Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Venice Florida
- PALANCA -
Mary Pat Palombo
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
- John 15:4-5
What is Palanca?
“Palanca” is a Spanish word which means "lever." A lever is normally used to move something which one could not move by normal strength. Palanca then, helps us achieve something not possible without the grace of God. As Jesus states in the Gospel of John, without Him we can do nothing.
Palanca in the context of Cursillo is the same. All of our efforts to bring others to Christ can be of no avail without the prayers, sacrifices and spiritual works that are done with the help of the Holy Spirit which brings us the grace to be used to serve God.
We are to do Palanca constantly, in the form of morning offerings, personal prayer periods, Masses, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Rosaries, Stations of the Cross, and Spiritual Reading done solely for the success of Candidates, Team Members and the Cursillo Movement in general.
The Palanca that we are familiar with from our own weekends is merely letting the people on the weekends know what we have done for them, and to encourage them in their spiritual journey.
According to a National Cursillo Center Mailing from February 2008:
“The “Fundamental Ideas of the Cursillo Movement” (FICM) strongly recognizes grace as principle and foundation of our Movement and considers Palanca as one of the basic elements of the Cursillo Strategy, known as the Mystery of the Palanca…Cursillo strategy has always given, as its most important characteristic, to Palanca (prayer, sacrifice, and works of mercy). Dependence on this has to be real, sincere and permanent, individual and communal, to guarantee the efficacy of any other steps one
Palanca will be needed for our Diocese of Venice Cursillo Weekend. There a few ways to get your Palanca to a candidate. Have them brought up by the Sponsor on Thursday or you can drop them off in the Palanca Box in the kitchen of St Katharine Drexel Parish Hall, Cape Coral by the Tuesday before the weekend.
Palanca, a lever, or so we learned on our Cursillo weekend. Defined in the official Cursillo literature as prayer and sacrifice directed toward the candidates and team on a weekend. But the concept of Palanca extends further than that. We are a praying community, the entire movement; Precursillo, Post Cursillo, School of Leaders and Secretariat. According to a recent article by Victor Lugo in the June National Mailing, "We know that everything that is good has value or worth, the higher the value or worth of an item, the better it is. If we apply this logic to the idea of the type of Palanca that we are asked to offer; i.e. prayer in the form of sacrifice, we should strive to pray the type of prayer that will touch the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Mr. Lugo goes on to compare our humble prayers and sacrifices to that of Jesus. "The first person to have made Palanca was Our Lord Jesus, precisely when He prayed to His and our Heavenly Father to protect us from our enemies and to make us one in Him as He and the Father are one. (John 17) and His Mother Mary followed His example. "Our Blessed Mother Mary also made Palanca for us in the Cenacle together with the Apostles, who were praying until the Holy Spirit came to them in Pentecost." I am inspired to be more diligent in prayer with these examples in my mind.
This article has second purpose. It is to introduce our new Cursillo Palanca Coordinator, Fran Petrow. She agrees to be in charge and be responsible to facilitate Palanca, not only for our Cursillo weekends, but that of the national and international weekend requests. You may recall reading letters from other countries on your Cursillo Weekend. The National Cursillo Movement posts requests weekly on their website from all over the world including our Weekend. We are blessed to have Fran Petrow who sends letters to the Cursillo Weekends taking place around the world on our behalf and also the Weekend Palanca team members helped out during the weekends. Fran puts some real intention numbers on the computer generated Palanca letters; ex. number of Masses, rosaries, Stations of the Cross, morning prayer, hours of Adoration etc. These intention totals will be taken from each Ultreya's Palanca sheet and it would be incorporated in the letter sent to various Weekends throughout the year from our Diocese. Here's where you come in. Fran is going to need at least one volunteer for each month to check the National Cursillo Palanca List and send a general Palanca Letter from our Diocese. It takes many hands working together to do God's work. Please consider this role and help Fran. Fran's email address