A New Day

Transforming the World in Christ


The Diocese of Harrisburg Cursillo Newsletter

Volume XXVII No 6, November/December, 2000



Reflections on the Historic 70th Men’s Cursillo

By:  Michael V. Ciccocioppo, Jr., Rector, Men’s 70th Weekend


                During the Great Jubilee Year 2000, when the Holy Father and the bishops of the world formally entrusted the world and the entire third millennium to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a small band of 22 men (9 candidates and 13 team) christened the Saint Cyril Academy Education and Spiritual Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, with its first Cursillo.  The entire weekend was dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to show our love for the Mother of our Brother, Jesus, and to stand in unity with the universal Church during this historic weekend, October 5 – 8, 2000.  Through the grace of God, the protection of Mary, and the generous Palanca of so many, peace reigned throughout the weekend and the men stayed absolutely focused on the call they had received from Christ that weekend.


                The spaciousness of the facilities in Danville, and the magnificence of the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius, added a certain sense of awe to the Cursillo.  The holiness of the grounds and the presence of the grace-filled sisters provided a witness to the dedication of innumerable devout Catholics who have lived their lives for the greater glory of the Kingdom of God.  So many factors must be considered when assessing the profound success of this weekend, that one can scarcely imagine all the natural and supernatural phenomena at work on these 22 chosen souls.  But I would like to reflect on just a few for your consideration.


                Clearly the Blessed Mother was a key factor in this weekend.  Not only did the sacred entrustment take place in Rome that Sunday, but also, Saturday was the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  We prayed to Mary from the early stages of team formation, and all the way through the weekend, for her protection and intercession.  Many of the team prayed the rosary and the novena prayer to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for the nine days leading up to the Closura.  Our two tables were named for Mary’s spouse, Saint Joseph, and for her servant, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.  A special lighted shrine to Our Lady with fresh red roses in our Palanca Chapel watched over the men as they came before the Eucharistic Christ in adoration.  And the images of both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary were at the front of the drill room as a constant reminder throughout the weekend.


                The complete dedication of the team was evident during the period of team formation and right through the weekend.  The Sisters have a contract food service company  that prepares and serves all the meals at Saint Cyril’s.  So there was no need for the traditional “kitchen crew” that we are all so accustomed to.  But this meant a smaller team was in order. 


Then, due to circumstances beyond their control, three team members could not be present for the weekend—including our beloved Vince Leone who was slated to be rector, and who had recruited and formed the team over two months time.  This reduced the number of team to 11 laymen and 2 spiritual directors.  Our first big test came in filling the responsibilities of the men who had to drop out.  Team members generously responded, and all the gaps were filled.  Another issue was how to ensure 24-hour coverage in the Palanca Chapel.  Again, team members jumped at the chance to serve by agreeing to individually cover multiple hours.  Team prayed before the Blessed Sacrament continuously, except during the group photo on Friday and during the Mass on Saturday.  Sister Mary Gilbert, SS.C.M., herself a Cursillista, offered to cover these times so that we could all be together.  Finally, each member of the team remained flexible during the weekend as we encountered little adjustments that had to be made to our normal way of doing things so that we could adhere to the rules of our newfound facilities.   


                A final, but certainly very important, consideration in assessing the success of this weekend had to do with the nine candidates themselves.  These men were very diverse.  They came from all corners of the diocese.  Their ages ranged from fathers of young children to more senior men.  They were single and married.  And their work lives included a variety of callings.  The one thing they shared in common was a sincere interest in discerning why God had chosen them, at that moment in their lives, to make a Cursillo.  Beginning with the retreat Thursday evening, all the way through the Closura on Sunday evening, they were totally focused on each meditation, each prayer, each talk, each discussion, and each moment of grace.  They opened themselves to Christ, and He filled every thought and every molecule of their being.


                We are so blessed in this Diocese to have an active and vibrant Cursillo Movement.  The lives of the men of the 70th, and the lives of every Cursillista, have been changed forever as a result.  Never take the Movement for granted!  Pray for its leaders, and do what you can to support and promote it every chance you get.


One Mighty Big Thank You!


I’d like to thank Rita McGinty (W-40), our recently retired editor of  A New Day.   Many of you know Rita, and are aware of her time consuming “Bag Lady” ministry.  This ministry keeps Rita running many nights of the week, along with many weekends.


Despite the demands of being the Bag Lady, Rita still published this newsletter for at least three years (neither Rita nor I can remember how long she has been the editor).


Rita, thank you very much, and may God continue to bless you and shower you with His graces.                    ---- Steve Cordier (M-46)



Welcome to Our New Cursillista

Brothers and Sisters


Men’s 70th Weekend


Doug Burger

St. Patrick, Carlisle


Casimir Erzegovich

Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick


Robert Fulton, Jr.

St. Joseph, Danville


John Grady

St. Francis Xavier


Michael Howe

St. Columba


Rick Souders

St. Joseph, Lancaster


Joseph Strouse

St. Theresa


Drexel Wright

St. Columba


John Yagel

St. Monica



Women’s 63rd Weekend

Julia Becker

St. Pius X


Catherine Bennick

St. Joseph's, Danville


Patricia Bubnis

St. Columba


Lila Welliver

St. Columba


Mary Muolo

St. Pius X


Sandra Mash

St. Catherine Laboure


Beverly O'Neill

St. Katharine Drexel


Denise Pisarcik

St. Joseph's, Danville


Roseann Quick

St. Joseph's, Danville


Helen Raski

Christ the King


Susan Risner

St. Bernard's


Patricia Scardigli

Christ the King


Ruth Ryan

St. Pius X


Dee Pytko

St. Joseph's, Danville


Mitzi Ruszkowski

St. Katharine Drexel


Chris Sheridan

St. Theresa's


Sharon Trani

St. Joseph's, Lancaster


Conchita Vivas

St. Columba


Catherine Wallace

St. Joseph's, Danville


Mary Kline

Christ the King


Catherine Leiphart

St. Pius X


Elizabeth Luise

St. Bernard's


Marge Murphy

St. Columba


Elizabeth Hnylanski

St. Columba


Dorothy Fox

St. Monica


Barbara Graham

St. Katharine Drexel


Mary Ann Hackenberg

St. Joseph's, Danville


Suzanne Haile

St. Columba


Ann Hanincik

St. Ann's Byzantine


Adelina Capitan

St. Basil the Great


Assunta Castellucci

St. Monica Church


Helen Durso

St. Monica Church


Elizabeth Fink

Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick


Wilma Fleshman

St. Katharine Drexel


2000 Secretariat - Diocese of Harrisburg


Spiritual Advisor 

Msgr. Thomas H. Smith

St. Joseph Church

440 St. Joseph Street

Lancaster, PA 17603



Assistant Spiritual Advisor

Father Francis Menei

PO Box 3094

Shiremanstown, PA 17011




Lay Director

Brenda Wilt

249 Redwood Lane

Carlisle, PA 17013




Lay Director Elect - Vacant

Pre-Cursillo Committee

John Rossi

3 Holly Drive

New Cumberland, PA 17070




Cursillo Committee

Tom & Lois Wonsiewicz

110 Rodney Lane

Camp Hill, PA 17011





Post-Cursillo Committee

Sheila Quinn

1380 Third Avenue

Chambersburg, PA 17201





Bob Nelson

814 Hillaire Road

Lancaster, PA 17601





School of Leaders Coordinator

Bill Rockwood

1211 E. Powderhorn Road

Mechanicsburg, PA 17050




Secretary (Communications)

Steve Cordier

14 Creamery Road

Boiling Springs, PA 17007





2001 Spring Cursillo Weekend Dates


Men’s Weekend (June 7-10, 2001)

Women’s Weekend (June 21-24, 2001)


Both weekends are scheduled to be held at Saint Philip’s in Millersville.


Don’t delay, beat the Christmas rush, get your candidate applications to John Rossi.  John’s

address, email address and phone number are in the Secretariat section of this newsletter.




2001 Winter Social


January 27, 2001

After the 5:15 PM Mass


St. Patrick’s, Carlisle

Marsh Drive Church / Social Hall


Get READY - It’s A Sock Hop


More information to come next month!




Team Application


Clip and mail to Tom & Lois Wonsiewicz (address listed above)


Name                                                           Phone Number                          Parish

Address                                                       Group Location

                                                                   Group Time

Email Address


I am interested in working (Please Circle):     Men’s Spring                  Women’s Spring


Important Dates and Information


School of Leaders/Secretariat (2nd Saturday) Dec. 9 and Jan. 13 - 9:00 AM - Diocesan Center, Harrisburg  Secretariat meeting immediately following the School of Leaders (approximately 11:00 AM).  Contact Bill Rockwood for more School of Leaders information.


Ultreyas - Call your contact in case of inclement weather.


Bloomsburg/Danville - Next Ultreya TBD. Contacts - Sharon Hartzell, 570-389-9220 and Karen Konkolics, 570-389-0456, email: krepent@bwkip.com


Chambersburg - Combination Ultreya/Christmas Breakfast Dec 2 after 8:00 AM Mass.  Contacts - Sheila Quinn, 717-263-0464 or Carolyn Hager, 717-261-5790, email: chager@innernet.net   Contact Carolyn or Sheila for the location.


Harrisburg - (1st Tuesday - every 2 months) Dec 5 (Advent social) at St. Catherine's (Hospitality Room) at 7:30 PM.  Contact - Colleen Hoover, 717-564-2409, email: rahoover@worldnet.att.net


Hershey/Lebanon -  (4th Monday)  No December Ultreya   Contacts - Paul Olsavsky, 717-566-8981 and Mary Harp, 717-583-0439


Lancaster - Special December Ultreya Date - Dec. 6 - Mass at St. Leo at 7:00 p.m. followed by grouping will be at the Nelson’s home immediately following the Mass.  Bring a dessert or hors d' ouevres to share. RSVP by Dec 5th.  Contacts - Bob & Cam Nelson,

717-898-7783, email: corvairmonza@msn.com


Lewisburg/Selinsgrove/Sunbury -  (2nd Wednesday) Dec 13 (Sharing social) at St. Pius X at 7:30 PM.  Contacts - Joe Scartelli,

570-374-9954, email: josephj@sunlink.net


West Shore - (3rd Thursday) No December Ultreya.  Contacts - Tom & Sharon Boucek, 717-774-1112, email: TEB47@epix.net or Jan Cincotta, 717-432-2587, email: drmomjfc@aol.com


Newsletter Deadline - December 9 - Mail or email articles/information to Steve Cordier (address in Secretariat section).


Newsletter Address Changes or Email List - Contact Steve Cordier (address in Secretariat section).