August 15, 2014

Central Indiana Cursillo Community celebrates 50 years

Lafayette Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, center, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the opening Mass of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Central Indiana Cursillo Community on Aug. 9 at St. Susanna Church in Plainfield. Pictured at the altar, from left, are Deacon Frank Roberts, Father Glenn O’Connor, Father Paul Graf, Father Marty Peter, Bishop Doherty, Father Keith Hosey and Deacon Michael Gray. (Photos by Patty Lamb)

Lafayette Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, center, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the opening Mass of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Central Indiana Cursillo Community on Aug. 9 at St. Susanna Church in Plainfield. Pictured at the altar, from left, are Deacon Frank Roberts, Father Glenn O’Connor, Father Paul Graf, Father Marty Peter, Bishop Doherty, Father Keith Hosey and Deacon Michael Gray. (Photos by Patty Lamb)

By Patti Lamb (Special to The Criterion)

PLAINFIELD— Rob and Anjie Reuzenaar compared orchestrating the 50th anniversary celebration of the Central Indiana Cursillo Community (CICC) on Aug. 9 to planning their daughters’ weddings.

It involved sending invitations and tallying RSVPs, planning a liturgy, preparing food for the reception and enlisting the help of clergy, musicians and speakers.

A big undertaking for the Lafayette couple, it was worth all the effort as the celebration culminated in new and renewed friendships, propagation of the faith and lifelong memories.

Cursillistas from five decades gathered for the 50th anniversary Mass, celebrated by Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of the Lafayette Diocese, at St. Susanna Church in Plainfield.

The Mass and the reception that followed celebrated the Cursillo movement being active in central Indiana since 1964.

Cursillo, Spanish for “short course,” is a three-day weekend retreat during which lay people try to become more effective Christian leaders through piety, study and action.

The retreat includes 15 talks, some by lay people and others by priests, which bear personal witness to Christ’s presence in daily life. The goal for Cursillistas—a name for a Cursillo retreat participant—is to take what they have learned during a three-day retreat and evangelize in the world on “the fourth day.”

We are called to stand sentinel

Celebrating the commitment of the Cursillistas, Bishop Doherty talked in his homily about how Christians are called to stand “sentinel,” and be at the ready to serve and witness for Christ. He encouraged the congregation to pray to recognize the moments when God signals to us in life, and also to pray that we adequately perceive God’s intentions for us.

He also instructed listeners to call upon God for strength to do that which they are called to do, and for peace with what they can’t control. He stated that they can constantly improve in their roles to stand guard as they mature in their faith journeys.

Bishop Doherty also spoke of the courageous example of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a true Catholic sentinel, whose feast day was observed on Aug. 9.

The power of witness

The Reuzenaars, who are members of St. Lawrence Parish in Lafayette in the Lafayette Diocese, sat near the front of church, so they were unaware that the church had swelled with many Cursillistas filling pews behind them.

“At Communion, I saw the numbers of people come to receive the Lord in the Eucharist,” said Rob Reuzenaar. “It was one of those precious moments when I felt God’s presence and was filled with such joy.”

Reuzenaar explained his special appreciation for the Cursillo: “It’s a gift to hear Catholic lay people witness to how Christ has worked in their lives. They talk about how God saw them through crises, addiction and rough spots in life, and that’s not necessarily something you always find at church. Truly connecting with others on their faith walks makes this movement especially empowering for Catholics.”

Father Glenn O’Connor, who serves as co-spiritual director of the Central Indiana Cursillo Community with Father Mike McKinney of the Lafayette Diocese, agrees that the Cursillo weekend is empowering.

“Cursillistas return to their parishes with a renewed excitement in their faith,” said Father O’Connor, also the pastor of St. Susanna Parish. “And it’s particularly special for priests to see their parishioners excited about their faith.”

The day’s festivities continued with a luncheon and talks by multiple Cursillistas from each decade. A Saturday vigil Mass was concelebrated later in the day by several Cursillista priests, followed by dinner and “Ultreya,” a Spanish term for “onward.”

At any point in the day, Rob Reuzenaar could be caught smiling. “We thank God for seeing this celebration come to fruition,” he said.

The Central Indiana Cursillo Community offers four retreats each year, with two in the spring and two in the fall. The upcoming Fall Men’s Cursillo is scheduled for Sept. 4-7 at SonRise Retreat Center in Anderson. The Women’s Fall Cursillo will also be held in Anderson a few weeks later from Sept. 25-28.

For more information about the Central Indiana Cursillo Community or to register for an upcoming Cursillo, visit www.cursillo-cicc.org or inquire within your parish office.
 

(Patti Lamb is a member of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield.)

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