ANNIVERSARIES AND NEW BEGINNINGS
I am getting plenty of opportunities lately to practice my Spanish. This morning I celebrated Mass acknowledging forty years of the Spanish Cursillo movement in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Within days of the official creation of the St. Petersburg diocese, there was the first Cursillo week-end in Spanish. English language cursillos followed about a year later. In the ’70′s and ’80′s the Cursillo movement was quite active and many women and men rediscovered the beauty of their faith during these week-ends of prayer, reflection, Eucharist, reconciliation and support.
Cursillo is a lay led movement with a team of leaders and usually one priest who plan for months prior the actual start of the week-end on Thursday evening. Team members generally prepare and serve meals, clean up, lead presentations and discussions, and place themselves at the total service of those who are making the week-end. Womens and Mens Cursillos occur about six times a year in the diocese and they never mix the sexes. A priest is also present for the week-end. At the end, the cursillistas are joined by their families for a clausura or closing Mass and then a celebration. Lives are almost always changed and faith is deepened. It was a pleasure to offer Mass for this group today, to thank God for their work in the our diocesan history of forty years and to wish them continued great success in the future.
Then I had a wedding at the Cathedral. One of the young men who has served my major Masses and Holy Week at St. Jude’s for many years asked me if I would witness his marriage to his fiancee. How could I say “no”. I am so blessed to have a corp of altar servers who serve my Masses on all occasions at the Cathedral and since they are always there for me, I am happy I can be there for them at major moments in their lives. Congratulations Renee and John Kowalik as you begin your married life together.
Now it is time to begin to think about the next major Mass in Spanish which will take place at 5:00 am at the Plant City Municipal Stadium on December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.