By Becky Tamondong     8/16/2019

Filipino cursillistas from eight dioceses in California travelled to Orange County to attend the Region XI Filipino Grand Ultreya, hosted by the Filipino Cursillo Diocese of Orange (FCDO).  The event was held on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church in Anaheim Hills.  

Some 300 cursillistas including lay persons, priests and deacons, from Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles came in their colorful Hawaiian attire, in keeping with the event’s Hawaiian theme, thus making this event truly “De Colores.”  

The Grand Ultreya featured speakers, presentations, a Holy Mass celebration, group reunions, and breakfast and lunch fellowship. Deacon Doug Cook, executive director of the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Orange, was the featured speaker who spoke on evangelization.  

 Deacon Doug reminded the cursillistas that our first and foremost role is to help bring our family and friends to Christ, through the Cursillo method of “Make friend, Be a friend, and Bring a friend to Christ.”   

Holy Mass was concelebrated by Fr. John Neneman, pastor of San Antonio Church, and Fr. Ven Amidar, who was officially commissioned at the Mass, as the new Spiritual Advisor of the Region XI Filipino Cursillo Movement. Lay witness speakers shared about their 4th Day experiences and on the subject of perseverance. Attendees enjoyed fellowship during the whole day which culminated in a fun-filled program of dances and songs wherein cursillistas showcased their musical and dancing abilities.  

A highlight of the day’s program was a rolling slide show of photos from the Dedication of the Christ Cathedral and a 10-minute video clip presentation focusing on the anointing of the altar and the walls of the Cathedral by Bishop Kevin Vann, the incensing, lighting of the candles, and blessing of the congregation.  

The Grand Ultreya attendees were each given to take home with them, a copy of the Orange County Catholic Commemorative Edition of the Dedication of the Christ Cathedral, courtesy of the Office of Communications of the Diocese of Orange. “We want to share with you this grand, awe-inspiring and uplifting milestone event, which for most of us is a once-in-a-lifetime event, as well as to take home with you a piece of Orange County”, said Becky Tamondong, assistant lay director of the FCDO and a parishioner of San Antonio, who co-emceed the event. 

The successful Grand Ultreya in Orange County was led by Romy Uy, FCDO Lay Director who spent countless hours working out the details of the event, and the dozens of hardworking cursillistas in Orange County. “Considering that the FCDO is only 3 years old, I think we lived up to the challenge and did quite well as hosts of this Grand Ultreya”, he commented. Linda Buhay, outgoing Coordinator of the Region XI Filipino Language Group who attended the event, agreed. And so do the rest of the cursillistas who sang De Colores after the final blessing at the Ultreya.