Palanca is a Spanish word that means, "lever." Just as a lever enables a person to move something, which is beyond normal strength, Palanca empowers the accomplishments of things which would not be possible without the grace of God.
Palanca involves writing letters of encouragement to people attending a Cursillo. This is what I'm requesting, that you write letters with words of inspiration, and also offer sacrifices for the success of that person's "walk." This particular Cursillo is special. It is called a REC (Residents Encountering Christ). REC is Cursillo inside a prison, South Middlesex Correctional Center for Women. Due to the rules and exigencies of the prison environment, variations of Cursillo have to be adopted. No names can be used. Crosses and rosary, etc., can't be in your letter. Here are some guidelines:
The letter should be addressed to Sister in Christ or Dear Friend. It should include the actual palanca that you will be providing to the weekend - such as:
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).
A gift of sacrifice: Perhaps you will give up sweets for the weekend, or a visit to a nursing home.
Try to include an encouraging scripture or inspirational quote.
The letter shouldn't be too long - a maximum of one typewritten page. Handwritten letters are more meaningful. Keep in mind that palanca is read by the candidates throughout the weekend when time permits, so letter should not by too long or comples as its meaning may be lost.
Because the weekend takes place within a prison, no gifts such as religious medals or rosaries are permitted.
Please do not use stickers of any kind.
Sign your letter with your first name only.
You may email your letter to Sister Ruth and she will make copies for all the women. (We are expecting at least 50-60 women who will walk their journey this weekend. firstname.lastname@example.org
The weekend is Feb. 19, 20, and 21. Palanca is needed by Feb. 16.