Category Archives: School of Leaders

School of Leaders – September 2019

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We have learned some new words in School of Leaders this summer!  It IS a School, right? 

One of those words is “Mañanitas!  Another word we knew before, but failed to appreciate, is “Charism.”  Now, why are these words important?  The Cursillo Movement in our Diocese is changing for the better – to reshape our Fourth Day to fit the original “Charism” of Eduardo Bonin – the gifts he was given by the Grace of God, and the gifts he shared with the Church in the Cursillo Movement about 75 years ago.  To meet his original vision, we are adapting our Three-Day Weekend, our Precursillo and Postcursillo in compliance with guidance from the National Cursillo Secretariat.  It is eye-opening to see how much deeper and more meaningful our Movement can be – beyond candlelight dinners and stand-up art critics!

So . . .  “Mañanitas?”  (Midwestern pronunciation:  mon -ya- nee- tas)  You’ll just have to pay attention and join the Fourth Day in an early morning (rooster-crowing early!) serenade to our newest Cursillistas on Sunday, October 27, at 7:10 a.m. at King’s House Retreat Center.  We’ve never tried this before, but, believe it or not, this is a part of the Weekend that impressed Mr. Bonin as part of the Charism of Cursillo.  Watch your “PrayersRequested” emails for details.

Our School of Leaders will meet on October 8, and November 12, 2019, at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.   Please join your fellow Leaders in these challenges! 

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

School of Leaders – June 2019

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We have had some lively and thoughtful conversations in School of Leaders so far this year.  A giant THANK YOU to all of the 4th Day who have come to share and listen!

The National Cursillo Movement has published an article on its Website that not only sheds light on the School of Leaders, but also offers an encouraging “warm-and-fuzzy” about the “Leaders.”  It is really a “School of Thought, where we come together to “explore and deepen” our understanding, and gain wisdom and insight from each other.  These are people who “want to understand the WHY of things. . . . They do not teach by preaching but rather by being living witnesses to the very essence of the Charism.”  The School is a “group of friends, where we deepen our own understanding of our own role as leaders in our Environments.  “The School of Leaders is first and foremost, a School of Listening, not teaching.”  As a group of friends, our service to others flows from friendship. When we put something into Action, it is no longer a service, a chore, but an act of love.  “Secretariat and School of Leaders: Reaching a Unity of Purpose and Understanding,” John Ciliberti, Region VI English Coordinator, August 18, 2018. https://www.natl-cursillo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Unity-of-Purpose-Understanding.pdf

So, there you have it.  We listen, we learn.  We learn, we act. We act, we love.

Our School of Leaders will meet on July 9 (in the Parish Center), August 13(in the Parish Center), and September 10(location TBD), 2019, at 7 p.m.,at 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

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

School of Leaders – December 2018

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As we enter the New Year of our Lord 2019, looking both forward and backwards from the present moment, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on my personal Cursillo Journey.

To put it plainly, I am having an absolute blast chairing the School of Leaders!  Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to be a sincere, authentic, child of God.  I had a hard time following the fad or fashion of the day, unless it was sincere. I could not enjoy a friendship unless it was authentic.  And I could not imagine my life without the love of God to guide me, to inspire me, to admonish me, to drive me forward, and to rein me in from time to time.

The School of Leaders allows me to be that sincere, authentic, child of God.  Like an Olympic skier visualizing theturns and gates, before strapping on his skis, I have spent my life “internalizing” this opportunity to offer my witness, my voice, my heart, and to open my eyes and my ears in this service for Christ and His Church.  My goal is to make the School of Leaders a welcoming place where all Cursillistas can offer up their sincere, authentic selves as children of God, to lead their environments to Christ.

Our School of Leaders is on vacation during Formation, but we will meet again, after the 2019 Weekends, on April 9, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  Please join your fellow Leaders!  Happy New Year on your Journey!

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

School of Leaders – September 2018

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Lead your Environments to Christ!  This is what Cursillo is all about, and the School of Leaders is where we learn from each other to achieve that Ideal.  In September, we talked about the challenge we have been suffering for decades – the sins of a small minority of priests and hierarchyWhy do we remain Catholic?” is what our Environments ask of us

To whom shall we turn?  The Church is the Body of Christ, offered to us for the forgiveness of sins, and for the promise of eternal life.  If only we forgive as we are forgiven, and love as we are loved.  It is our responsibility to love and minister to those children who were abused, and to minister to the sinners who preyed on them.  But their sins do not deprive the Church of God’s love.  God is asking us to love even more!  This is a job for the 4th Day and the friends they make!

Do not hide your faces, Cursillistas!  This is Christ’s Church, and we receive the Grace of God and the prayers of Mary on behalf of the Church.  The sins of certain individuals cannot take that away.  We must continue to bring that message to our Environments and to our friends.  Make a friend, be a friend . . .  The Church will prevail against the Gates of Hell.  I want to be a part of that – – I can’t wait to see what God has in store for his children.  How can I do my part?

Our School of Leaders will meet on October 9th, November 13th and December 11th at 7:00 pm in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  Please join your fellow Leaders!  And pray for all of our Priests and Bishops!

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

School of Leaders – June 2018

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Do you find yourself in groups or in conversations where you desperately want to lead the discussion to something more positive, more life-centered, more fruitful, more about love than about divisions, gossip, negativity or spite?  You are a leader!

Can you lead your work or social environments, your moveable square yard, the people and ideas that surround you, to a closer awareness of Christ?  If you have Christ’s love in your heart, even if it’s deep down, then you can bring it to the surface at the times it is most needed.  You are a leader!

Do you shy away from committing to an organization?  That’s okay– you just need to be your authentic, natural self and lead others to Christ.  This is what the School of Leaders is all about – bringing to the surface our hidden abilities to Make a Friend, Be a Friend, and Bring a Friend to Christ!  You are a leader in Christianity!

Our School of Leaders will meet on July 10th, August 7th, September 11th, and October 9th at 7 p.m. in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  We want to take this Show on the Road!   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

School of Leaders – March 2018

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The School  . . . of Fish?

In Cursillo, as in our Christian faith, to be a Leader means to be a true and authentic Follower.  To be a Follower means to be a true and natural Leader.  The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Our Lord Jesus became as a slave and washed his Disciples’ dirty, smelly feet.  He commanded them to do likewise.

When He began his public ministry, He promised those Disciples that they would become fishers of men.  He taught them in the Faith and offered them the Sacraments as visible signs of His ever-lasting presence and love.  They became the followers who, by sharing His love in those Sacraments, would lead their friends and family in their Movable Square Yards to become His followers.  Those followers then became leaders, who would lead their friends to Christ.  In an unbroken line of leaders and followers, Christ has been building His Kingdom one person at a time, the followers becoming leaders.

This makes perfect sense: the fish become the fishermen – – the followers become the leaders.  There is security in numbers, and the school of fish lives for the greater good of the others.  Sounds like the School of Leaders!

Our School of Leaders will meet on April 10, at 7 pm in the Parish Center of St. Joseph’s Parish in Freeburg, IL.  We meet on the second Tuesday of each month, May 8, June 12, and July 10, at locations to be announced in the 4th Day Prayer chain.  Our 4th Day gained 34 friends this year!  Please join the 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

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

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

School of Leaders – June 2017

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School of Leaders – – The What of What??

My name is John Schaberg – I began my journey at Belleville Men’s #30 (2010), and I sat at the table of St. Guiseppi Moscati.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my thanks, and the gratitude of the School of Leaders and the 4th Day Community, to my predecessor, Terry Kostel. He served with great love as Chairman of the School of Leaders for his 3-year term, ending March 31. He brought his creativity, compassion, his great ability to listen, and fantastic organizational skills to this Chair. Big shoes to fill!

Second – – School of What? I said at the Reunion that this part of the Cursillo Movement should be named after something that attracts people, not those two unfortunate words, “School” and “Leaders.” I mean, the “of” part is OK, but the rest of the name needs to go! I suggested “Shareholders Meeting” or “School of Followers,” but let’s face it – – it could be “Flock of Sheep,” or “Focus Group” or “Jam Session.” Or “Finger Painting for Christians” – – a time to use our creativity, sense of wonder, and curiosity about why we are here, harkening back to when life was FUN! Jesus wants us to enjoy life, by loving and by using our talents as God intended, in loving service to our neighbors, our friends, our families, to Him.

We held our first meeting of the “School” on May 9th, and we opened the floor to any and all ideas for the next 3 years. I want to be sure the School of Leaders does what it’s supposed to do, to give direction and energy to the Cursillo Movement in the Belleville Diocese. We had some great suggestions, and we shared many loving thoughts for our Movement. I have some work to do – – pray, study, and take action!

It’s going to be wonderful to serve this Movement and to do my small part in the mission of the holy, catholic and apostolic church – – Worship, Formation, Outreach – – Piety, Study, Action. I am really, really looking forward to the challenges of bringing Christ to my environment, and to the Chair which has been passed to me.

Please join me and the other faithful 4th Day travelers who guide the Belleville 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 meeting is June 13th. We are open to suggestions, or invitations, to meet at Murphysboro, Mt. Vernon, Du Quoin, or Mt. Carmel. We need your support and sponsorship to have a Traveling School!

If you envision yourself serving on the Team someday, or if you see yourself as a faithful member of a Friendship Group, you belong in the School of Leaders. If you are searching for Action, or a way to Study, or an opportunity to explore “spiritual aids to nurture your vital union with Christ” (Piety – see your little blue Group Reunion card), then the School of Leaders is the place for you. We would like to learn from you. 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