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

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Greetings in the name of Jesus our Lord my beloved sisters and brothers in Christ.

As we begin this second month of 2021 it feels very much like the last 12 months. While vaccinations are on the horizon for many of us, we are still masked, social distancing, washing hands and sanitizing everything in sight. And still complaining about it all.

The month of February brings two events that we can reflect on: Valentine Day and Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season.

If you’ve been in any store, large or small, they all look a lot like Target stores with the red displays of hearts, candy, flowers and cards and other enticements to remember the 14th as the day of Romance. While it is good to promote love and friendship, romance and relationships it usually becomes as superficial as the advertising. And the day after…it is over.

Well, we have the opportunity to go much deeper in the meaning of the words, “I love you.” It is much more than just a good feeling, but it means a commitment to the other from us. When we use these three little words they can be very powerful for they mean that “I give myself to you; I’m here for you; I want you to become the best person that you are meant to be, even at my own expense.” It is a sacrificial love, and ‘agape’ type of love that comes from God Himself.

St John writes of this in his first letter: “ Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us, we ought to love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)

So by our sacrificial love for others we can be a sign and witness to God’s love for and in this world that He created, sustains and redeemed and sanctified.

Now we know it is easy to love people who love us, or who like us, or who even tolerate us, right, but what about the folks who are polar opposites from in their thinking, in their beliefs or in their politics. How do we go about loving them? I think the best way is to realize that god loves them and created them just as much as he does us. And that Jesus suffered and died for them just as he did for us. They just can’t see it or believe it but it is a truth that we know and have to share with them. By the power of the Holy Spirit may they see the light of God’s love. We just show up and sow the seed.

Reflecting on that kind of Love that Jesus lived, taught and died for is what our LENT is all about. We begin with Ash Wednesday – I guess it will be different this year as the ashes will be sprinkled on our head rather than on the forehead. But it begins our 40 day retreat that is meant to help us reflect on our own humble beginnings as creatures of the earth and our baptism that elevated us to become children of the Father. We recognize our sinfulness and brokenness and yet God’s everlasting love and covenant relationship with us. He calls us back to Himself. All of this is played out in the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord.

So February might be a short month but it has a lot for us to think about, pray about and put into practice.


May you all be blessed and may you BE a blessing to all you meet. Help put a smile on another’s face (even if you can’t see it because of the mask.)

Fr Jim

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From our Lay Directors


Happy New Year!


That phrase takes on new meaning for me with the challenges of 2020. I'm ready to look back on 2020, instead of living in it. However, I have learned much from 2020 because I had time to learn yet again that:


1. God loves me. From John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." I reminded myself often that God is still in control, continues to love me, doesn't want me to live in fear. I want to continue to live in love, not fear.

2. God has a plan for me. 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." This, of course, is not a guarantee of a life without hardship. We are not in heaven yet. But there is hope. And a future. Even when I cannot imagine what that future could be because my life has changed from what it was.

3. Placing my trust in God is the way to peace. From Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Whenever I tried to lean on my own understanding this past year, I did not live in peace. When I trust in God, I can let go of my worries for what is not mine to control. Which is pretty much everything.


I'm looking forward to seeing you and hugging you before too long. I am now even more grateful for this movement, for all of you God-loving people who know well how to love and serve God and our fellow pilgrims on this earthly journey.


God bless you! Your Brother and Sister in Christ,

John Lyons Kathy Otermat

lyons5876@gmail.com kotermat04@gmail.com


From our Spiritual Advisors


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We are in the process of beginning to tell the story again of Jesus Christ, having come to earth to be with us as part of God’s plan of saving the world. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope you all are experiencing more and more and more grace and sense of presence with Jesus our Savior.


I’d like to start to try to put this together from the beginning of time up to our own generation. We have the Old Testament which is a written record of God’s interplay with us humans. The Old Testament has lots of references to nature: beautiful farmland, fruitful vines, mountains, streams, paths, etc. It also includes tough stuff like hurricanes, floods, pestilence. We also have the story of the human condition from the creation of Adam and Eve, their sin and the challenge of getting along with all kinds of other human beings who want to run the world. God sent prophets to teach us humans to trust Him and to try to make it all work together. Aren’t we just finishing a year with multiple challenges, both in nature (e.g. Covid-19) and our politics resulting from the human inability to get along with others??


In our own generation we have a situation of our faith ancestors (Jews) still struggling to live in peace, especially those living in Israel, the Holy Land of Jesus’ birth. And all over the world, current day Jews are still struggling with things like the Holocaust and all kinds of anti-Semitism. We have the gift of Jesus, Son of God, coming to earth to share our human condition to help human beings live in peace. We are 2,020 years old and still uncovering the power God wants to give us. In our faith we understand that we are sisters and brothers to Jesus with God the Creator as our Father and Mary as also our mother. We have the opportunity to invite all we meet to share that peace as we: “Make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ.”


Cursillo helps us understand more and more what God is giving us and wants to use in us to bring the world to peace. Our sharing of our stories of faith in Grouping, Ultreyas, School of Leaders, team formation and parties are all tools to get to know Jesus better, ourselves better and God better. Cursillo is one of the best gifts we have to help us do this. Upcoming Cursillo Weekends Men’s September 16-19, 2021 Women’s October 14-17, 2021


I’d like to end with a beautiful challenge to each of us to develop a PERSONAL PLAN to live as Jesus wants us to for the coming year so that the peace, He brings may become more evident in our lives, our homes and our world. As we personalize more deeply our faith and share it with one another we can become sparkling, fantastic, inspiring tools for our world to be much better off at Christmas time 2021! We just need to witness very confidently our precious faith and help one another grow more deeply and closer and closer together. SO: let’s each of us think faithfully, reverently, powerfully about how our faith can help ourselves, …. help our families, …. help our friends, …. help our coworkers, …. help our neighbors, …. even help our politics and those who come off as our enemies! Gonna be a challenge of course; but it will truly bring a more wonderful life!


De Colores,

Fr. Skip

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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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