“Make a friend, be a friend, bring your friend to Christ”
Greetings Dear Friends,
This has been another difficult year for everyone, including worldwide Cursillo. We hope that there is some light and hope ahead as we come to the end of 2021, trusting that the Lord never leaves us to carry our burdens alone. Certainly, we have hopeful news with the intervention by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life at the Vatican, into the issues that have taken up too much attention regarding the future governance of our Movement.
The proposed amendments to our Statutes, which were aimed at unifying the Movement, have only caused further disagreement and disunity among National Secretariats in different parts of the world. Fortunately, the head of the Dicastery, Kevin Cardinal Farrell, has stepped in to cancel the scheduled Extraordinary Meeting to decide on the proposed amendments, which was to be held in Argentina next March. Instead, he requires the OMCC (that is, the Executives of the four International Groups and the OMCC Executive) to gather in Rome in the first half of 2022, where he will assist in the process of reconciliation and finding a new form of international coordination of the Movement, based on international participation in the Presidency. We ask you to pray for the success of this process, which we hope will be conducted in the spirit of synodality.
At the end of 2022, the VIII World Encounter in Mexico will be the opportunity for the delegate of each National Secretariat in the world to vote on this new model of international participation in the Presidency which is to be included in the Statutes. It is important for everyone to continue to study these outcomes as they come to hand, in order to be fully informed and provide input to your representative before voting.
NEWS FROM OUR COUNTRIES
VIETNAM IN DIASPORA contacted us to say that they have a new Secretariat based in Australia and we were able to have a meeting with them via Zoom. We congratulate the office bearers and look forward to working with them. They are in the process of contacting Vietnamese speaking cursillistas in other countries to see how they might be of service to them. They have been severely impacted by the Covid 19 lockdowns in Australia and have had to cancel Three Days in 2020 and 2021 but have plans to resume activities in the new year.
AUSTRALIA has had a National Secretariat Meeting online this month and a new Executive was elected. Terrie McLean continues as Australian Cursillo President for the next two years and leads an experienced team. Anne Moloney was elected as the International Representative and will be Australia’s delegate at overseas meetings. We wish them well for the future.
APG Treasurer, Rhonda Porteous has prepared a Finance Report for 2020 and 2021, which she will send to you shortly. Although we advised that APG invoices would not be sent out, we are grateful to those who sent a contribution. We will pay our OMCC affiliation fees for this period as soon as we are invoiced and confident that we have the correct Vatican Bank account details.
APG EXECUTIVE NEWS
As you are aware, the term of office of the OMCC Executive and all the International Group Executives have been extended until the end of 2022. The APG Executive members have agreed to continue in their roles for the extra year with the exception of our Vice President, John Andrews. We have appreciated his valuable gifts and service to the Movement over the last four years. At the recent Australian National Secretariat Meeting, a new Vice President was appointed and will take up the position in January 2022. This is Peter McMahon, whom many of you may remember from our 2019 APG Encounter in Hawaii and from his term as OMCC Treasurer, when Australia was the coordinating country of the OMCC from 2010 to 2013. Peter has a lot of experience in worldwide Cursillo and has worked with President Margaret for many years. Margaret has had a difficult year with her health, after the fractures she suffered after a bad fall meant many weeks in hospital at the beginning of the year. Just recently she was in hospital again for heart surgery and is now recovering. Please pray for her and for us all in the year ahead.
A MESSAGE FROM Fr JOHN
Servant leadership is a phrase we may have heard, but not fully understood. Often, we imagine leaders being appointed over us to govern us rather than being people who live among us for our good. It is the difference between exercising power and authority. Authority comes about through a person living in the midst of us and sharing the same life as us. There is a responsibility to be at one with others so that we may act for the good of the whole and not just for the individual in power. This is an art that needs to be lived as much as to be learned.
When we listen to Jesus as he speaks about this leadership we can notice where he directs our attention. This is not about receiving privileged seats at the table but rather a willingness to share in the reality they are called to be present to. They need to be people who have open hearts and engaged minds applied to the greater good and not just to their own interests. This calls them to be willing to give their best for the good of the whole.
Yet, we know people in leadership have to balance their own instinct of self-serving and their own weaknesses which can often be exploited by others who seek special favour. It is why we need to pray for those called to leadership whether it is in the secular or religious realm. We need to pray that their faith in God does not fail them or us. They need to be people of considered judgment and great wisdom. To be people who do not trust themselves to their own whims but are gently discerning of the Spirit who guides them.
By suffering for others with their lives, they raise up a community that looks to the margins. They notice that in listening to those in greatest need they empower a commonwealth of gifts to emerge. It sees each person as created in the image and likeness of God. It builds up a society of saints who are of service to each other by undertaking who they are called to be, in what they do.
We conclude with a prayer of St Augustine, as we continue to encourage each other in working for the Lord in our environments.
Give us the sense of comradeship, with heroes and saints of every age;
And so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us
On the road of life, to your hour of glory. Amen
Margaret, Fr John, Merran, John & Rhonda
ASIA PACIFIC GROUP EXECUTIVE
CURSILLOS IN CHRISTIANITY