Category Archives: Spiritual Director

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 ( 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!