|The health, well-being, and safety of our community and the environment in which we serve are paramount.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to infect people in the Bay Area and the situation remains fluid. The County of Santa Clara and the Diocese of San Jose have issued recommendations against holding large gatherings while several companies have implemented “work at home” strategies and restricted travel. Local colleges and schools are moving to alternative formats or closing. The Diocese of San Jose also recommends that “parishes are encouraged to postpone or cancel large gatherings for the safety of the faithful.”
Out of the abundance of caution, the Secretariat will be cancelling all Cursillo events during the months of March and April. We will also reevaluate future Cursillo events as the situation unfolds.
Moreover, we recommend that Fourth Days use necessary precautions when meeting together and larger groups considering postponements.
The Secretariat decided, along with Rectora Jennifer Ventura and Rector Chris Lavond, to postpone the upcoming Spring weekends. This difficult decision was made collaboratively and openly with discussions starting on March 5 and concluding on March 10. We know and understand that the teams have been faithfully and prayerfully preparing for the weekends, however we also accept that there will be future weekends for the teams and candidates.
Our difficult decision stems from a series of facts that put us at odds with recent County and Diocese directives:
- 45-60 people will be in close proximity living, serving, and ministering throughout the entire Cursillo weekends.
- 60-70 people (team members, candidates, sponsors, and Secretariat members) would gather for Thursday registration.
- 75+ people would gather for Sunday morning Mañanitas.
- 200+ people would gather for the Sunday evening Potlucks.
- 77% of our team members fall into the at-risk demographic of age 50 and above with 40% of age 61 and above.
- 72% of the current candidates fall into the at-risk demographic of age 50 or more.
- 30+ team members would have continued their team formation meetings increasing risk to others.
We also do not want to put the safety or health of any staff members (including the Sisters and their guests) of St. Clare’s at risk. Moreover, we did not want to provide team members or candidates an option to “opt out” for a situation that is out of their control.
At this time, we are still sorting through the final details but our intent is to continue the Fall 2020 Weekends as planned. Our desire is for the existing teams (and roles) to shift to the Fall weekend. Chris Lavond has agreed to stay as Rector for the Fall 2020 Men’s Weekend while Jennifer Ventura will take the time to discern for the Fall 2020 Women’s Weekend. Chris Lavond and Jennifer Ventura will be working with their teams to make the appropriate adjustments while the Secretariat will inform the candidates and make necessary updates to the website and social media. Any team member or candidate who desires a full refund will receive it. Team members should send their questions to Chris Lavond or Jennifer Ventura as appropriate.
We also ask the entire community to keep our health professionals, relevant government agencies, and our local and global community in prayer. This is a time to come together to help each other as children of God. Kindness goes a long way. We know that many of you are personally impacted by changes to job, school, and other activities. We keep you all in prayer.
I am saddened to communicate these decisions to you, however, we are in uncharted territory. We desire everyone to be safe and healthy. We trust the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us through prayer and discernment. We are learning too. I’m sure there will be questions, “what about this”, “what about that” so please gently let us know and we’ll respond.
We will do our level best to keep the Cursillo Community informed. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Secretariat for more information.
I pray for you daily.