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Welcome 2013: A Letter from Mike Helkenn

De Colores Friends,

As we say goodbye to 2012 and welcome 2013, I am reminded to reflect on my blessings and give thanks to our loving Father for these. I am not one to make “New Year’s Resolutions” (most of mine last only minutes anyway! For instance: “I will cut down on my chocolate intake.” Yeah, right…), so I won’t. I would like to list a few of the many blessings that I have received this past year, though, and I pray your list is at least as long as mine.

I am thankful for:

  1. My lovely bride, Janice. She still loves me, which is both miraculous and joyous. Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift!
  2. My two daughters, Marie and Julie. Their love and kindness are proof that Janice and I did something right. Bless their efforts to be loving and faithful to you.
  3. My friends (especially my “Groupies”)! I am blessed to have so many. If I start naming them, I’d run out of space or forget someone. Every one of these men has loved me in ways only God knows. Their support, prayers, laughter, and tears are truly from God. Their advice and counsel have made a positive impact in my life and have helped me become a better person.
  4. My health. (No, this is not a joke!) Though I have had several issues, I still am able to see the grass from the green side, hear the birds sing, smell the freshness of the ocean, feel the rain on my face, and taste any number of delicacies.
  5. My job. God has blessed me with a teaching career that has been (mostly) enjoyable and rewarding. Thank you, Lord. Bless my students… their lives will be more challenging than people realize.
  6. Cursillo. God uses this movement to help us humans realize how much we are loved and how we can better love one another. Great method, too: Make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ. Who knew that sharing regularly with others our struggles and successes in Piety, Study, and Action would have such a dramatic effect in our lives? Thank you, God, for revealing this to us!
  7. Patrick O’Brien. His leadership of this movement during the past years has been consistent and loving. I am blessed to call him “friend.”

My prayer for all of us in this New Year is that we can be aware of more opportunities to be a positive influence in our environments. I pray that we can be examples of Christ by our actions. I pray that we continue to be Christian leaders at home, work, school, and play. I pray that others will see our love and be moved to seek the One who is Love.

“Let your gentleness be known so all may know the Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5)

Much love,
Mike Helkenn

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2013 11:39

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Letter to the Cursillistas of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires

Letter from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the Cursillistas of the Archdiocese
June 13, 2011, Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church
Originally published by Agencia Informativa Católica Argentina
Translated by Los Angeles English Cursillo Spiritual Director, Fr. Modesto

Letter to the Cursillistas
of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires
My dear Cursillistas:
"The good seed are the children of the kingdom." (Mt. 13:38)
As we approach the celebration of the feast of Saint Paul, your patron and model of how to live "de colores", we give thanks to God for all the fruits that the Cursillos in Christianity Movement has generously given the Church.
Your service of proclaiming Christ by being his witnesses in your everyday environments, is an embodiment, a concrete renewal of the Baptism that we have received in Him and makes you disciples and missionaries of the Word, as this was expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: " Through their baptism and confirmation all are commissioned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself" (Lumen Gentium no. 33).
I write to you conscious of the challenge that today's society presents to the enculturation of the Gospel; but I trust that your audacity and apostolic fervor - born of a personal encounter with self and with Christ - will lead you to make history for the good of all. So that, many brothers and sisters, marginalized or not, who live on the fringe may feel embraced by the love of Jesus.
To be a pilgrim in our City means not becoming comfortable, but to be open to life and to pay attention to what is happening in our heart - like a good Samaritan confronted with the difficult circumstances of so many brothers and sisters.
It is necessary that the Cursillos in Christianity Movement, through the participation of everyone, continue its journey of pastoral conversion as proposed at Aparecida (Cf. 5th General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, "Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ")
As Cursillistas living through difficult times you need to ask God for the Grace to have many candidates, to have an ongoing precursillo, so as not to fall into the hopelessness that paralyzes and causes anguish.  The gift of theKerigma that you received in your Cursillo sends you on mission as proposed by the tripod of piety, study and action.
As an Archdiocesan Church, we need the unity of all in Christ, so that He, and only He may reign in our hearts and we may thus be able to recognize him like the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
In thanking you for your journey as a Cursillista, I ask you not to stop renewing your apostolic zeal and dedication and that of your brothers and sisters in your Group Reunion before Jesus in the Eucharist.
Today more than ever we need that your nearness in the environments be a source of light and joy for so many brothers and sisters who do not yet know that God is a Father who loves them tenderly.
Today more than ever we need your presence so that many families may encounter the transcendent love of Christ - a new and greater dimension of human love.
Today more than ever we need you and your witness at the Ultreyas, so as to go "onward", to go beyond, in the proclamation and experience of the Kerigma.
I ask that you pray for me.  May Jesus bless you and Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace, keep you.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 16:10

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©2012 San Diego English Speaking Cursillo

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