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Welcome to our Lay and Spiritual Directors website blog for the Diocese of Toledo Cursillo Movement!

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



Hello, dear friends in Christ!

September is a beautiful and busy time. The summer flowers are bursting, full of color and at their peak. Vegetables already picked have been enjoyed, and the ones that are picked last are ready to be gathered in. The crops in the fields are at their finest, just starting to show the signs that the plants are getting ready for the harvest before too long. A hint coolness in the evenings is a welcome break from the warmth of the summer. School is beginning, with all the activity that occurs there and throughout our communities.

Jesus is calling us too for His harvest. From Mt 9:37-38: “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’” We have men’s and women’s Cursillos coming up soon. The men’s weekend is Sept. 7-10; the women’s is Oct. 12-15. How can we support the harvest of souls that the Cursillo weekends help to provide? The teams in formation are doing just that by offering themselves for the weekend. The sponsors are doing that also by their work of “making a friend, being a friend, and bringing that friend to Christ” through sponsoring candidates for the Cursillo weekend. (Applications for candidates for the women’s weekend are still being accepted.) We as Fourth Day can do that through our prayer and palanca, our participation in the Holy Hours and Serenades, and by attending the Closings.

Let us all do what we can to bring about an abundance of souls filled with the Holy Spirit to advance the kingdom of God on Earth. Jesus qualifies the called. And we are all called to be His disciples. John 15:15a “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”


Kathy Otermat and John Lyons

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Spiritual Advisor

Perhaps because I’ve been a teacher, September makes me think of beginnings: the start of a new school year, those first steps toward the independence of college life, the time of year when parish programs resume after a more relaxed summer schedule, and for us Cursillistas, team preparation for the fall weekends. It’s the time of year when school buses roll once again, backpacks are shouldered and with both excitement and trepidation students focus their attention on learning. September is a great time of year to focus on one of the legs of our familiar stool: study.

Even before Cursillo was born in the 1940s in Spain, the Christian Family Movement was strongly advocating the three-fold responsibility of Christians: prayer, study and action. In two rollos on our weekend we heard study mentioned, first in terms of growing in our faith and secondly, in the study of our environments so that we can be effective evangelizers. So what’s the big deal about study? Dare we give it a proverbial nod and then go about our daily lives basically ignoring this part of the Christian call? Isn’t study really for those with sharp intellects (but maybe not much common sense?) or okay for those who like it (as a hobby), but not for those who don’t like it or can find much better ways to spend their time?

Our brain is the most complex organ in our body, with an estimated 100 billion neurons interconnected through more than 100 trillion synapses capable of processing and storing everything we’ve ever heard, seen, tasted, smelled, touched, thought and experienced. It’s true we can’t access all that anymore, but scientists tell us it’s all there! What are we supposed to do with all this potential? God has given us humans the capability, not to lord it over every other creature, but to understand, appreciate, and be in awe at all the ways God is revealed. Study is so important because it is God’s invitation to expand our horizons and absorb the magnificence of the natural world around us. Study also helps us understand ourselves, the strengths and limitations we have, and as we claim our own humanity, we begin to understand the humanness of others… and that can lead to compassion, gentleness, forgiveness and wisdom. And study of our faith can lead to fresh insights into the Mystery God is and aid us in falling more and more in love with God Who is LOVE.

Our brain helps us receive, process, store and retrieve information. As many of us get older and can’t remember as well as we formerly did, we can be tempted to quit learning. “What’s the use?” we ask, “my brain just doesn’t work as well as it used to… and besides, I’m tired of thinking so much.” If we’re honest, none of us remembers as well as we used to; maybe that’s not the point of study. At the end of our earthly life God probably won’t ask us how much we remember, but just may ask how much of this world did we receive. God wants to pour into our lives the joy of discovery just as much now as when we were children and then to savor what we’ve just discovered. Why? Because everything can reveal God and every big or little thing or event can show another “face” of God. Study’s purpose is ultimately to delight in God.

I recently talked with a woman who told me that her prayer life was in a stupor. She hadn’t done any “serious” reading for a long time. I suggested a book on our universe, Radical Amazement by Judy Cannato; she read it and her prayer life resurged with wonder and awe over God’s works.

Study is offered in many ways, so if you’re not a reader, try watching an occasional show on the history channel, or visit a museum, or tour a factory, or watch an artist at work or take part in a webinar or seminar, or travel somewhere you’ve never been and try the local cuisine and talk to the local people. Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a podcast, “The Bible in a Year” and another “The Catholic Catechism in a Year” that have proven so helpful to the many people who have taken time to tune in. Opportunities abound; find the ones that attract you, for it just may be God calling you to choose renewed life… and study is the way to gain it!

De Colores to all you STUDENTS!

Sr. Edna


Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ!! Do you remember this prayer? God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change… the Courage to change the things I can… and the Wisdom to know the difference. There are 3 words that jump out at me and maybe you. Let’s explore those 3 words one at a time.

Serenity, the state of being calm, peaceful, untroubled. Or the absence of mental stress or anxiety. Anyone out there “stressed out” about anything? I think that if we are honest with ourselves the answer is yes at some point in our lives. Some more often than others. But stress and anxiety abound in this world. So we (myself included) need to ask God (constantly) to grant us calmness especially when we just have to accept things/life/circumstances the way they are when we cannot change them. I believe this is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit…Peace!!!!

Courage, the ability to do something that frightens us! Trusting in the Lord as our true source of strength. I think of the times when I felt God say GO! And I say, me? And He says YES, YOU ! But I don’t……(you fill in the blank) because we have all been there. And God is with us every step of the way every single time. We (myself included) have to step out in faith when God asks us to go somewhere or do something that we are very uncomfortable about. God is with us (a song by King and Country). To step out in faith to do what HE has in mind for us to do. Whether it is changing myself (ouch) or something else. STEP OUT.

And then there is Wisdom: knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it (Webster) or the understanding and knowledge that comes from a deep connection to one’s inner self and the divine. Hmmmm. Wisdom to know the difference between what I can change and what I cannot. In this prayer it’s not about how to change someone or something else. No, I believe it is about having the knowledge/wisdom to know the difference. Sometimes what I want to change is just not going to happen. At least not at this particular moment in time.

Lord I need you to help me know the difference. To feel the peacefulness of your love that is always within me. And to have the strong will to step out in faith when you ask me to. Amen.

John Lyons Kathy Otermat

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