Robert Lauricella was installed as the executive lay director and fellow cursillista, Bob Morris, was installed as assistant lay director of the Trenton Cursillo Movement.  They join Father Edward Blanchett, the spiritual advisor for the group, for a photo. Matt Marzaroti photo.
Robert Lauricella was installed as the executive lay director and fellow cursillista, Bob Morris, was installed as assistant lay director of the Trenton Cursillo Movement. They join Father Edward Blanchett, the spiritual advisor for the group, for a photo. Matt Marzaroti photo.

Members of the diocese of Trenton’s Cursillo movement gathered in St. Mary Church, Middletown, Sept. 10 for the installation of its new lay officers. The installation took place during a Mass celebrated by Father Edward Blanchett, spiritual director of the diocesan Cursillo and pastor of Visitation Parish, Brick. Father Jeffrey Kegley, pastor of St. Mary Parish, and Father Jerome Guld, pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Burlington, concelebrated.

Long-time Cursillo participant and St. Mary parishioner, Robert Lauricella, was installed as the executive lay director and fellow cursillista, Bob Morris, was installed as assistant lay director. Morris is the coordinator of youth ministry in St. Martha Parish, Point Pleasant.

Father Blanchett, who has served as the spiritual advisor for more than 10 years, spoke on the importance of the Cursillo movement in the Church.

“As a lay movement in the Catholic Church, Cursillo brings to life Pope Francis' call to recognize and support increased involvement of the laity in the life of that Church. Although I serve as the spiritual director for Trenton Cursillo, I'm only an advisory member in secretariat (the governing council) as well as planning the liturgies, providing sacramental and spiritual support during the Cursillo weekends.”

The focus of the role of the laity in maintaining the leadership of Cursillo is significant, Father Blanchett said.


“It is the lay members that determine the direction of Cursillo; my administrative duties come into play only when there is a question regarding Church teachings and practice. This trend is something that benefits the Church as a whole. It is no coincidence that many people active in Cursillo are also parish leaders. Drawing from their experiences in Cursillo, they bring that knowledge and wisdom into other important aspects of their involvement as Church.”

In the Diocese of Trenton, the Cursillo movement began as a Spanish-language outreach in 1971 and was introduced in English the following year.  The Cursillo weekends consist of prayer, mediations, presentations led by both lay and spiritual directors and small group discussion. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Trenton Cursillo.

“The election of Robert Lauricella as lay director and Bob Morris as assistant lay director offers exciting opportunities for the movement in this most challenging time. Robert has been with Cursillo for many years and brings with him the experience of many leadership roles in Cursillo and other parish leadership positions. This will help keep the Trenton Cursillo well-grounded and mindful of its roots. Bob, as his assistant, will bring his energy and on-going work with the youth group in St. Martha towards increasing the involvement of young people. I'm sure that this will contribute to the vibrancy and continued relevance of Cursillo's mission in the Church and in the world.”

Lauricella expressed his gratitude on his installation and what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure.

“My heart is full of gratitude. I thank everyone in the community for supporting me and Bob in our installation Mass. The Mass was so Spirit led. A lot went into in preparing that Mass. In these troubled times we are living in please stay focused on Christ. Christ be our light. He is our hope and he is our joy.”

He continued.

“I am looking forward to implementing new ideas and working on getting new candidates to join us. I always saw myself as becoming a leader in the movement for many years and follow many excellent Lay directors. I know I am being guided by the Holy Spirit along my journey as Lay director. I discerned this decision and prayed on it for some time.  I am praying that I will be a good leader to represent the movement in Trenton Diocese.”

For more information about the Diocese of Trenton’s Cursillo Movement, visit trentoncursillo.org or email trentoncursillo@gmail.com.