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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.

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Spiritual Advisor (Each month, a Spiritual Advisor will write an article)


My beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Father and fellowship with the Holy Spirit be with you all and sustain you in all that you are about.


Isn’t it great to be back in Carey in our “own home” as it were? Kudos to Karen and John Reinhart who have stepped out in faith and are making it happen for all of us. Please pray for them and support them in any way that they need. If you own your own home then you know that home ownership has its many perks, but there is also the reality and downside of an older building with upkeep and constant repairs.


We are back! And it feels so good to have weekends again. The Fall English Men’s weekends have taken place and the English Women’s weekend is about to happen. NOW is the time to begin praying about candidates for the Spring Weekends. Be about making friends and being a friend… and bringing them to Christ perhaps through the Cursillo Movement.


I was blessed recently by being a participant on a pilgrimage to Medjugorji. This was my first time there and it was an awesome experience. Unlike Rome and the Holy Land, which can be prayerful if you are intent about it, but mostly you are a tourist, Medjugorji is a very peaceful, holy and prayerful place. Our Lady’s presence is felt -and not just because of all the statues - but a real sense of peacefulness. The rosary, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession and hands on participation in the service to the poor and elderly are an essential part of the pilgrimage.


Climbing Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain is an ordeal but again very prayerful and reflective. From the rocks come five stones as reminders of who we are and what we are supposed to be doing.

1. Pray the rosary everyday from the heart. Eventually pray and meditate on all four sets of mysteries each day.

2. Read Sacred Scripture every day. Daily readings, the coming Sunday readings or choose a book of the bible and read it through a chapter a day.

3. Attend Mass on the weekend and during the week if possible.

4. Fast twice a week (especially on Wednesday and Friday). Try just bread and water. Or fast from T.V. or social media.

5. Go to confession once a month and spiritual direction.


This past June, Fr Skip and I attended the Priest, Deacon Seminarian Conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville. During the four days there, I picked up information about “Discipleship Quads” and brought it home. What sparked my interest is our Cursillo Grouping and how this was a parallel or could be useful for us as we group.


Quad groups are four people (same gender) thus the name quad (four) who commit to meet weekly with each other in prayer, study and action. After a year, they each form another quad with three other people. There is a Guidebook to direct the group with the study portion with reflective questions and challenges to do some kind of action. The guidebook is a key to the process. The focus is on discipleship in Jesus Christ, and then to make new disciples.


In Cursillo Grouping there are three or four and sometimes more. Commitment to the process and to each other is assumed but not always required or even expected. The content of the group discussion is supposed to center on prayer, study and action. But the content of what the prayer, the study and the action are very nebulous and usually are not done in the group. The focus is often to keep the movement going and not always the person of Jesus Christ.


I was thinking that maybe we could reflect on this process during our School of Leaders and perhaps make some recommendations to our groups through the ARK. The material about Discipleship Quads are free for the download and can be accessed by using the address: steubenvilleconference.com/discipleship-quads. I look forward to seeing you during the Apostolic Holy Hours and at the School of Leaders.


Ultreya!

Your brother in Christ, Fr Jim Brown

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Lay Director (Each month, one of our Lay Directors will write an article.)


How do you illuminate your environments? We talk about studying your environments. But I don’t recall anyone talking about illuminating them. In Luke 8:16-18, Scripture tells us not to conceal our light by putting it under a bushel or under a bed. In grouping we discussed this one evening. It was very enlightening! How can you not share the love of Christ (light) that has been shared with you? When coming off a weekend, how many times do we hear that the person was “changed”, not the same person he or she was before living the Cursillo weekend? And we all know that you cannot possibly work a weekend and not feel the radiating presence of the Holy Spirit.


At the last closing it was remarked that the new Cursillistas were glowing. And indeed, they all were. Just like when Moses went up the mountain and spent time before God. He glowed so much that it frightened the Israelites back in camp when Moses came down. I believe God does that with us when we come to Him on the weekends. And so, you are on “fire” for the Lord. You have zeal and want to go out and change the world. Then the world hits you in the face! OUCH! Reality. How do you keep going? What do you do to keep your fire going? Do you group? All the time? Or when you feel like it? Remember that when taking the log from the fire the embers eventually burn themselves out. We need to stay in the fire to keep our flames alive. To keep glowing.


God has appointed each one of us to a certain task while we are here on this earth that no one else has been given. As St Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” We also need to keep fighting the fight. And what keeps me going? I cannot live on distant memories of past Cursillos. I need fresh events to keep going. So, to keep on going I try to stay immersed in our movement. To keep pushing forward. We are all apprentice, Christians. That means we all need to keep learning, myself included.


Go to grouping (or start a group). Go to Ultreya (when they are available in your area). Do palanca and write palanca for the weekends. Come to the Holy Hours and Serenades. Come to the closings. There is so much joy, love and laughter at these events. We are a community, and we need each other in order to grow. We all have gifts (talents) from God that no one else has. Please, use them. Don’t let them go to waste. Let us lift each other up in prayer, fasting and almsgiving to God who has given each one of us so very much. He loves YOU! Love Him back. One last thought…. when was the last time you had a close moment? Watch for it each and every day. DeColores!!!


May the peace of Christ always disturb your life!

John Lyons lyons5876@gmail.com Kathy Otermat kotermat04@gmail.com

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Lay Director (Each month, one of our Lay Directors will write an article.)


As I ponder what best addresses what’s in and on my heart these days, it’s HOPE. Cursillo weekends are scheduled to take place soon. School of Leaders and Secretariat have met in person. The weather is expected to be more comfortable. Family reunions are occurring again. I’ve been to my county fair. Such blessings!


In the midst of these blessings, I can also easily be weighed down by the struggles of this world. We are not free from disease, distrust, and disenchantment. But I can turn to the Lord speaking to me from Scripture with the only balanced view: Psalm 42:12 “Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, for I shall again praise him, my Savior and my God.”


This is the call for the followers of Christ - not to pretend that all is well when it’s not, not to proclaim that all is bad because it’s not. It’s to remember that God is in control, that His plan for us is best. It may not be the easiest, or what we would choose if we were given a choice, but it is the best. One of my favorite Scripture passages that has carried me in tough times, and given more reason to rejoice in celebratory times, is from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I am so blessed to have experienced Cursillo - the weekend and the 4th Day. Both have been integral to my life in Christ. I have learned from the witness of my dear friends in Christ to see and appreciate the gift of HOPE that I have received. From Isaiah 40:31, “They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings. They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”


These are changes for the upcoming weekends:

1. The weekend will be mask optional.

2. The team will be predominantly mask free.

3. The team and candidates will be in close contact the entire weekend.

4. A form will be emailed to the sponsors for the candidates to sign that indicates that they are aware that masks are optional and distancing is optional. The candidates will have that form when they arrive.

5. Team members will be staying together, 2 to a room. The candidates will have separate bedrooms.

6. The week before the Cursillo, teams and candidates are to be especially observant of keeping themselves safe, sequestering if at all possible.

7. If a team member doesn’t feel good, regardless of what their role is, they are asked to STAY HOME. It is better to have a smaller team or delay the weekend, if necessary, than to make people sick.

8. The Secretariat will make the decision whether a weekend would be canceled.

9. 4th Day bringing Palanca to the weekend will be placing it in a drop box outside the building near the Palanca Chapel (at the rear of the building). People who are not candidates or on the team will not be going into the building.

10. If the 4th Day wants to spend time in prayer while coming to drop off Palanca during the weekend, they will be directed to the Basilica.

11. The Serenade is currently planned to be outside.

12. 4th Day will be asked to wear masks at the Closing, which will be held in the White Church. There will be no Embrazio.


May the peace of Christ always disturb your life! De Colores!


John Lyons lyons5876@gmail.com Kathy Otermat kotermat04@gmail.com