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A Message from the Lay and Spiritual Advisors of the Toledo Cursillo Movement.


A little over a year ago on March 26, 2020, along with many of you I watched something I will never forget – the Et Urbi blessing offered by Pope Francis as a prayer against the Covid 19 Pandemic.

It was something I will not forget, an 83-year-old man, with one lung, visibly limping because of the pain of sciatica, walking and standing alone in a cold rain, in an empty piazza, wearing the simple house cassock that he prefers over opulent attire, praying to God on behalf of everyone and reminding all of us to care for one another. On that cold, windy, wet evening, Francis ministered to the entire world.

Since that blessing, the Holy Father has consistently reminded us that we must strive to remain connected with each other and that we must work together to come through a terrible time of world pandemic. He has called on world leaders to work together to find creative solutions to the economic and emotional toll brought about by necessary shutdowns.

Over the past year, Pope Francis has urged us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. More than any religious or political leader, Francis recognizes and warns us that the world will not “go back to normal” after Covid 19 is brought under control because the virus has exposed the selfishness of the culture in which we live.

As Lent comes to an End and Easter appears just ahead, it is a good time to thank God for bringing us so far. It is a good time to pray for the many front line health care workers, doctors and nurses, and scientists who worked around the clock to develop safe and effective vaccines that protect against the virus and that will help to bring the pandemic to an end.

And it is a good time to pray for the family members and loved ones of those who did not survive the virus, and to remember the love and care they shared with us.

As we move toward Easter, may we all remember that we belong to God and to each other. Embracing the cross of Christ will help us find the courage to embrace the hardship of the present time and to embrace the needs of others. Good Friday was not the end or the last word. The last word was Resurrection.

Happy Easter to you and your families.

And rest in peace, Tim Haney.

Yours in Christ,

Greg Deacon Greg Kirk

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Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R (Ps. 118:24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good

for His steadfast love endures forever.

“Let Israel say,

His steadfast love endures forever.”

R This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

“The right hand of the Lord has struck with power;

the right hand of the Lord is exalted.

I shall not die but live,

and declare the works of the Lord.”

R This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the corner stone.

By the Lord this has been done;

It is wonderful in our eyes.

R This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I have been reading and reflecting on scripture, in my new ESV bible from the Augustine Institute, much since Covid 19 descended upon us and the Psalms have consumed a large portion of my reflection. 2020 and 2021, to date, have not been something that I care to to experience again in my life time.

Our country has new leadership, like them or not, it maters not, they are in charge for at least four years. And as loyal Catholic Americans, we owe them our prayers for the Holy Spirits's gifts of Wisdom and Prudence, for each of them while in office, at least!

It was a disappointing election for many and a hard-fought victory for others. Never the less our lives go on, and while I was studying and reflecting on scripture, this psalm caught my eye, especially verse 24 which is the response for the psalm in Easter Sunday’s liturgy!

How much better would it be to start our days off, by waking up and before we leave our beds, make a sign of the cross and say ”This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

We can start each day off on a positive note!

No matter what happens to us during the day, periodically we can repeat this response and in hearing ourselves as we profess it, we can also remember the Love our Lord showed to us by dying and rising from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins and to offer each of us the gift of spending eternity with Him in heaven in! God bless our country and the people responsible for running it in a fair and charitable manner.

De Colores!!!

Deacon James Heyman

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Dear Lenten Companions,

On Ash Wednesday I received this blessing written by Jan Richardson. I want to share it with you because it’s still early enough in Lent to be meaningful and I want you to feel the power of its blessing also.

A Blessing for Ash Wednesday

To receive this blessing, all you have to do is let your heart break. Let it crack open.

Let it fall apart so that you can see its secret chambers,

the hidden spaces where you have hesitated to go.

Your entire life is here, inscribed whole upon your heart’s walls:

  • every path taken or left behind, every face you turned toward or turned away,

  • every word spoken in love or in rage,

  • every line of your life you would prefer to leave in shadow,

  • every story that shimmers with treasures known and those you have yet to find.

It could take you days to wander these rooms. Forty at least.

And so let this be a season for wandering, for trusting the breaking,

for tracing the rupture that will return you to the One who waits,

who watches, who works within the rending to make your heart whole.

It was that opening line that grabbed me. “Let your heart break.” I bowed my head, closed my eyes and prayed, “Oh no, not again! Is that the call of Lent? I know I’ve grown lax with self-discipline and I’ve already decided to do something about that, but another broken heart?? Please, not that! I’m really trying to control my tendency to judge people who think, act or live differently than I do. And then there are the ongoing disappointments and sacrifices imposed by COVID for a whole year already. Isn’t that enough?”

I suspect everyone reading this letter has made some sincere resolution for Lent. For some of us Lent becomes an endurance test, “Can I make it 6 weeks without my favorite ____?”

Some, like me, need self-discipline, whether they’ve fallen into a lazy or unkind habit, or have slipped away from a regular time of daily prayer or Scripture reading, or gotten undisciplined in their eating or drinking habits. Lent (the word comes from the Old English “lente” meaning “spring”) is a good time to do some physical and spiritual housecleaning. Those are all good suggestions for this season.

But Jan Richardson is blessing us with something more: a heart cracked open so we “walk around inside” and discover more about ourselves – good and bad. All the great saints and classic spiritual writers insist that self-knowledge is the foundation upon which holiness grows. That’s because it leads us to a profound sense of our need for conversion as we discover the deep down hidden parts of ourselves that we would just as soon hide or ignore. Ah, yes, allowing our hearts to be cracked open demands humility and vulnerability, not values we usually joyfully embrace, but that’s exactly where God wants to meet us.

A contrite, humble heart, O God, you will not spurn.” Ps. 51:17.

Can we come humbly and vulnerably before God this Lent, with all our gifts and with all our limitations and brokenness, and with utter honesty lay our heart open to the transforming power of our merciful God? This act of trust makes God smile, the God who is the divine physician, the expert in healing and making whole. All it takes, as Jan Richardson says, “is to let your heart break.”

Many blessings on your continued Lenten journey!

Sr. Edna

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CURSILLO!  Pronounced (kur-see-yo) is a Spanish word for "short course" (in Christianity).

The weekend begins on a Thursday evening and ends on Sunday. During these three days those attending live and work together, listening to talks given by clergy, sisters, brothers, and people like yourself who make faith come alive in fresh ways. We also pray, attend mass, and share the Eucharist.

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Please be advised the old website toledocursillo.org is no longer affiliated with the Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Toledo.

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