Category Archives: Lay Director

Lay Director – September 2019

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In the last Evangelizer, I mentioned new guidance being downward directed to the Cursillo Movement by Eduardo Bonin and his staff in Mallorca.  These updates are aimed at aligning the US Cursillo with the original Cursillo concepts put in place 50 years ago, which was to bring people closer to God through mutual support and friendship.    We appreciate how this strikes a sensitive cord with many of us who are very passionate about Cursillo.  We have had long and thoughtful conversations in the School of Leaders and Secretariat meetings concerning how to handle these issues. Some parts of the Weekend have been deemphasized or eliminated in favor of increased time or emphasis on other parts.  For example, we will no longer have a Cursillo theme and poster.  Cursillo is the theme and the poster is the same picture of Jesus that is in the office of Eduardo Bonin.   The Weekend will now allow more time for spiritual direction and reflection.  Plans to meet and know candidates prior to the Cursillo will be made.  Candidates will become Cursillistas and receive their crosses earlier in the Weekend to emphasize that we are all Cursillistas and one body in Christ.  Cheryl Rajski, the Rectora for the next Women’s Cursillo, which will be held October 24-27, 2019, at the King’s House, has been leading the effort to identify the new Step-by-Step procedures and how to include them in the Cursillo Weekend Schedule and activities.  

At the local level, we are in the process of moving the Weekends from the spring to the fall. Relocation to the fall was made because support from priests and deacons during Lent and Easter has been increasingly difficult.  This move has received strong support by nearly everyone.  As a part of the change in season, we also have considered a change in venue from ASC Ruma to the King’s House.  We currently have Cursillos scheduled at both the King’s House and at ASC Ruma for the fall of 2020.  Terry Kostel, the Three-Day Chair, and I have had some very positive discussions with the ASC Leadership in Ruma about hosting our Cursillos.  They have offered some good suggestions on how we can better use their facilities.  In addition, the feedback from the Women’s Cursillo, which will be held at the King’s House this October, will help to finalize the decision on location.  The Cursillo Weekend venue is still an open issue that will require further discussion.

 I ask the entire Cursillo community to keep an open mind.  The road ahead has been well thought out and approached with caution and should have a positive effect on our Cursillo program in the future. 

Love, Joy, Peace, and De Colores!

Bob McCormack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lay Director – September 2017

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My Dear Sister and Brother Cursillistas,

This will be my last article in the Evangelizer as my term comes to an end at the Secretariat meeting on Sept 26.  It has been a true blessing for me to have been of service to you and our Lord as we progress on our “Cursillo Journeys” in His wonderful church using the methods of Cursillo.

There is much work yet to be completed; however, I am very confident that your Secretariat and School of Leaders will be working hard to spread our message and to keep our many friends active on their journeys. Cursillo is in need of many workers; so please consider joining the teams, attend the School of Leaders and attend the secretariat meetings.

I thank each of you for all your support over the past three years and know you will support your new Lay Director, Bob McCormack.

Nick Lang (618-213-6391)

Lay Director – June 2017

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Dear Cursillistas,

With all the crops showing their heads in our farm fields, one’s mind is led to think about a great harvest in the fall. Our spirituality also leads our hearts and minds to remember the great harvest our Lord is expecting from us Catholics and especially his Cursillistas. The harvest is great but the workers are few.

Now is the time for you to MAKE A FRIEND, BE A FRIEND, AND BRING YOUR FRIEND TO CHRIST. So, so many times our Lord and our beloved Popes have said “Be Not Afraid.” Step up to the plate and be a sponsor for your dear friends and family members. If asked to be on the Cursillo Weekend as a team member, say yes to all the work and palanca that is required. Work for the Lord so that He may have a great harvest. You will be bringing Him the fruit He desires.

We also have many jobs to be filled on the working side of the Cursillo management team. Your talents and skills are really needed at this time. Please attend the School of Leaders and the Secretariat meetings to learn where you could fit in. Usually these positions take less than 2 -3 hours a month. We are also in need of representatives for each parish.

May God bless you with a great spring and summer,

Nick Lang (618-213-6391)