Synopsis of School of Leaders Presentations
May 31, 2014
1. Fr. Marc Montminy on Elements of the New Evangelization:
• The New Evangelization is centered on Christ- meeting, living and sharing Christ. It is Christ who is the evangelizer through us, and the laity is the “sleeping giant” in this missionary work. Our personal and joyful witness (kerygma) is the key to this evangelization. We must live the message, not just preach it, or we will lose people.
• The New Evangelization is about strengthening the Church of which we are a part. The Church can’t be seen as the “enforcer” of morality, but must help bring Christ to people where they are through new methods for conversion/encounters with the living Christ. It is by encountering Christ that people will see the need for conversion of their lifestyles, and they will do it lovingly.
• The New Evangelization is about empowerment by the Holy Spirit. The Church needs to be a credible witness in the world, or she loses power to evangelize. This evangelization needs to be founded on Family Renewal, for the family has been the “devil’s target” for some time now.
• The New Evangelization is about transforming the world, by being the “light and leaven” in our environments, with a particular focus on Mary, who is the Star of the New Evangelization. It is also about exploring new models of being Church- the life and mission of the “domestic” and local church.
• We are in the end times so we must prepare all people for Christ’s Second Coming.
2. Claudette’s Presentation on the “Study of the Charism”
• Evangelization is the call of every baptized Christian. Throughout the centuries, men and women have carried the Good News through their words and actions. Renewal of the Church and the New Evangelization have been two goals of the Church since Vatican II, and the Holy Spirit has endowed many people with wonderful charisms to complete these goals.
There are 4 points to ponder in the Study of the Charism:
1- The Good News- God loves us all!!
2- Friendship- The authentic and sincere sharing of oneself to bring God’s love to others, and more importantly, to create a hunger in others for God
3- Personal Witness- the authentic living of the Gospel message in all of our environments so that we can be “leaven” in them for Christ
4- The Faraways- Those who don’t know God, don’t think God loves them, those who know God, but seek happiness elsewhere, those who are misinformed, uninformed, inactive/indifferent/complacent in their spirituality
• We must know our founder, Eduardo Bonnin Aguiló, to know what the charism of Cursillo is. He had a very spiritual upbringing and discovered early in life that God loves us all!! He also had many good friends, and while in the military, he experienced a deep camaraderie with his soldier buddies, but found that they were very closed off to religion (and thus, a close relationship with God). He felt that if he could evangelize them through authentic friendship, they could change their lives, and ultimately the world, if God’s love became a reality for them. He joined Catholic Action in 1943 and along with reading the papal message of Pope Pius XII to rebuild the European Church by calling the “faraway sheep” back, he was very excited to launch Cursillo as we know it today. His tripod of Piety/Prayer, Study, and Action/Work would lead him to write the first Cursillo rollo- The Study of the Environments.
• A charism is a free gift from God the Holy Spirit to build up the Church for the common good (ex: 1Cor. 12: 4-6, 11). The Charism given to Bonnin is to evangelize individual persons in our daily environments through authentic friendships, that God loves us all unconditionally. Evangelization is not unique to Cursillo, but evangelizing through personal friendships, one person at a time, is. This is critical to all of us- to understand the proper Method to use the charism as it was given by the Holy Spirit. Friendships take time to develop, so does evangelizing, so be a “crock pot,” not a “microwave” when using the Cursillo Method.
• Love is the greatest charism/gift of all because it brings harmony and unity to the whole Body of Christ. Bonnin saw friendship as the product of loving relationships and service to all in Christ. So, “Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Bring a Friend to Christ” is not just a nice mantra for us to say, but the mantra to live by as Cursillistas to make the New Evangelization a reality in this world of ours.
• Pre-Cursillo is the time to make friends, share your lives with them through personal witness and authentic Christian living, so that a hunger and curiosity is created within these friends to know God’s love and mercy and TRUTH. Cursillistas should truly know a person as a friend before inviting them to live a Cursillo weekend. Sponsors should be living an apostolic lifestyle and the Cursillo Method, and discuss with potential candidates/friends what Cursillo is, what the weekend entails, and what the commitment is in the Fourth Day (to evangelize environments and to gather in small groups and Ultreya to maintain a connection with fellow Cursillistas). Sponsors should invite candidates who can sufficiently have the 3 Encounters on the weekend (with self, Christ, and others) and commit to the apostolic mission in their Fourth Day.
• The 3-Day Weekend is the furthering journey of the three encounters begun in the Pre-Cursillo phase. It is the living and sharing what is fundamental to being Christian in fellowship. At small group reunion tables during most of the weekend, and as a collective community during meals and other activities, we build friendship that should last beyond the weekend. Team members are strongly encouraged to stay in touch with their “babe chicks” so authentic friendships are realized. Each meditation and rollo builds upon each other to further reveal God’s love and mercy, and ignited by these, the weekend gives us the tools and the confidence that we can go forth and share the Good News with others in friendship. One lives a Cursillo weekend in order to live the Fourth Day- to crystalize into reality what has been experienced during the 3 Day Weekend.
• The Post-Cursillo continues the tripod of Piety, Study, and Action and makes the Mantra, “Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Bring a Friend to Christ” a reality. Cursillistas live their Christian calling/lifestyle and continue to make friends in their environments, but also in small Group Reunions (intimate sharing with very close friends) and Ultreyas (larger community gatherings and sharing with other “brothers and sisters” whom we see less often), with a Fourth Day witness to encourage us to “go forward” (In Spanish, the word is “Ultreya!!”
In summary, The Purpose of the Charism of Cursillo is directed to the Person, so that all people will know that Good News of God’s love in Christ, with special care to the Faraways, and this is all realized through the testimony in friendship. Christ became a man in order to reach humanity in unique ways that only God can, but Cursillo seeks an effective way to reach all people, especially the Faraways, in their own environments, so they might hear and know of God’s love. Jesus invited Philip and Andrew to “come and see” what He was doing. If our friends want to know Christ and what He is doing for us all, the Cursillo Method, in its entirety, is the way to invite our friends to “come and see.” Remember, Christ is counting on you!! De Colores