deal with that issue, which unfortunately is still very much a part of who we are in this country.

So, with what is left of this Holy Season of Lent, use it to ask our gracious and loving God to give us the insight into how to spread His Kingdom, especially in the troubled places of our world. Let us take the “human events” that fracture our lives and use them as a spring board to establish God’s Kingdom by inviting others to enter into a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May this Lenten Season bring you challenges that strengthen your faith; a time to renew your commitment to Christ. May we celebrate the Easter Mystery with those who join us in our faith; dedicated to bringing more friends to Christ.

Blessings of the Paschal Mystery to you and all you love.

De Colores, Fr, Gary

Spiritual Director – December 2014

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From Fr. Gary Gummersheimer:

Dear Cursillo Family:

We often talk about “change” in varying degrees of excitement or frustration. I am guessing, that most of us like the change from daylight savings time back to standard time each fall as we gain extra hour of sleep. But I doubt if we are as happy about the start of daylight savings time in the spring because we lose an hour. But change whether we like it or not is inevitable. As we mature, our bodies change often bringing with it new aches and pains.

The Church changes as well, but often with the speed of a very slow glacier. So, I like many, were just a bit confused when the secular press seemed to think that much of the Church’s teaching in several areas was about to undergo “major” change. What the press failed to understand, and unfortunately, some church members, was that what was being dis-cussed in the Vatican, was just that – discussion; an open conversation among those gathered for the extraordinary synod about the issues that face the Church in this age. That doesn’t mean that there might not be change in the future, but it will be deliberate, with much prayer, reflection and discussion before it happens.

What does it mean to us in the pews here in Southern Illinois? It means that we have to use one of the legs of the all im-portant tripod of the weekend: STUDY. This study does not happen or makes little sense if it comes only from the secular press. We have to study the documentation that comes to us from Rome, from the Bishops of the United States. We must put this study into the proper context of the Catechism of the Church and the proclamations of earlier synods and the Vat-ican Council, then we will understand what is really being said and what direction the Church is really heading. So, dear friends study, study, study! It is the only way that we will truly know what is being said and where as a Church we are headed.

As we approach the beginning of the new Church year, the First Sunday of Advent, the festive holiday season; let us not be afraid, to say those very important words that will mark us as followers of Jesus Christ, MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Peace to all! De Colores!