Please email all palanca to GHRCursillo@gmail.com
WHAT IS PALANCA?
In the Cursillo Movement, we use the word palanca to designate the spiritual force represented by voluntary prayers and sacrifices which are done individually or in community with the aim of obtaining the grace of conversion.
In the same way that the lever enables a person to lift something which is beyond his or her strength, the prayers and sacrifices allows the apostle to accomplish more than he or she could alone. The palancas help to overcome the resistance to grace for those for whom we pray. Palancas help to make life arise in abundance.
This is a mystery of faith. To offer a palanca is to put into practice the dogma of the Communion of Saints. As mentioned by Pius XII in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body :
"It is really an awesome mystery, which we will never meditate enough, that the salvation of many is dependant on the voluntary prayers and sacrifices of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body". (Encyclical on the Mystical Body)
All cursillistas are invited to "do palancas" especially on the occasion of cursillo weekends which are happening in their diocese. To "do palancas" is to offer prayers and sacrifices. A palanca takes place in each one’s personal inner life.
What do we mean by "sending palancas"? In the Cursillo Movement, cursillistas often make known their palancas in a letter to the participants of a cursillo. They also express, in that letter, their friendship and wishes for the success of the cursillo.
This is what we call "sending palancas".
It is obvious that sending cards of good wishes, posters, or email are not in themselves palancas, (and that sending these words of friendships must not make us forget the essential : the palancas themselves). However, sending such a letter becomes often an occasion to offer palancas and this testimony of friendship can have much impact. Therefore at the Greater Hampton Roads Cursillo movement, it is a custom which is strongly recommended.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF PALANCA?
PERSONAL PALANCA: This is palanca performed on behalf of individual candidates and team members. It is most frequently demonstrated in personal notes that are not meant for anyone but the recipient.
o A brief note of encouragement
o Reassurance that God will meet the candidate right where he is
o Adding an encouraging scripture is recommended (reminding of God’s promises, etc).
o Let them know you are praying for them (and do it!).
o It is important to have personal palanca available for Friday and Saturday. (It’s a lever, so use it).
o You can include small items that can fit in an envelope can be included. Such as “pass it on” cards, small bookmarks, small pins, etc.
DON’T DO THIS:
o Do not refer to any special events that happen over the weekend. Your palanca may not be delivered when you expect it to be, so you wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.
o Do not refer to home or family. It's important to maintain the focus and sequestered nature of the weekend.
o Do not talk about how you felt on your weekend. The candidate may be having a very different experience and you wouldn't want to set him/her up for disappointment.
o Do not send gifts as palanca. Anything larger than envelope size will be put aside for the candidate until after the weekend.
o Don’t mark palanca for delivery at specific times. You may specify a particular day, as well as “am” or pm”, but not specific times.
o We understand that people often write palanca in a progressive manner, trying to keep the notes in line with the theme and focus of each day of the weekend. As such, the auxiliaries will make every effort to honor the delivery request. However, palanca is delivered at different times on each weekend, as determined by the Rector and Chief Aux, so the time you request may not be valid.
o Bear in mind that the first palanca is not distributed until after the Holy Spirit rollo which is given on Friday afternoon following lunch. (In other words, don’t specify "Thursday pm" or "Friday am").
o HOW MUCH PALANCA IS ENOUGH? Be sure your candidate receives enough palanca. Palanca is generally distributed six or seven times during the weekend. If the candidate only gets 3 pieces at each delivery (which is a bare minimum), that means that they need AT LEAST 18-21 pieces of palanca throughout the weekend.
o You cannot (and should not) write all of the palanca yourself. You are encouraged to contact other Pescadores to write to your candidate (and you can write to theirs). Ask Pescadores in your church or Reunion Group, or perhaps those you have served on team with, or experienced a weekend with.
GENERAL PALANCA: This is palanca performed on the weekend in general. It is most frequently demonstrated in notes, letters or posters that are addressed to the team and candidates, often accompanied by small gift items or tokens.
o The letter should be addressed to the team and candidates on a particular weekend. It should include the actual palanca that you will be providing to the weekend - such as:
o A gift of prayer. Let them know that you will be praying for them. Perhaps you will pray for the weekend everytime you have to stop at a red light, or something like that. They should know it. (And you should be sure to honor your commitment). .
o A gift of sacrifice: Perhaps you made something that you are giving to the weekend. Let them know the spiritual significance of the item.
o Try to include an encouraging scripture. Using the theme scripture of the weekend helps to promote the unity of the weekend.
o The letter shouldn't be too long - a maximum of one typewritten page. Keep in mind that general palanca is read by the auxiliaries throughout the weekend when time permits, so the letter should not be too long or complex as it's meaning may be lost.
o This IS where you can refer to your own weekend ("I sat where you are sitting...")
o If possible, include small tokens for the team and candidates. The items should have some spiritual significance and can be as simple as some chocolate or candy, as complex as craft items that you and your Reunion Group made, and anything in between. Remember it's the thought, prayer and service that's important, not the actual item itself.
o Posters with brief notes signed by individuals in your church or Reunion Group are an excellent form of general palanca.
o General palanca is also provided in other ways:
o Providing the decorated palanca bags for the weekend;
o Providing the decorated aprons for the auxiliaries;
o Providing the rollo candle;
o Providing supplies for communion;
o Providing break food;
o Providing candy for the tables;
o Providing flowers for the dining room or rollo room.
SERVICE PALANCA: This palanca is service performed before or during the weekend, often behind the scenes and without specific recognition. (The exact definition and how it may differ from general palanca is somewhat vague; often determined individually by the user of the term. It is most frequently considered to be physical effort). For instance:
o Assisting in the preparation and breaking-down of the Agape;
o Running errands to obtain supplies during the weekend;
o Serving meals to the team and candidate (aka: Kitchen Palanca);
o Serving as the cook's helper.
REMEMBER THAT PALANCA IS A LEVER - SO USE IT!