Cursillo Newsletter
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 March 2006

    Calendar of Events
March 11, 2006               Secretariat Meeting - 9:30am, Blessed John XXIII Diocesan Center
April 22, 2006                 Secretariat Meeting - 10:00am, Sacred Heart Church, Hebron, NE
April 22, 2006                 Postcursillo Reunion - 1:00pm, Sacred Heart Church, Hebron, NE
April 28-29, 2006           Region VI Spring Encounter  - Bismarck, ND (registration form included)
June 2-3, 2006                School of Leaders (quarterly reunion) - 7:30pm Fri-3pm Sat, Sacred Heart, Shelby, NE
June 25, 2006                 Grand Ultreya – Van Dorn Park in Lincoln … Arrive 11 a.m.; Mass at 11:30 a.m.;
                                       food/games/activities (see details in body of Newsletter)
July 20-23, 2006             Cursillo National Encounter – Villanova University, Villanova, PA (Registration form included)

Comments from New Fourth Dayers

    My interest in making a Cursillo Weekend began many years ago after a friend shared her experience of Cursillo with me.  I always knew that when the time was right that God would show me the way to my Cursillo Weekend.  My faith has always been very important in my life, but I never really realized the power of God until becoming widowed at a fairly young age.  God gave me the strength to go on when I thought my life had just ended.
    My Cursillo Weekend reinforced my love of God.   My plan for my life wasn’t God’s plan, so I know that it’s time to listen to God so He can reveal what plan He has for me.  And it’s time for me to turn from the material things in my life that are overwhelming me and keeping me from God.  God will give me that peace – all I need to do is ask.  I rejoice that God has given me trials and suffering that have brought me closer to Him … that His strength is always there.  I know that loving God and living my life as He has in His plan is the most important thing I need to do.  I know that I need to live my life so that I may be an example to others and I need to use the talents that God has so graciously given me as He wants me to use them.
    What a joy it was to see the Holy Spirit at work in everyone at Cursillo!  What a joy it was to see the love of God in everyone as each one of us shared our own stories in our faith journey!  De Colores!

Connie Cohen, Grant, NE

   My name is Christine Mitchell and I was going to attend a Cursillo Weekend about 5 years ago, but the Weekend was cancelled.   Maybe it was not God's time for me to attend … maybe it was …  In the years that followed, I was asked again and again, but I was always busy.  You see, I am married, work part-time outside the home, and am truly enjoying raising three healthy girls, ages 4, 7, and 10 years old.  I also teach CCD to the second grade class in my parish, St. James in Cortland, and I love to visit my family in Friend, NE.  I knew that one day I would make a Cursillo Weekend.
    This year when I was invited by my husband’s sponsor make a Cursillo Weekend, I said it would be difficult, since I had a business trip out of town and would not arrive home until late the night before the Weekend was to begin, and it would be a challenge to attend.  It would require me to be away from my family 8 out of 9 days in a row.  I thought that was asking too much.  So I prayed.  I talked to my husband, Mike, and said we should pray about it.  What strength I gained from prayer!  As the time for the Weekend grew closer, I felt a "TUG" at my heart.  I knew I could cover my husband’s time away and Mike said he could do the same for me (really???...Thank you, Jesus!), so I went.  My family took me to Hebron, and my girls helped me pick out my sleeping spot.  It was very difficult to remain as my family left, but so often God calls us to be strong and patient.  He accomplishes incredible works in our life if we just use God's time and not our own.
    On the Weekend of February 23-26, 2006, I experienced true blessings.  I learned that I was a "Routine Rita" -- I was born and raised a Catholic and was going on with the external part of my religion, but on the inside, I was missing something.  That something was a true internal relationship with Christ and His family.  I took the time to visit the Blessed Sacrament and felt true peace.  I believe peace is one thing we all seek.
    I am amazed what changes have occurred in my life.  I now take the time to do morning prayer and a daily Rosary, and I spend my extra time reading books about the Catholic faith and the Saints.  I talk and read to my family and CCD kids about Jesus and the people involved in His life here on earth.  I frequently visit the Christ the King Chapel [Pink Sisters] in Lincoln and spend time with the Blessed Sacrament.  For me, the timing of the Weekend was incredible -- it arrived just in time for Lent.  In the past few years, I knew I had not put forth my best efforts in the weeks before Easter.  But this year I will rejoice in the Easter Sunday celebration!
    I will continue to strive to do my best with the knowledge I gained at Cursillo:  Make a friend, be a friend, and bring a friend to Jesus.  I had excellent instruction at my Weekend, and I plan on spreading the Good News I was given.  I would like to thank all of you for the your time, efforts, prayers and sacrifices that you made for us for this Weekend.  And I also have changed my name from "Routine Rita" to "Christ-centered Chris"!

                             May God Bless You and DE COLORES!             Christine Mitchell, Roca, NE


    My name is Mike Mitchell and I made my Cursillo Weekend on February 9-12, 2006, in Hebron, Nebraska.  My Cursillo family is St. Joseph and my parish is St. James in Cortland, Nebraska.  I converted to the Catholic faith 14 years ago when I married my wife, Chris.
    My sponsor first approached me about Cursillo about 5 years ago, but I always told him I was interested, but too busy to go.  This year he talked to my wife and told her to pray for me to find the time to go.  When your wife starts praying for you and tells you often she is praying for you, eventually the light goes on and you realize this is something you better do.  Thanks be to God – her and my sponsor’s prayers were answered and I found the time to make the Weekend.
    As for the Weekend itself, Wow, what an experience!  The whole Weekend I could feel the Holy Spirit acting on me, growing stronger within me, and giving me more confidence in my faith.  What a great group of Christian men I met on the Weekend … many great and hopefully long-lasting friendships were made.  It's great to know that I have these wonderful faith-filled men praying for me and I pray for each of them as well.
    It was beautiful to see the personal relationships with Christ blossom and grow as we made chapel visits throughout the Weekend.  My prayer life has grown stronger because of the Weekend.  I now start every day saying the morning offering, and I say one or two Rosaries each day; and I end each day with the prayer to Saint Michael.  I also now make more visits to talk with Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament.  My parish priest, Fr. Morin said in a homily the first Weekend after Cursillo that the best way to increase one’s faith is to pray more, I can definitely say that I now know that to be true.
    On the Weekend, we all learned how important it is to share our faith with others and we gained the confidence to do that.  As a farmer who farms all non-irrigated ground, I always knew I counted on God to supply us with needed rain for our crops and to bring other blessings into our lives, but I never thought much about my reciprocal duties to Him as thanksgiving for what He provides.  From Cursillo, I now know that, as Fr. Baker stated at the Closing as we received our crucifixes, Christ is counting on us to spread God's love to others and make His message known.  Cursillo taught us how this is to be done: Make a friend, Be a friend, and Bring your friend to Christ.
    Finally, I would like to thank all of you fellow Fourth Dayers, who offered Palanca for those of us in Hebron – because of all your prayers and personal sacrifices, our Weekend was a tremendous success, and all of us men became a lot more Christ-like.

       Yours in Christ!  DE COLORES!                         Mike Mitchell, Roca, NE


    I feel God has blessed me with faith, and I wanted to make the Cursillo Weekend seeking the direction God wants me to take.  What a blessing to spend a Weekend with other people of faith!!  We could feel God's presence with us in His watchful care and the joy of fellowship with each other.  I pray the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us to evangelize in the opportunities He gives us.  There is hope for our world if we can change it one person at a time.  Make a friend, be a friend, bring your friend to Christ.  De Colores!                           Pat Schroeder, Grant, NE


Welcome New Fourth Dayers (February 2006, Sacred Heart, Hebron)
    February 13, 2006: Barry Adams, Gary Bader, Eldon Buster, John Fertig, Jim Fraser, Bill Kroll, Mike Mitchell, Nathan Stanberry, Leroy Tejral, Myron Wendland.
    February 26, 2006: Correne Adams, Mary Laura Behne, Monica Buster, Connie Cohen, Barb Dinges, Ann Fraser, Chris Hernandez, June Hill, Brenda Johnson, Cindy Kroll, Vicki Kumor, Cathie McKenzie, Chris Mitchell, Patricia Schroeder, Judy Tejral.

Opportunities to Live/Work/Form Community

+ Men’s – January 11 - 14, 2007
+ Women’s – January 18-21, 2007
The location for the January 2007 Weekends is yet to be decided.  The Secretariat is also considering the possibility of Summer 2006 Weekends, depending on demand.  If you know of persons who have expressed an interest/need for Summer Weekends, please contact a Secretariat member to let us know.

Cursillo Mattress Covers …  For some time now, the Secretariat has been discussing the need to cover the foam mats and mattresses used for Cursillo activities … both for health reasons and to prolong their usefulness.  This is a very costly endeavor … to the tune of approximately $2500 if we cover all of them.  We operate on donations, with Weekend contributions barely covering the costs associated with the Weekend itself; thus, we do not have excess funds to cover this one-time cost.  As such, we would like to invite those so inclined and financially able to please consider helping with this special project.  Donations may be sent to:  Mark Pribyl (Three Day Chair), P.O. Box 305, Dorchester, NE  68343-0305 (phone 402-641-7199).  Checks may be made out to Cursillo of Lincoln.

Importance/Necessity of Turning In the Three Day Application Form and Sponsor Sheet  … One of the most difficult tasks associated with the Three Day Weekend is to get candidates and their sponsors to turn in the Application Form and Sponsor Sheet for the Three Day Weekend.  Some believe that just getting the candidate to the Weekend is the most important part of being a sponsor.  However, the application form and sponsor sheet serve a VERY IMPORTANT PURPOSE … this was brought home very clearly during the Women’s Weekend in Hebron, when a medical emergency required that we have information regarding the candidate’s health and emergency contacts.  Thankfully, the candidate’s sponsor had turned in the application form and sponsor sheet, so we had the information we needed, but not all sponsors do so.  Please, please, please make sure a completely filled-out application form and sponsor sheet are provided for each candidate … it may be a matter of life and death.

Comments from Mark Pribyl (Three Day Chair)“Welcome New 4th Dayers!”

    What a great blessing it has been to welcome the new 4th dayers into the family of Cursillo. The opportunity to witness the change in their thoughts and feelings in Three Days not only reinforces in me God’s power working through the Holy Spirit, but it also shows me the importance of being obedient to God when He asks me to serve Him.

    I was a little surprised to hear some of the candidates say that they had not ever heard of Cursillo up until Fr. Oborny had started inquiring about possible candidates.  And since the parish is located only 90 miles from Lincoln NE, I guess the passage in Romans 10 is a message we should not take lightly.  It states: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent?”  Those who know the great value that prayer and study have in enlightening and guiding us should confidently pass on the Good News.

    Cursillo is not just a retreat one experiences … it is a way of life!  We live our Weekend so that we might acquire some tools to strengthen our faith, grow in Love, and spread the Good News.  Remember that if we don't take what we learn and pass it on to others, our faith grows stagnant, thus stifling the spread of Christianity.

    Cursillo by design inspires, enlightens, guides, and directs our hearts to God … it helps us to proclaim what we know to be true.  It helps not only those who do not know God personally, but the rest of us as well, as it reinforces and strengthens our faith.

    In my mind, Cursillo is a way to stir up the Holy Spirit in our lives, so that we might be that witness of Love to those we are around every day.  The goodness given us by the Holy Spirit (and hopefully received in the right spirit) spreads like fire on parched land to those around us each and every day.

    So please, do what you can to help those who love Jesus to spread His Love in whatever way you can. One way to do this is by participating in Cursillo’s School of Leaders (SOL).  SOL is an opportunity to meet and work with other cursillistas to help our diocesan Secretariat put together ideas to promote and support Cursillo in our Diocese.  But the work is only a small part of SOL … it is a great time to share with others who love Jesus about the struggles and successes we experience as we grow in our faith … we support and encourage each other in order that we might move onward … ULTREYA!!!

    The next of Cursillo Weekends are planned for January 2007 … a little less than a year away.  The SOL has been a great way for me to learn more about the Cursillo Method (of Group Reunion and Ultreya), to help me come up with ways to approach possible candidates, and to better understand why the Weekends are structured as they are.   All of the dates are included in this Newsletter, so mark your calendar now and plan to attend … I am certain you won't regret it.

    So how does God know that YOU love him?  Are you giving Him some of your personal time?

    God says; "Whatever you do to the least of My children, you do to Me"!

    Hope to see you soon.

        DeColores!!                                                                Mark Pribyl

Comments from Chuck Micek (Precursillo Chair)

    As I write this, we are one week away from the Men’s Cursillo Weekend in Hebron, Nebraska.  As the teams (palanca and rollo) came together this particular Friday evening for the practice weekend, only days before the beginning of the Men’s Weekend, I experience, once again, why Jesus Christ has put me where I am in the Cursillo Community.

    The end of January and the first three days of February 2006 were the most stressful days I have experienced at work for some time. I cannot shake the flu and my back was really bothering me. I was so tired mentally and physically!  Why not just stay at home and relax rather than drive 80 miles, work late into the night, sleep on a floor, only to begin again early on Saturday morning to carry on for another seven hours?

    My question to myself was, “Why am I doing this?”  As soon as I asked the question, Jesus Christ gave me the answer … I was in Hebron with five priests and numerous laypersons who share the same belief and love of Jesus that I do.  I felt rather disturbed at myself for having had such thoughts.  I was there with cursillistas whose week had been no less tiring or stressful than mine.  Then a man arrived who had lived the October 2005 Weekend in Minden … he had lost his 18-year-old daughter in an accident very shortly after the Weekend … and he greeted me with a smile and warm hug … and I knew why I was there.  God wanted me to be where I was because He was recharging my batteries with the hope and grace that only He can give.

    My questions to you are these: “What have you accomplished recently to advance the Good News that Jesus Christ wants us to carry throughout the world?  Have you been participating in your Group Reunion and Ultreya in your area?  Have you talked to God about a friend and then talked to your friend about God?  Are you an isolated Christian or do you SHARE the love of Christ?  Are you evangelizing with the Apostolic Action that should be part of our authentic evangelization?”

    Every apostolic effort flows from two conditions: the first is my encounter with Christ; and the second is my encounter with my brothers and sisters.  We only have to be ordinary people who have a desire to follow Jesus and to use the gifts and talents He has given us to bring others closer to Him.  The Cursillo is a movement that provides a method to assist us in living what is fundamental to being a Christian.  I often think of a comment made by our Most Reverend Bishop Bruskewitz during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Cursillo Movement in the Lincoln Diocese this past summer … he commented that the door to a manufacturing plant has a sign posted on it that reads EMPLOYEES ONLY, and he asked how Christ’s word get inside the plant if we (the laity) do not carry the message?  We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  Let’s be the happy evangelizers Christ wants and needs us to be.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.

        De Colores!                                    Chuck Micek, Precursillo Chair

     Make a friend …
        BE a friend …
             Bring your friend to Christ!!

From the Lay Director ...

    The Hebron Three Day Weekends were a wonderful prelude to Lent!!  And so it begins with Ash Wednesday …  a reminder that I am dust and that I will return to dust … that sounds like the work of a lifetime!!  And not coincidentally, the Magnificat meditation for Ash Wednesday was entitled, “The Work of Lent” … one part of the journey from dust to dust … and the Three Day Weekend was a great primer to prepare to me to do that work … I should say, to continue to do that work … to make that journey!

    The Magnificat meditation speaks of the “work of Lent” being about our building the ‘place for the Lord’ … building a place where we totally forget self and live our lives for another … for Him … both for Him directly AND for Him in our brothers and sisters …   That would be the self-surrender we hear about during the Three Days … that spirit of generosity that is required of those who profess to love Him.

    This ‘building the place for the Lord’ reminds me of St. Teresa of Jesus’ (Avila’s) moving from place to place through the interior castles … a journey that gets progressively more difficult the closer we get to Him … more difficult because it requires that we continue to work harder to rid ourselves of weaknesses, while at the same time we feel an obligation (out of love) to use the gifts that He gives us to help others (whether we want to or not).   This sounds kind of like Lent …  Yet, though the journey is difficult, it is also a journey that moves us ever closer to Him … toward union with Him … and that makes the journey a joy … it is a mystical journey.  I remember hearing once that the difference between an eastern mystic and a Catholic mystic is that the eastern mystic seeks and finds God, and then moves toward union with Him; whereas the Catholic mystic also seeks and finds God and moves toward union with Him, but first goes back to get family and friends, that they, too, might come to know union with Him.

    I pray that this Lent will be a more concerted effort on my part to make progress in the spiritual life … by building the place for the Lord …  My building plan will surely include work in the areas of holiness, formation, and evangelization … sound familiar?   I pray that this Lent will be a more focused journeying toward that place in the soul where He resides … that part of my heart and soul where He waits for me to discover Him …  And I pray that I will feel such a great outpouring of love (coupled with a spirit of generosity) that my only thought will be to bring my brothers and sisters with me on the journey … to Him!!

    The Ash Wednesday Magnificat meditation continues:  “The resurrection begins in our lives.  New life is capacity for affection, for building the presence of Christ in all relationships where man’s restlessness exists …”   That’s Cursillo!!  It’s making a friend, being a friend, bringing that friend to Christ!!  Fr. John Hardon’s “Modern Catholic Dictionary” says that “’affections’ pertain to the will, desires, and feelings, i.e., the outgoing activities.”  Affections are part of Cursillo … our will, our desires, our feelings …   They are the outgoing activities … praying (holiness) … putting on the mind of Christ in what we read/experience (formation), and then sharing what we’ve learned … and ultimately, doing something for the Lord just because we love Him and want others to love Him, too (evangelization) …  Jesus came to save ALL of us, and He asks our cooperation.  And it is in making a friend, being a friend, and bringing that friend to Christ that the resurrection begins in our lives … right here … right now …

    Magnificat’s commentary at the beginning of the section for the Ash Wednesday Mass says that “’the joy of our salvation’ begins today” … and so it does.  It is our joy and hope that will attract others to Him … that will cause others to want to journey with us to Him …  and that joy is for today … and every day.  May our Lenten journeys (from dust to dust) be fruitful … but most of all, may they be joyful …  After all, how can we not experience ever-increasing joy as we draw nearer to our Destination? … as we approach Him? …  He makes me smile … He fills me with joy …  So, as I sit in my sackcloth and ashes, I have a smile on my face …  Jesus live!! … in me and in others …

De Colores!!                                                              Kathy Springer

 From the Spiritual Advisor ...

    As I write these thoughts, we are in the first week of the holy season of Lent.  During Lent, we reflect on Jesus’ suffering and death, in obedience to His Father.  As we seek to grow in holiness, the Church invites us to practice the discipline of Lent.  The discipline of Lent is expressed outwardly through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  It is lived inwardly by obedience.  As Jesus obeyed His Father, so we must obey God and His Church.

    Obedience in little things makes it easier to obey in bigger things … The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “The word obedience is derived in Semitic languages from the word ‘to hear.’  It always implied two subsequent actions, namely to hear the command given, and to follow the will of the one giving the command or request.”  We want to hear with our ears and listen with our heart to the heart of Jesus.  Then we want to follow with our will, the will of Jesus.  That is the work of a lifetime.  But, it begins in the little things … the little things of Lent … the little things in ALL the areas of our lives.

    An old catechism, The Catechism Explained, says: “By obedience we accomplish the will of God most surely, for our superiors are God’s representatives, therefore their commands are God’s commands.  Thus ‘we willingly serve the Lord and not men’ (Eph. 6:7). We ought not to consider who it is who issues the behest, but only the will of God which is made known to us by the mouth of our superior.  …

    “Obedience gives value to all that we do.  The simplest action done out of obedience has greater value in God’s sight than the most austere works of penance.  Eating and sleeping, if done in obedience to the will of God, are more pleasing to Him than the voluntary fasts and vigils of the hermit.

    “By obedience we attain certainly and quickly to a high degree of perfection.  Obedience is the means of avoiding many sins.  It is the antidote to pride.  By the practices of the other virtues we combat the spirits of evil, by obedience we vanquish them.  And this is just, for since they fell through disobedience, by our obedience we show our superiority to them.

    “St. Augustine calls obedience the greatest of virtues; it is the parent and source of every other virtue.  St. Teresa declares that no path leads so quickly to the summit of perfection as the path of obedience; hence the evil enemy endeavors by all means to deter us from the practices of this virtue.  Obedience is the key that opens the portals of heaven, the ship that carries us into the celestial harbor.  Disobedience closed heaven and opened hell; obedience on the other hand opens heaven and closes hell.  ‘Learn,’ says St. Francis de Sales, ‘to comply willingly with the wishes of thy equals, and thus thou wilt learn to fulfill cheerfully the commands of thy superiors.’  Above all, when you have to obey, obey promptly, do not stop to deliberate; for reasoning is only a hindrance to obedience.  Remember that Eve began to waver as soon as she allowed herself to argue about the divine command.”

    So, as we continue the discipline of Lent, and the discipline of our lives as Baptized Catholics, and the discipline of our lives as cursillistas, we would do well to imitate our Lord and practice the virtue of obedience … and in so doing, to grow in holiness.  We are called to “be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” … We grow in holiness by being obedient, especially in the little things … right where He put us.  The Lord rewards faithfulness and obedience with His grace.  So, how is your living out of holiness, formation and evangelization helping you to be obedient to that which our Lord asks?  The Cursillo Method is a wonderful tool, if properly lived, to help us practice obedience.  After all, Christ is counting on us … and we can count on Him …

Happy Lent … Happy Obedience … Happy Easter …

De Colores!!                                                       Fr. Mark Seiker


(Insert #1)

Registration Form

School of Leaders
Quarterly Reunion
June 2-3, 2006
220 S. Walnut
Sacred Heart School - Shelby, NE

New participants are ALWAYS welcome ...

If you cannot be with us, we request Palanca for the success of the School.

Name: ________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________

City/State/Zip: _________________________________________________________

Phone:                                         Email: ______________________________________

Where and when did you make your Cursillo? ______________________________________________________

Are you able to receive the Sacraments of Confession & Holy Communion?    Yes     No

To which Organizations do you commit your time? __________________________________________________

Are you living the follow-up program of Group Reunion?    Yes     No

Are you living the follow-up program of Ultreya?    Yes     No

Do you have any physical/medical/dietary conditions to be considered? __________________________________

Please Return this Form WITH PAYMENT To:
Jon Junkin, 7820 Sandalwood Dr, Lincoln, NE 68510                                BY MAY 31, 2006

[Suggested donation (if you are able) is $15.00 per person to cover meals and a donation for facility usage.
Please make check payable to “Cursillo of Lincoln” and mail with the Registration Form.]

SOL is the working arm of Cursillo … May God us your time/talent/treasure in SOL to do the work of Cursillo ... build community with other cursillistas ... spend time in prayer and meditation with the Blessed Sacrament.  SOL is for ALL cursillistas ... men and women, couples, singles, priests and religious.

FRIDAY, JUNE 2nd (Retreat Phase ... preparation for Saturday's SOL)
        7:30pm ---      Registration (NO Meal Friday evening)
        7:45pm ---      Mass
        8:30pm --- Meditation, confessions, quiet time

SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd (School of Leaders Agenda)
        7:00am ---      Morning prayer and Mass, followed by breakfast
        8:30am - 3:00pm Group Reunion, Intro, 2-3 Sessions and Lunch
        3:00pm ---     Clean up and Depart (Supper not provided)

Please bring the following with you to the SOL:

Please bring a snack to share, if you like.

(Insert #2)

Registration Form

Region VI Spring Encounter
April 28-30, 2006
Bismarck, ND

(Insert #3)

Registration Form

Cursillo National Encounter
July 20-23, 2006
Villanova University, Villanova, PA

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