Peoria Cursillo Newsletter - August 2022
Peoria Cursillo Community News & Updates

August 2022

Sign up for Cursillo programs can be done by calling the Cursillo Office at 309/676-5587 or online. Following is a list of upcoming events. Feel free to invite a friend to join you! Please see more information about upcoming events at the link to our website below:
Upcoming Events

Please join the Cursillo and TEC communities for our "Open House" on Monday, Aug. 8 from 5-7 p.m. at our new home at the Holy Family Convent! The location is 2312 W. Wagner Lane, and it can also be accessed from the Holy Family school/church parking lot. This location is the site of our Cursillo and TEC offices, and will also serve as our host location for Monday Night masses, team meetings and weekend palanca chapel. Come check out the new palanca/wheat chapel, freshly painted and updated Fr. Tom Henseler and the Dcn. John Skender conference rooms and the new team meeting room! Appetizers and beverages will be provided. At 6:30 p.m., Monsignor Jerry Ward will offer a blessing over the new chapel and conference rooms.

We will be resuming Monday Night masses at our new home at the Holy Family Convent beginning at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22!

Join us Saturday, Aug. 6 for our August Ultreya!
The Ultreya is Saturday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Morton. The Theme is "In God's Time."
  • Celebrant: Monsignor Jerry Ward
  • Lay Reflection by Cheryl Sprague
  • Hosts: Kathy and Gene Brandt; Joe and Julie Blair

Guests are welcome! Families are welcome! Following the mass, we will have social time with beverages and snacks. Reservation forms will be available for the September (Sept. 29-Oct. 2) and October (Oct. 27-30) weekends. There will also be a chance to sign up for Palanca for the upcoming weekend! See you there!

Save the dates for these upcoming Ultreyas:
  • Saturday, Sept. 10 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Bartonville
  • Saturday, Nov. 5 (Diocesan Ultreya with Bishop Lou Tylka at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 5 p.m.. Cursillos from across the Diocese plan to join us!

Let's Make Cursillo #1204 (Men's) and #1205 (Women's) the best Cursillos ever! Save these key dates! Both of these weekends will be held at the Sacre Coeur Retreat Center near Magnolia, IL.

Men’s Cursillo #1204 (Sept. 29-Oct. 2)
  • Theme: "You Just Might Meet Jesus"
  • Rector: Mark Bursott
  • Board Advisor: Bill Fischer
  • Navigator (new role created to advise Board Advisor as needed): Terry Pyatt
  • Apostolic Hour – Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church – Metamora
  • Clausura – Oct. 2 at 4:30 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church – Peoria 

Women's Cursillo #1205 (Oct. 27-30)
  • Rectora: Jodi Scott
  • Board Advisor: Denise Henderson
  • Navigator: Kathy Collins
  • Apostolic Hour – Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Peoria
  • Clausura – Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church – Peoria 

Full rosters of the presenting and supporting teams (palanca, kitchen, etc.) will be shared in September.

Help Needed for upcoming Cursillo weekends!
Palanca Update (Chairs Ron and Pat Malik)
We are happy to announce some exciting updates to Palanca as we resume Cursillo weekends! A few changes have been made to provide opportunities for Palanca in support of the Team and Candidates due to our move from the Spalding Center. We look forward to assisting you and receiving feedback as these updates are implemented. Here are a few of the changes and updates:

The 72-Hours of prayer during Cursillo weekends will be a mixture of traditional in-person at the Palanca Chapel at the Cursillo Center at Holy Family Convent (HFC) and virtual Palanca chapel via a Zoom Room.
  • The traditional Palanca chapel at the Cursillo Center at HFC will be like what you experienced at the Spalding Center. The changes will be in location and times. In-person Palanca at the Palanca chapel at the Cursillo Center at HFC will be available on Cursillo weekends from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday) and 6 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Sunday).
  • The virtual Palanca chapel will be via a Zoom room, and will be open continuously throughout the Cursillo weekend. We will need cursillistas praying in the late evenings and early mornings (like always) – you will simply be praying in an online chapel with others. There will also be a video link between the chapel at the Cursillo Center at HFC and the chapel at Sacre Coeur before, during and directly after a Rollo. This allows people at the Cursillo Center at HFC chapel to see the Rollista at Sacre Coeur and offer real time prayer before and after the rollo! 
  • The virtual Palanca chapel will allow you to sign Love Script pages just like you would in person. You will simply type your message in the chat section of the Zoom Room. These comments will be saved and printed on the Love Script. 

We will be offering something new - virtual Palanca during Team Formation!  This will be from 7-10 p.m. beginning August 22, 2022, when team formation begins and each following Monday during team formation. We will use the VIRTUAL Palanca Chapel only for the team Palanca (not in person) due to facility limitations. Please try out this new opportunity to provide Palanca for Men’s Cursillo #1204 by signing up to pray in the virtual chapel.

You will be able to sign up for traditional in-person, virtual, and team formation Palanca online. We will continue to send email updates and use  Additionally, there is a new PALANCA tab on the Peoria Cursillo Web site ( which you can use to sign up directly for all pre-Cursillo and Cursillo weekend volunteering opportunities. 

Kitchen Update (Chairs Paul and Micki Martin)
Help is still needed in the kitchen for Cursillo weekends! For weekends that are held at Sacre Coeur (September and October), we will not be preparing the food, but we will continue to serve meals for the team and candidates. Sign-up sheets will be available; space will be limited. Also, for weekends at Sacre Coeur, you may still provide cookies/cakes/pies, but they must be store-bought only due to health/facility restrictions.

Porters and logistics
The Thursday reception during Cursillo weekends for team and candidates will now be held at our home at the Holy Family Convent. That's where sponsors will bring their candidates on Thursday, and pick them up after the Clausura at Holy Family on Sunday afternoons. For weekends at Sacre Coeur, we will be transporting the team and candidates by bus to the retreat center. Luggage will likely be transported separately.

We are in need of someone who has a covered trailer who can transport luggage to and from the retreat center in Magnolia. We will be leaving the Cursillo Center (Holy Family) at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 and then need to transport team/candidates' luggage on the following Sunday afternoon (roughly 2 p.m.). If you are able to help (in September or October), please contact Mark Sanders at

Additional Rekindle Opportunities - Piety, Study, Action
Boundless Compassion Program
Please join Lynn Barnett, a trained Boundless Compassion facilitator and Cursillista, who is offering a special program to our Cursillo community. This will occur for six consecutive Tuesdays from Sept. 13-Oct. 18 from 10:30 a.m.- 12 noon in the St. Francis Room at our new Cursillo-TEC Offices at Holy Family Convent. This small group is limited to 10 people, so please sign up as soon as you can:

Participants are asked to bring a copy of Boundless Compassion by Joyce Rupp to the first meeting. Per Lynn's request, for everyone's health and safety, participants are required to wear masks. You can call, or email the Cursillo Office with any questions.

A simple "Thank You" or note of encouragement goes a long way!
Our Cursillo Rekindle experience has nurtured a new successful ministry! Do you like to write notes? We are looking for additional volunteers to help write personal notes for the following: those on the Prayer List, teams in formation, candidates, those who do special projects, those who serve at Ultreyas and weekly masses, etc.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Julie Blair at (309) 360-8215, Chris Mitchell (no texting please) at (309) 682-3933 or the Cursillo office at (309) 676-5587.

The entire Steering Committee would like to recognize Chris Mitchell in particular for this ministry. Chris has written more than 700 notes in the past year! Chris, thank you for all you do! You are such an invaluable member of our community!
Carpenter's Toolbox - The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments: A Catholic Journey through Recovery by Scott Weeman.
In the first book to directly integrate the Twelve Steps with the practice of Catholicism, Scott Weeman, founder and director of Catholic in Recovery, pairs his personal story with compassionate straight talk to show Catholics how to bridge the commonly felt gap between the Higher Power of twelve-step programs and the merciful God that he rediscovered in the heart of the sacraments.

"At last, a book that orients the wisdom of Twelve-Step recovery toward the grace of the sacraments and vice versa. Part memoir, part manual, this book shows that the principles of the Twelve-Step movement harmonize perfectly with Catholic anthropology. It's all here: the slavery to a harmful pleasure, the realization that God alone can break the chains, the need for honest self-disclosure, and the call to help sufferers break free and stay that way. Weeman’s own escape from the dark vortex of drug and alcohol addiction is proof positive that the sacraments can transform earthly sobriety into heavenly
sanctity." --Patrick Coffin, Author and host of The Patrick Coffin Show

Free Outdoor Concert
On Saturday August 20, the Peoria Heights Congregational Church, in partnership with radio station WCIC, is welcoming Christian band “Unspoken” to Tower Park in Peoria Heights for a free outdoor concert. The concert begins at 5 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Admission is free; any love offerings will be collected.

Cursillo Service Spotlight

2022 Cursillo Anniversaries


5 yr #1135 Heidi Harbers
10 yr #1017 Mary Ann Noe
15 yr #867 Linda Sprague
20 yr #702 Sherry Urbanc
25 yr #540 Louise McCann
30 yr #400 Ora Johnson
35 yr #312 Anne Carignan
40 yr None
45 yr #115 Dave Reising

35 yr #313 Marcia Dickerson
40 yr #207 Frances Buczynski (D)
45 yr #117 Brenda Eustice
50 yr #W16 Merry Foster

A Prayer to Bring a Friend to Christ
Loving and gracious God,
I thank you for calling me into a closer relationship with you through Cursillo;
I thank you for my sponsor who heeded your call to invite me to a Cursillo weekend;
I ask, Lord, that if it is your desire, you put someone in my heart to invite to make a Cursillo,
and ask that you give me the words and faith to guide them.
Lord help me to bring a friend to your loving and merciful embrace.
I ask this in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Please say some special prayers for Girl's TEC #370, which is taking place this weekend... Aug. 6-8.

Spiritual Message
August - In God's Time: Be a Friend and Bring a Friend to Christ

A Message from
Sr. Subha Clare Ramesh
In 2018, I moved to Peoria to enter the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception as a postulant. I left my family and friends to move to Peoria, entering into a new life as a discerning religious. I did not have any friends or know anyone in Peoria when I moved here. I was beginning to make connections in my community when one of my sisters, Sister Cecilia Mattingly asked me if I would like to make a Cursillo. Sister Cecilia made Women’s Cursillo #9 in March of 1970. I had no idea what Cursillo was, or why she was inviting me to make a Cursillo, but after much prayer, discerned God wanted me to make a Cursillo, so I became a candidate for Cursillo #1158 in July 2018.
The weekend was amazing! I met women who have a heart for God and for each other. The friendships formed among the team and candidates reminded me of the many Christian friendships I had back home in New York. After my weekend, one of the assistants on the team, Denise Henderson, invited me to join her reunion group, which I have been a member of since 2018. 
Much has changed since 2018. Peoria is home, not New York. I professed first vows and have grown closer to my sisters in my religious community. Since 2020, I am serving as a spiritual director with Cursillo and involved with the Steering Committee. Most significantly, I have many friends in Cursillo with whom I can share the joys and sorrows of life, and journey with them in our lives in grace.

Through Cursillo, God is blessing me with many Christian companions on the journey. It all happened because one person, Sister Cecilia Mattingly (pictured above with me), discerned and asked me the question, “Would you like to make a Cursillo?” She opened the door for me to be at home in Peoria. I thank God every day for her heeding the promptings of the Holy Spirit to ask me to make a Cursillo, enabling me to be part of this loving community.
Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to invite someone to make a Cursillo? Men’s and Women’s weekends are planned for this fall. Let’s make a friend, be a friend, and invite a friend to Christ! De Colores!

God Bless,
Sr. Subha Clare Ramesh