4th Day Chronicles

September 2016

Important Dates to Remember:

Clausura at St. Joe’s for CLE 9 on Sunday Sept 18th at 3pm

Grand Ultreya Christ Lutheran Brea 820 W. Imperial Hwy. Sept 25 at 2pm

From St. Joe’s to The Cursillo House
By Mike Kaspar
You can't begin a new chapter until you "Turn the Page" on the old chapter. Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California is almost ready to begin that new chapter in our rich history. We are moving our weekends from St. Joseph's Salesian Retreat Center in Rosemead to a new facility called “The Cursillo House ” in Pomona. After more than 25 years it is time to move on. If we had decided to keep our little piece of Heaven all to ourselves we would of already had our final weekend at St. Joe's in July of this year. As Matthew 25 tells the parable of the talents where the man with 5 talents uses them wisely, LCSC has used our gifts wisely by opening up our arms to the Spanish Community by creating CLE. (Spanish Lutheran Cursillo). We still have one more weekend to celebrate. Patty Granados will lead CLE #9 for our final weekend at St. Joe's on Sep 15-18, 2016. (Plan to attend our final Clausura at St. Joe’s on September 18th)

Lutheran Cursillo has seen peaks and valleys in terms of the number of pilgrims being served. We have held weekends with as few as 8 or 9 pilgrims to as many as 35-40. At one point there were so many women on a waiting list that we had to schedule two women's weekends back to back. I have heard it said many times, including by myself, that "This was the exact number of pilgrims that God wanted on the weekend." When I sit back and think about that I come to the conclusion that God really wants filled weekends with waiting lists every time, but we as his servants have not been as diligent in our efforts as we could have been.

The faithful servants, some who have served with us for over 25 years, have shared with more than our Spanish brothers and sisters through CLE. Early in our history two visionary Lutherans, Les Keeler and Carl Lord worked to make 3 day prison ministry a reality by bringing Golden State Kairos to Southern California.

Many of our own men and women, including our late friend Don Dunn, have proven faithful by serving our Lord in:

  • Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution
  • California Institution for men Chino
  • California Institution for women Chino
  • Ironwood State Prison
  • RJ Donovan Correctional Facility
  • Victorville Federal Correctional Institution for men
  • Victorville Federal Correctional Institution for women
  • Victorville Federal Penitentiary
  • California City Prison
  • Kairos Outside (for women of incarcerated men)
  • Epiphany in Camarillo (incarcerated youth)
  • Epiphany in Chino (incarcerated youth)
  • ...probably others that I have failed to recognize....

Our trusted servants did not stop after Kairos either. In February of 1995 we took several men and women to the Mile High State to help with Lutheran via De Cristo #1 in Colorado. Colorado VDC is about to celebrate their 39th weekend this fall.

We have also planted a coed, ecumenical, 3 day ministry right here in our own backyard which serves not only Lutherans, but is open to all who profess salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Via De Cristo of Southern California and the Central Valley began with a core of strong leaders from LCSC including Frank Tuminia and Jim Turner as rectors for VDC Weekends #1 and 2 in El Camino Pines and Santa Barbara respectively. We donated our time, talents and treasures because our God asked us to. They are now celebrating their 51st weekend in October of this year.

LCSC is not done with our growth. One of members, Nancy Cotta, is working to bring a new type of three day ministry to Southern California from Chicago. It is called CREDO. This 3 day will minister to those who are in recovery from the disease of addiction. Step three of a twelve step program says we, "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him." Why not let that God be our God, the Creator of the Universe? This is what CREDO is designed to do.

If we try to add up the 165 Lutheran Cursillo weekends with the 9 CLE, 51 SoCal VDC, 39 Colorado VDC, and probably near 100 Kairos/Epiphany/Kairos Outside weekends you will see that we have been good stewards of the talents the Lord has blessed us with by facilitating or working over 300 weekends. In the end He will certainly say, "Well done Good and Faithful Servants." But the end is not here yet. There are many fields yet to harvest.

This move from Rosemead to Pomona is a win win for LCSC and St. Joe's. The mission of the Rosemead facility is gearing more towards the Youth of the Catholic Church and the new facility in Pomona offers more comfortable accommodations for those of us with a few more years invested in life. Each of their 85 luxury single bed suites comes with a fireplace, Private Jacuzzi and sitting room complete with 72” flatscreen TV. (Well maybe not quite all that. I haven’t been there yet, but the photos do look new, modern and clean.) We will have clean, private showers, a working dishwasher and A/C in all of the meeting rooms.

It is with great fondness that we all remember the sometimes uncomfortable Thursday night silence. We have been humbled by having our feet washed by our own pastors and trusted leaders. We celebrate the tears of relief we have shared at the Saturday afternoon altar experience. Nobody can deny the shock and surprise of Angels singing in the background at our first Agape Feast. The roar of laughter at Pastors in skits that can only be described as

"What Happens in Cursillo...."

"Stays in Cursillo....

We all share these memories, but we have to remember as we move on to Pomona that the focus needs to be on the new pilgrims and their experiences and memories. We can't focus on "How things used to be when we went through our weekend back in the Original Location." We will need to focus on the future pilgrims and their only memories in this new facility. We can't have a division of those of us who remember "How things used to be" vs the "Newbies." This is not the end of something, this is a new beginning. This is our new chapter. It is now really time to "Turn the Page."

We have lots to crow about