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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.


Our Spiritual Advisor for October

De Colores! My Sisters and Brothers in Christ.

Have you ever considered the difference between the secular calendar versus the Church’s Calendar? The two calendars are vastly different because the secular calendar centers our lives around it. We use the secular calendar to help organize our lives. It helps us make and keep appointments and know where we are to be on a specific day and time.

I often wonder how aware people are of the Church’s calendar. Do you ever give much thought to where we are in the life of the Church at any given time? We know the major seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. We know of the Major celebrations of Ash Wednesday, the Ascension of the Lord, Pentecost Sunday, and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (corpus Christi). The Church calendar starts with the first Sunday of Advent on December third this year and ends with the Thirty-fourth week of Ordinary time. Are we aware of the different feast day of Mary, the Saints, and the Angels we celebrate yearly? The Church invites us to celebrate these special people for who they were and what they did. I encourage you to read and learn more about these people of faith in October.

During the Sundays of October, we celebrate the Twenty-Sixth through the Thirtieth Sundays of Ordinary time. Do you know that I write a short daily reflection on the Gospel daily on Facebook?

On October Second, we celebrate the Holy Guardian Angels. Our faith teaches us to believe that each of us has an angel to help guide us through life. Do you know your special messenger from God?

October Fourth, the Church remembers St. Francis of Assisi, celebrate St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish Religious Sister known as the messenger of Divine Mercy. Also on this day, I observe a Redemptorist, Bless Francis Xavier Seelos, a priest who served throughout the United States and died in New Orleans in 1867.

On October Sixth, the Church celebrates St. Bruno, a priest who founded the Carthusian Order in Germany. In North America, we celebrate Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, a Canadian religious sister who founded the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to educate children in Canada. She is also known as a patron for those who are sick. On many Saturdays, we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On October seventh, we remember Our Lady of the Rosary.

On October Ninth, we have St. Denis and Companions who became martyrs for the faith. St. Denis was a bishop in Paris, France, in the third century; also, on the Ninth of October, St. John Leonardi, and Italian Priest and Patron of Pharmacists.

On October Eleventh, we remember St. John XXIII, the first pope I remember in my lifetime, who initiated the Second Vatican Council that brought many changes to our Church.

Another Pope we celebrate on October Fourteenth is St. Callistus, a martyr who emphasized God’s mercy in his ministry.

October Sixteenth is a special day for me as a Redemptorist Brother where the Church remember St. Gerard Majella, the patron of mothers and their unborn children. Also, on that day, the Church remembers St. Hedwig, a Religious Sister who died in 1243, and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun whose visions of Christ helped to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Seventeenth of October, the Church celebrates Sat. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr; on the Eighteenth, St. Luke Evangelist is celebrated.

On October Nineteenth, in North America, the Church celebrates Saints John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, companions and Martyrs. These men were members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). the first missionaries to the North American Indians.

On October Twentieth, the Church celebrates St. Paul of the Cross, who founded the Passionist Congregation.

October Twenty-Third, the Church celebrates St. John of Capistrano, a Franciscan Priest in the 15th century and leader of an army that liberated Belgrade from the Turkish invasion.

October Twenty-Fourth, the Church remembers St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop of Santiago, Cuba and founder of the Claretians.

Saturday, October Twenty-Eighth, the Church celebrates the Apostles Simon and Jude. There are so many beautiful things we can learn this month. Let us also continue to remember the women working and living their Cursillo weekend on the weekend of October 12-15.

Brother Daniel Hall, CSSR

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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

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