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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.



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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From our Spiritual Advisor

Greetings Cursillistas. As I am writing this, I am getting ready to enter a new phase in my life. Some people call this phase “retirement”. It is a time in our lives that is filled with the unknown which makes some of us a little apprehensive. Whenever we enter into the unknown, we have to trust. We have to trust that we have prepared ourselves for what may lie ahead and we have to trust that God will provide. So it becomes a time in which we should develop a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, if we haven’t done so yet.

In Paul’s Letter to the Romans he says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17) Do we not have an awesome God?! I mean, what god does that? Think about it for a moment, the God of the Universe, the God who created everything that is seen and unseen desires to call us sons and daughters and what’s more, we are coheirs of the Kingdom with God in the person of Jesus Christ. Our God is not one who lords His power over us, but rather He desires to bring us into His family. There has never been any other god throughout all of human history that has desired to have a relationship with mortal man.

If we truly believe that, then we should have nothing to fear no matter what comes our way. Think back for a moment to the weekend in which you lived your Cursillo. On the last day of the weekend, were you afraid? Or did you feel that the Holy Spirit was with you? From my perspective, I did not want to leave Sunday evening. I found Jesus there with those men and I wanted to stay with them, but that’s not what we are called to do. We are not to keep the Spirit that God has given us to ourselves, we are to take Him out and let Him be known by all those in which we come in contact. We should never forget our mission: “Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.” Our lives are full of changes or new phases, and these are and should be viewed as opportunities to bring other people to Christ. No matter where we are, we should by word and deed spread the Gospel. I think we can all agree that in the world we live in today, there is a desperate need for people to know the real Jesus Christ. Not the one who is “just” a nice person who lived a long time ago, but the one who IS God and the one who wants to bring us into relationship with Him. For us to bring Christ to others, we must first know Him and we get to know Him through the three legs of the stool. Piety, Study, and Action. As we desire to get closer to God (piety), we want to learn more about Him (study), and as we learn more, we want to share our love for Him (action).

Each new day brings with it new challenges and new opportunities and we have so little time on earth. As the Psalmist says: “Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong; Most of them are toil and sorrow; they pass quickly, and we are gone.” (Psalm 90:10) So we need to make the most of our time here on earth. We do that by being the hands and feet of Jesus. As we continue life’s journey, let us be mindful that when we begin a new “phase” in our lives it is also a new opportunity to bring others to Christ and that God the Father has given us not a spirit of slavery, but rather a Spirit of adoption and therefore, as His sons and daughters, we have nothing to fear.


Deacon Bruce Alge

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

I look at this month as Mary’s month because it is devoted to Mary, Queen of Heaven. We celebrate Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 th , Our Lady, Help of Christians on May 24 th , and the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31 st . Mother’s Day is observed on the second Sunday, a day to celebrate all mothers, whether they are raising or have raised children, or have provided maternal love to others.

We all need maternal love! Mary was given to all of us as our mother by Jesus at the time of His crucifixion, and consequently we are all her children. I am learning to ask for her intercession and guidance. I have a friend who has a goal to become more like Mary as described in the hymn, “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman”: “Blessed they with peaceful spirits, blessed they with gentle hearts”. A wonderful goal! I’m working on this, too. The rosary is a beautiful way to connect with Our Lord as we reflect on His life through the mysteries and His mother who encourages us to pray this devotion. Pope John Paul II told us in his Apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, & quote; "With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.”

May is also a time of hope. Farmers are planting fields; home gardeners are sowing seeds too. Such hope for the harvest to come! Mary also had great hope in the promise of God for the new direction for her life. It’s not as if Mary knew all that was to come.

Hardly! As I was reading the Scripture for the Annunciation, it seems even more fantastic and impossible the more that the Angel Gabriel tells her. We know Mary’s reply, from Luke 1:38, “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” Mary is further affirmed in her role to help her to continue in that hope.

From Luke 1:45, Elizabeth speaks to Mary, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

We are all called to listen to Our Lord, to help to further the Kingdom of God. Sometimes we are called to “do”. Sometimes it’s the support and affirmation that we give to others who are being called to “do”. It’s all important; it’s all necessary.

De Colores!

Kathy Otermat

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