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 August 2002

    Calendar of Events
Sept. 11, 2002                 Secretariat Meeting 7:00pm at St. Joseph Church, York, NE
Sept. 12-15, 2002            Men’s Weekend St. Michael School, Hastings, NE
Sept. 15, 2002                 Closing for Men’s Weekend 5:00pm at St. Michael Church.
Sept. 19-22, 2002            Women’s Weekend St. Michael School, Hastings, NE
Sept. 22, 2002                 Closing for Women’s Weekend 5:00pm at St. Michael Church.
Oct. 4-6, 2002                 Cursillo Regional Meeting at St. Mary School, David City, NE
Oct. 2 and 8, 2002          School of Leaders – First Meeting (Two Locations to be announced)
Oct. 26, 2002                  Postcursillo Reunion for September Weekends – (time/location TBA)

Palanca and Palanca Letters REVISITED ... Formation continues ...

Changes in the 3rd Day and the Closing REVISITED ... Formation continues ...
    As a result of feedback from the Fourth Day community, further reflection on the changes to the Sunday schedule of the Three Day Weekend, and clarifications from our Regional Coordinator, we are making the following clarifications and adjustments: PRAYER/ADORATION HOURS for the Hastings Weekends (listed by Ultreya Centers)
Thursday, 7:00pm - Midnight         David City
Friday, Midnight - 5:00am             Lincoln
Friday, 5:00am - 10:00am             Beatrice/Crete
Friday, 10:00am - 3:00pm             McCook
Friday, 3:00pm - 8:00pm               Plattsmouth/Offutt
Friday, 8:00pm - Sat., 1:00am       Wahoo
Saturday, 1:00am - 6:00am            David City
Saturday, 6:00am - 11:00am          Lincoln
Saturday, 11:00am - 4:00pm         Beatrice/Crete
Saturday, 4:00pm - 9:00pm           McCook
Sat, 9:00pm - Sun, 2:00am            Plattsmouth/Offutt
Sunday, 2:00am - 7:00am             Wahoo
Sunday, 7:00am - 5:00pm             Hastings

School of Leaders ... On July 26-27, 2002, a ‘practicum’ of the School of Leaders (SOL) was held at St. Joseph in York.  The word ‘practicum’ means “a course of study designed especially for the preparation of teachers and clinicians that involves the supervised practical application of previously studied theory” ... it seems appropriate here.
    The weekend began with Mass, reflection, night prayer, and Confession on Friday night (the ‘retreat phase’) to allow time to pull away from the stress of the week and put on the mind of Christ.  Saturday morning began with morning prayer, Mass, and breakfast, with the practicum phase beginning immediately after breakfast.
    The purpose of this practicum was to experience the format, method, application, and work of the SOL.  Three sessions of the SOL were held focusing on the three sections of Cursillo: Precursillo, the Three Days, and Postcursillo.  For each session, a typical SOL format was followed: the Leaders’ Prayer; Leaders’ Group Reunion (small group sharing of 3 or 4); doctrinal talk (given by Fr. Seiker, each talk tied to one of the three sections); technique talk (given by the corresponding Chair of each section (Precursillo: Tom Schik, Three Day: Ron Sladky, Postcursillo: Joan Junkin)); large group table discussion with targeted questions and a report back to the entire group; and concluding prayer.  The talks and discussions were very beneficial in generating awareness and ideas in each of the three sections of Cursillo in our Diocese.
    Having experienced three sessions of the SOL in the one-day practicum, the next step is to begin regular meetings of the SOL.  The first session will be in October (there are team formation meetings in August for the September weekends, and in September we have the Three Day weekends and planning for the Regional meeting).  We propose covering one topic each month offered in two different locations.  One session would be held on the first Wednesday of the month in an eastern location of the Diocese (e.g., Lincoln area), and another session would be held on the second Tuesday of the month in a central/western location of the Diocese (e.g., Hastings area).  Since both sessions will cover the same topic(s), persons could attend the SOL at either location depending on their schedules.  We are trying to make the SOL accessible to anyone who wishes to be involved.  There may be months when a SOL is not scheduled; those attending will be notified.
De Colores!         John Springer (SOL Chair)

Living the 4th Day ... The life we live is an instance in the passing of all eternity.  What an opportunity the Father has given us to not only live for Him, but to live life in the fullness of happiness, making our very lives a burnt holocaust ... offered back to Him!
    It was four years ago that I lived my Cursillo weekend in David City and began my “4th Day”.  At the time, I was discerning what God wanted me to do with my life.  During the course of those three days, with much prayer and the example of surrender from the men on that weekend, I knew it was time to trust God with all of my life.  I felt that God was calling me to serve Him in a way more radical and reckless than I could have ever imagined.  I tried the summer seminary program, but that wasn’t it.  However, the experience did serve as a means to test my surrender.
    In the spring of 2001, I interviewed with a new Catholic program called FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.  The mission of FOCUS is to bring the wonderful fullness of the Gospel to college students.  It has been said: “The leaders of tomorrow are in the classrooms of today.”  FOCUS challenges students to live a life dedicated to sobriety, chastity and excellence.  We take students and train them so they can be the best doctors, lawyers, priests, religious, moms or dads that they can be.
    FOCUS is beginning its 5th year of service and will be on 11 campuses throughout the United States.  We recently finished summer training, with 50 of us being sent out to serve as missionaries for these campuses.  I just completed my first year at the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) and have been reassigned there for the next academic year.
    FOCUS and its missionaries will continue to be successful only through the support of families, friends and leaders in the community who recognize the great need that exists on college campuses.  FOCUS missionaries are responsible for raising 100% of their financial support to cover living and ministry expenses.  I am looking for 50 people who would be interested in donating $30 per month to help support me (one-time gifts are also appreciated).  These donations are 100% tax-deductible and will go solely towards my missionary efforts.
    If you are interested, please send donations to: FOCUS, P. O. Box 1210, Greeley, CO  80634 (and reference my missionary ID number, 9760, on your check).  You can also contact me via email, with questions or just to chat:
    If Cursillo has taught me anything, it is that the Lord won’t be outdone in generosity.  Please pray for me that as I travel through my 4th Day, I will continue to be generous with Him and for Him.
De Colores! Be Blessed     ...     Adam Ybarra

From the Spiritual Advisor
    In John’s Gospel (Jn 14:6), Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”  As cursillistas, we have heard and learned that the Way might be spoken of as Evangelization or service.  The Truth might be spoken of as Formation or knowing the Lord.  The Life might be spoken of as Holiness or loving God.  Those three legs of the Tripod are necessary in our Christian life as cursillistas.  Our lives must involve holiness, formation, and evangelization.  Those three legs are a part of our ongoing conversion.
    If we want to be followers of Jesus Christ, we must be involved in conversion.  If we want to be cursillistas, we must be involved in conversion.  Many of us experienced a conversion experience on our three day weekend.  Hopefully that was only the beginning of our conversion experience.  Fr. Benedict Groeschel talks about daily conversion.  As he has traveled over the world and spoken to holy men and women, he often asks them: “Are you still being converted?”  Their response is always: “Yes, daily!”  St. Paul tells us: “obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12)  St. Paul tells us that we must not conform ourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of our minds.  That is conversion.
    The Lord wants our conversion.  He wants us to be formed in His image and likeness.  He wants us to let Him work through us.  He wants to lead us.  He leads us through others.  He leads us through the Cursillo Movement.  We cannot lead Christ or tell Him the way to go.  We cannot tell the Church or the Cursillo Movement the way to go.  St. Peter tried to tell Jesus not to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die.  Jesus reminded Peter that He must suffer and die.  Jesus told Peter: “Remember that Satan has asked for you, to sift you all like wheat.  But I have prayed for you that your faith may never fail.  You in turn must strengthen your brothers.”  (Lk 22: 31-32)
    Only after following the Lord, who is the way, the truth, and the life, and being daily involved in conversion, can we lead others.  To lead, we must follow.  We must be open to the Lord, to the Church, to our Holy Father, to our Bishop, and to the Leaders in the Cursillo Movement.  Our prayer must be that we are open to the Lord and to His ways and His will for us, each day of our life.
    St. Catherine of Siena said in a prayer to the Lord:“[Lord, ]You are eternal infinite goodness.  No one can fully know or understand You except as You grant that knowledge, and You grant us as much as we open the vessel of our soul to receive.”  Listen again to those words: “The Lord grants us as much as we open the vessel of our soul to receive.”  We must say Yes to the Lord.  We must be willing to be converted by Him each day of our lives.  In the Christian Life, we can not really say: “Been there, Done That!”, as if our conversion is a once for all experience.  One spiritual author said: “Just when I think I have mastered my bad habits and cleansed my old ways, I can find myself repeating them again.  It would be easy to et discouraged with this process if it were not for the truth of God’s mercy and forgiveness.  With God’s grace I know I always have another chance to ‘wash myself clean.’”  The Lord calls us to continually, daily, be converted.  We must be willing to die to ourselves, to selfishness, to sin, to our wills, to the ways we have always done things before, and allow His life to be born again in us through the graces of the Sacraments.
    Even the personal experience I related to you at the beginning of this reflection, must be lived new each day by me and by you.  I must be converted and you must be converted.  Each of us is called to Holiness (to live His life not our own), to Formation (to His truth, not ours and not the world’s), and to Evangelization (to His way and in His service, not in our own service).  Another spiritual author said: “If we are having difficulty with how we are serving others, then perhaps we have forgotten why we are serving them.  At the core of our why there has to be love.  No other reason will do.”
De Colores!         Father Mark Seiker

Region VI Meeting ... The Fall Region VI meeting is Oct. 4-6, 2002, at St. Mary School, David City, NE.  We need volunteers to help with set up, meal preparation and serving, and clean up.  We encourage you to attend the Regional meeting.  The topics being discussed are: School of Leaders; Sponsorship; and Spirituality of a Leader.  These topics are particularly applicable to the ongoing discussions in our Diocese.  Plan to attend the Regional meeting and deepen your knowledge of the Cursillo Movement ... experience the larger Cursillo Community.  It doesn’t get any closer than this!

From the Lay Director
    For some time now, I’ve been praying about what it is I should say.  I’ve known that I need to talk about “change” and the difficulties associated with making changes, but I wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it.  As I prayed/thought about it, two recurring themes seemed to emerge – trusting God and the idea of the Refiner’s fire/His pruning us (ouch!).  Change is seldom easy … and it often hurts … but we have to trust that He does it for our own good …
    Just before sitting down to write this, I came from a visit with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament … it was during the 3:00 o’clock hour … the hour of mercy.  On the way to Church, I listened to a song entitled, “Trust in Me,” by Donna Cori Gibson.  The refrain to the song says, “Trust in Me … I’m Jesus … Trust in Me … I died for you …  My Heart is tender and broken … My arms are ready and open … Believe in Me … it’s Jesus … Believe in Me … I’m calling … calling you … And I’m waiting to give you everything you ask … Everything you ask Me to.”  The song has a very strong Eucharistic theme – most appropriate for preparing to listen as I sat with Him … I was already thinking about trust …
    Since it was the hour of mercy, I began by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  As I prayed, the words “Jesus, I trust in You” on the Divine Mercy banner seemed to be more in the form of a question than a statement of faith.  Did I trust Him?  I DO! … Even in all of the change … actually, I see His hand in it … I trust implicitly in His graces and the marvelous ways He uses them to change hearts and lives …
    We don’t always understand the things that God asks or the challenges He gifts us with.  I think of St. Pio (Padre Pio), who has been a good “friend” in my life.  He had lots of challenges in his life, but he accepted them graciously and in an attitude of prayer.  Because our Holy Father announced that the feast day of St. Pio will be celebrated on September 23, the first Fourth Day for the women living the September Weekend, I asked the team to join me in asking for his intercession.  As I prayed in Church today, my thoughts turned to him and I prayed a prayer he wrote: “O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our
souls and that of Your Church.  Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.  May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us as You desire for Your greater glory.  O Jesus, most adorable Heart and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.  Amen.”  He, too, is asking for confidence and trust in Our Lord’s divine mercy … for courage to accept that which is hard for us … for an attitude of openness/humility in asking Him to act in us …
    When I headed to Church today, I took many intentions with me, acceptance of change being only one of them.  I left ALL of them at the foot of the cross … I DO trust in Him …  Just before leaving, I prayed the “Prayer of the Cursillista” (pg. 61 of the Pilgrim’s Guide) and I ask you to join me in praying that prayer now:  “Lord, help us to use our time, our talents, our lives for the building up of Your Kingdom.  Instill courage into our initiatives, good judgment in our choice of the proper means, and that determination which assures success even in times of seeming failures.  Move us above all discourtesy, sensitivities and rivalries, which not only discourage and divide us, but lead us away from loving You and each other.  Help each one strive for the gift of Your unselfish love that will embold us to prefer the more humble tasks and rejoice in the good done by others.  Lord, let all see Your attractive goodness marked on all our faces, Your warm accents in all our works and in our community, a unity and a holiness that proclaims Your living presence in our midst.  Amen.  Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron of the Americas.  Pray for us!  St. Paul, Patron of Cursillo.  Pray for us.”
    I firmly believe that God is good …. all the time … and holy is His name!”  JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!!
De Colores!!         Kathy Springer, Lay Director

Sponsors, Sponsors, Sponsors!!
    During the National Cursillo Encounter this past July, a synod approach was used to provide input for National to disseminate to all dioceses about how to strengthen the Cursillo Movement in each diocese.  During the session entitled, “Integrating New Cursillistas,” one of the priests told of his father’s having been a realtor and stressing that real estate was all about “location … location … location” … he made the analogy that the task of integrating new cursillistas into the Fourth Day is all about “sponsors … sponsors … sponsors.”  With the September Cursillo Weekends fast approaching, it seems appropriate to refresh ourselves in regard to the responsibilities of sponsoring a candidate to the Cursillo Weekend.  The following quotes from the Cursillo Movement’s Sponsor’s Booklet is intended to provide a little better understanding of exactly what the sponsor’s role is intended to be:
    "The purpose of sponsoring is to bring about a change in the environments.  You should have a plan on how you are going to do this.  Part of your plan would include identifying those individuals that have the talents to bring about the change – bring Jesus Christ into their environments.
    “So sponsoring is not a haphazard circumstance.  It should be a deliberate act to bring Jesus Christ into the world.  Therefore, you should know your candidates very well.  If they are married, you should know their spouse as well.  Your candidates will become the agents for change in their families, work situations, neighborhoods, social gatherings, etc.  Your candidates will become part of the Christian community that links together with others to bring Jesus Christ to the world.  This is the purpose of sponsoring!” ...

Sponsor’s Role Before the Weekend

     “In the past, our candidate preparation may have been along the lines of: ‘Oh, you just have to make the Weekend.  I can’t tell you anything about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you.’  Another method (in the past) was: ‘I won’t explain the Group Reunion and Ultreya because this person probably won’t go to the Weekend if they know that there is a follow-up program – and besides, they will all be told about Group Reunion and Ultreya during the Weekend.’
    “This type of preparation is one of the biggest reasons the Postcursillo programs of Group Reunion, Ultreya, School of Leaders, and Environmental Group Reunion are not as successful as they should be.  It can be said that our Postcursillo will only be as good as our Precursillo.  So, candidate preparation is an absolute necessity.
    … “Besides sharing these Postcursillo expectations with your prospective candidates, share also all aspects of the Cursillo Weekend.  Explain to them about the complete Cursillo Weekend …”
    “Each day of the Cursillo Weekend begins with Morning Prayers and ends with Night Prayers.  Mass is celebrated daily (except Thursday).  Each candidate should be aware that, since prayer is such an intricate part of the Cursillo Movement, there will be other cursillistas that will be continually praying and offering up sacrifices – for the success of the Cursillo Weekend.  There will be proper nourishment provided and also adequate rest periods.  Those that have special needs, such as a particular diet or physical needs, will be attended to properly.  Be sure to explain the costs associated with attending a Cursillo Weekend.
    “Thursday night – This is a time to get to know each other and to have an overview of the Cursillo Weekend.  This is also the retreat phase of the Cursillo Weekend, which is designed ‘To awaken the moral consciences of all the candidates, beginning with an analysis of their own lives and causing them to desire to encounter God.’ …
    “Friday – The focus of Friday should be to help each candidate to have a better understanding of themselves.  Friday should help them discover what motivates them in different situations.
    “Saturday – The focus for Saturday is to combine that fully realized self (that they learned about Friday) with a wonderful and loving God.  Saturday helps all the candidates to understand the current relationship that they have with God and should spawn a desire for a still deeper and fuller relationship with God.  …
    “Sunday – The focus for Sunday is the understanding of ourselves, our relationship with God and how we can help Him in fulfilling His Will.  We learn what environments we belong to and how we can affect those environments. …
    “In addition, insure that your candidate has transportation to the Weekend.  Find out what is needed for a comfortable stay (i.e., linens, towels, toiletries, etc.).  See if your candidate will need assistance with things such as the home, spouse, children, pets, etc”.

Sponsor’s Role During the Weekend

    This should be one of the shortest chapters of all Cursillo literature.  During the Cursillo Weekend, the role of the sponsor is to PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY some more.  Sacrificing is also highly encouraged.  Help with any of your candidate’s things that need attending (i.e., transportation, home, spouse, children, pets, etc.).  Then PRAY some more.  Most important – be there at the closing.  If you know that you will be unable to attend the closing, then tell your candidate and make the necessary transportation arrangements (so your candidate can get home).”

Sponsor’s Role After the Weekend

    “Be willing to meet with this new cursillista in a one-on-one setting.  Try to answer any questions that this person might have.  If you do not know the answers, assure the new cursillista that you will attempt to find someone who can provide the answers.
    “Group Reunion and Ultreya – Be sure that this new cursillista finds a Group Reunion.  It may be yours or a different group entirely.  Of course, the Ultreya is always a good place to find group members … take them to Ultreya!
    “Penetrating Environments – Ask about this person’s environments.  Help them develop a plan to change their environment.  Try to give ideas about possible ways of evangelizing each of those shared environments.  Share also your own environments.  This new cursillista may have some suggestions, to share, about evangelizing your environments.
    “Personal Contact – It is not enough to send someone to the Cursillo Weekend and expect the team to work miracles.  The new cursillistas need as much personal attention after the Cursillo Weekend as they received during the Cursillo Weekend.  Probably even more!  We must make a conscientious effort to insure that we do all that can be done.


    “In the past, the Cursillo Movement was primarily thought of as a source of individual spirituality.  Today, we must realize that this individual spirituality is just not enough.  Today, we must add to that spirituality.  Our society needs us to be apostolic.  Our Church needs us to be apostolic.  Our world needs us to be apostolic.  But most of all, Our Lord wants us to be apostolic.
    “Let us strive to be Christ-like.  He chose individuals to become ‘fishers of men.’  Should we do any less?”
    The above discussion provides the basics of what is involved in sponsoring a candidate to a Weekend.  You are encouraged to review “The Cursillo Movement’s Sponsor’s Booklet” as well as the appropriate sections of the Leaders’ Manual in detail.  The sponsors role cannot be stressed strongly enough … Christ is counting on you!!

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