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The Way and the Eagle August 2016

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The Way and the Eagle August 2016

 Reflection from our Spiritual Director

 During 1987 I experienced my first Cursillo weekend at Galong. At the time I was in my third year at Seminary and I did not know what to expect out of this time. Over the time together I experienced a desire to walk more closely with Jesus but still struggle to put this clearly into words. There was a strong sense that my life was called to a deeper reality than just myself. I found that when I focus solely on what I am doing and what I feel is important that I tend to become somewhat distracted. My life seems to fly off in many different directions in the same time and the emphasis is on all the things I have to do in my day. When I am aware of these things happening it is a call to be more prayerfully present and to be open to the people that God calls me to encounter in that particular moment. I think this is the gift of the Fourth Day it is not about performance but about appreciation of how God is present at each moment. This is to become present to this moment and this day.



I have discovered that this pilgrim journey that Jesus invites me on calls me to become less absorbed either about my own weaknesses or in emphasising my own strengths. If I focus on my weaknesses it can cause me to centre on my failures, mistakes, and missed opportunities to connect with people. If I focus on my strengths I tend to focus on my own plans, the possibilities are open and how I will change the world. Both of these are points of reflection but I believe that God calls me back into this present moment and how this makes a difference. God’s grace is not about a wish list but rather an invitation to be present to this moment and this day. Eduardo Bonin placed this emphasis on friendship with God so that we could befriend each other and bring them to Christ. This is not as a method of recruitment to an organisation but being grounded deeply in a relationship of faith. We are not about setting up an institution but about a Movement which draws us closer to the heart of Christ and to the hearts of each other.



House at Cala Figuera - site of the first Cursillo weekend in 1944


I believe it is this strong sense of pilgrimage and friendship which endures within me. We are called to walk with some people for long parts of our journey and with others for a briefer period of time The essential element is about how we are present to the other in this moment. The three points of prayer, study and action recognise that we do not live in splendid isolation from each other. We are called to a point of discipleship which accompanies and cares for the soul of another. The place where heart speaks to heart.


There is a spirit of gratitude and generosity that has developed within me to know deep inside that my life is not my own. The group reunions, the ultreyas, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the weekends, my work as a spiritual advisor and most recently the international conversations in Mallorca seek to hold this creatively as part of the journey. They seek to make visible what can often be hidden. Essentially, Cursillo seeks us to enter more deeply into a relationship with Christ so that we can be for others and for our world.


So I find that those who have accompanied me have helped me to deepen my prayer. They have helped me to see that who I am is equally important as what I do. They have helped me to not see prayer grounded in abstract realities but in the concrete events of daily life. It is bread of life for us which nourishes and sustains us. They have helped me to see that study is not only about books but entering into the stream of life. There is an awareness that our lives are patterned by God and empowered by God. There is a need to enter into that reality with grace, humour and love. Lastly, my actions grow out of a relationship with God rather than being dependent on my own work. I am called to be present as I am, not in how I think I should be. What I do is creatively present through my relationship with God.

 Today I give thanks for the many graces I have received through the Cursillo Movement and for the way they continue to be part of my journey.

 De Colores

 Fr. John


President’s Letter

 Dear Friends,

 The last few weeks have been a busy time in my family, with a wedding in Colorado and the birth of a new grandchild in Melbourne. There is always a special atmosphere of joy in such gatherings.

 Celebrations continue through to the end of the year in our Cursillo Family as well, as we gear up for some diverse ways to mark the milestone of the 50th year of Cursillo in this Archdiocese. Details of the special anniversary Mass and Lunch on 23 October are given in this newsletter, as well as the Spirituality Weekend on 28-30 October. Please come along and invite friends and family, as we include cursillistas and non-cursillistas alike to celebrate with us. An early indication of attendees to these events would be helpful.


For this issue of The Way and the Eagle, we have delved back into past copies of the newsletter and have included some articles from the past. You may recognise some of the writers, which I hope might bring back memories of happy times in your own experience in Cursillo and "the way we were". Joe Jambor is also preparing a much larger document, containing photos, team and candidate lists and weekend reports etc, which will be put on to CDs and will be available at the time of our October celebrations.


Other significant events in the next six months, include the Western Women’s Cursillo at Galong from 25-28 August. It is significant that in our 50th year, Fr Mick Burke, whose experience of Cursillo goes way back, will be the Spiritual Director. Please contact Marie Ryan to send palanca or details of interested candidates. Your prayers and presence at the Clausura would be appreciated.


I would also like to note that one of our Spiritual Advisors, Fr Allen Crowe will conclude his 20 years as Spiritual Advisor of the Movement at the end of this year and will be standing down. We have very much appreciated his contribution during most of the years of his priesthood and I personally have gained much from his advice, his creativity and his friendship. We will be thanking him formally at his last Mass with us at the Spirituality Weekend in October.

At the end of the year, we will hold our AGM and the election of a new Executive. I am hoping that new people will step forward to leadership roles as we move into our next 50 years. Who knows what these years will bring, but we can be assured that our God accompanies us all into the future, whatever it may be.

We have much to be thankful to God for and I hope that you will join with us in coming together at the celebrations, to acknowledge the role Cursillo has played in our own lives and in the life of our Archdiocese over so many years.


De Colores


Merran Martin




God of These

 Snow glistening on Mt Kosciuszko


Summer daisies on the slopes of Crackenback


Stars ablaze over Goobragandra


Still, white moonlight bathing Talbingo Mountain


Sun sparkling on the Sapphire Coast


Scarlet autumn leaves ‘round Lake Burley Griffin


Sight of golden Cootamundra Wattle


Sound of breezes stirring Ungarie wheat fields


Sprays of dainty cherry blossoms at Young


Sunsets in Temora, brilliant red and gold.

 God of all these, be my God too.




(Nancy Wilson – W&E March 1992).



Western Deanery Women’s Cursillo

 Team training for the Western Deanery Women’s Cursillo to be held 25th to 28th August at St Clement’s Retreat Centre, Galong is coming along really well. The team of 9 has grown into a very special group of ladies who have a deep spiritual connection to their faith. With Fr Mick Burke as our spiritual director it is going to be a special weekend in August.




Team members: Hilda Fitzgerald, Canberra. Jeanne Montgomery, Grenfell. Mary Holmes, Young. Janice McCormack, Harden. Anne Morton, Temora. Anne McCrone, Temora. Miriam Millgate, Cootamundra. Mary Donnelly, Cootamundra. Marie Ryan, lay director Cootamundra. Please continue Palanca for the team and candidates as we prepare for the Cursillo and the Cursillo Weekend. The Clausura will be held in the Castle at 4pm on Sunday 28th August. We look forward to seeing as many Cursillistas who can join us there.





Any sponsorship for candidates would be greatly appreciated and may help a candidate who is unable to find the funds for this special experience in their life.






















Celebration Mass, luncheon and social afternoon - Sunday 23 October, 2016








50 years of Cursillo in the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn is certainly a significant milestone and one which the Cursillo family should gather together to celebrate the spirituality and friendships made through the Cursillo Movement. It is an excellent opportunity to reunite with cursillista friends from past Cursillo weekends, to remember cursillista friends no longer with us and to acknowledge the tremendous gift of commitment and support by both religious and laity to the Cursillo Movement. We all have been greatly enriched and blessed in a unique and special way through our involvement with Cursillo. Why not get together your Cursillo buddies from the past for a day of reunion and shared fellowship.


To celebrate God's many blessings through the Cursillo Movement, Mass will be celebrated at St Christopher's Cathedral, Manuka by Archbishop Christopher Prowse at 11 am Sunday 23 October 2016. Lunch and a social afternoon will follow straight after at the Collins Wing, St Benedict's Parish, cnr Jerrabomberra Ave and Sturt Ave, Narrabundah. Lunch will be provided at no cost.



To help with catering arrangements please send email advising of numbers attending and any dietary needs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 14 October at the latest. Cursillistas are asked to contribute a slice or plate of biscuits for afternoon tea.






Spirituality weekend - In the Heart of Pope Francis - Friday 28 October to Sunday 30 October 2016





In celebration of our 50th anniversary, a special live-in spirituality weekend is to be held from Friday afternoon 28 October 2016 (arrive 5.00pm for 6.00pm start and dinner) to approx 4.00 pm Sunday afternoon, 30 October, 2016. The weekend is to be held at Warrambui Conference Centre, 322 Greenwood Road Murrumbateman, NSW.


The weekend, entitled In the Heart of Pope Francis, will explore the key statements and teachings of Pope Francis and how they apply in our daily lives (our 4th day). The weekend will include reflections on Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel), Laudato Si (Care for our Common Home), Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith) and Misericordiae Vultus (The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy). This is an excellent opportunity to become more familiar with these key documents issued by Pope Francis.


The weekend will be a richly rewarding, varied and enjoyable experience which will include daily Mass, morning and evening prayers, short talks and meditations, discussion, music and a variety of activities. There will be ample opportunity for sharing and personal reflection. We are delighted to have Bishop Pat Power join us as a key note speaker and special guest at the weekend.


An all inclusive cost for the live-in weekend is $200 per person and is payable at the time of registration. Payment can be made either by cheque (made payable to: Cursillo Movement) or via EFT to BSB 062786 Acct 22730 Account Name: Cursillo Movement. Please use a unique combination of surname and initial as a message/reference to enable us to identifying your EFT payment.




Don't delay, apply today as numbers are limited. Complete and return the registration form in this newsletter either by mail or email by 7 October at the latest. Help us to promote this special weekend to your friends.  The weekend is suited to both cursillistas and non-cursillistas alike. For more information contact Joe Jambor (02) 6242 7332 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.







Articles from past editions follow to commemorate 50 years of Cursillo