The upcoming retreat for this summer will be held from June 6-9, 2024. For those who are interested in participating in this summer, please contact Carol McCrary at 618-322-6296
A Reflection from Cursillo Summer Retreat 2023
"Not An Ending, A Beginning"
The display of reflective creations is down, words of understanding folded up, tables cleared, chairs stacked, lights off. It is as if the Cursillo XXXIX Weekend was never at Toddhall. The manmade signs are gone; but this is not an ending. Thursday evening we arrived as strangers, feeling a bit awkward in a new space. Sunday afternoon, we left as friends in Christ. As hugs were shared, quick kisses planted on cheeks and good-byes were offered, every heart was full of the Holy Spirit. The truth is, Sunday was not an ending; it was and is a refreshing reboot for continuing our spiritual journeys toward living a grace-filled life; a life viewed through the lens of God. May that lens be wiped clean each morning with prayer in preparation for a new day.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When darkness seemed to challenge every step of the Cursillo XXXIX path; through storm damage, power outages, injuries and even loss of life, our team persevered in faith. Daily prayers asking for everyone attending to experience an infilling of God’s word in their open hearts were answered. Whether in the Conference Room, Palanca Chapel or Palanca Barn, we grew as a team, we grew as friends, we grew in understanding, and we grew in commitment to sharing the good news of our Lord. Through Holy Communion, prayer, song, learning, journaling, discussing, laughing, and some crying, we marched along personal paths to loving our Lord more deeply. Dark clouds surrounded us on many occasions, but the rays of God’s light were not dimmed as He was with us every step during this Cursillo XXXIX Weekend.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: You are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Do not allow the challenges of life cause you to doubt God’s presence; He is with you always.
Jesus Christ, inner light,
Let not our own darkness conquer us.
Jesus Christ, inner light,
Enable us to welcome Your love.
Suzanne Toolan, S.M.
Serving the Lord in Cursillo XXXIX as the Rectora was a blessing. My journey toward leading a grace-filled life continues, as does yours. God be with you as you travel on, side by side with our Lord, sharing the Good News of Jesus.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:9-12
Many blessings and prayers, Dawn Jung, Rectora
Cursillo is an opportunity to grow in our Christian faith. Its goal is to equip Christians to lead a Christ-centered life and help spread the good news. This layperson-led ministry includes talks, quiet reflection, song, group activities, worship, fun and fellowship! Additionally, there will be opportunities for spiritual counseling with clergy. Cursillo is a time for learning and rejoicing and going out to reflect to others that joy to encourage them in the way, and we hope you will join us! For more information about Cursillo in the Episcopal Church, visit the Cursillo Website.
“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.’” (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV) “You are mine”, these words continually take my breath away. The revelation of His love is humbling, for no love is greater than this. The moment my heart was open to receive, I wondered how my life would be transformed. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. one another as I have loved you.” 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12)
The defining moment when these words first shifted the direction of my life remains vivid. In 2010, I received an invitation from a dear friend to attend Cursillo. This simple gesture began my journey into understanding the words in Isaiah and John. I came blindly, with no notion of what to expect. No expectation evolved into an open heart longing to embrace God’s grace, mercy, and love. Over time, understanding the mission of offering this gift of love to the world became clearer. Through prayer and study, I continue to seek guidance and grow with an understanding of His great love and what He wants for my life. While all spiritual journeys are unique, as each is personal, all have the potential to shift focus from a worldly view to looking at the world through a divine lens. As Bishop Michael Curry explains, “Cursillo is an opportunity to grow in our Christian faith. Its goal is to equip Christians to lead a Christ-centered life, and help spread the good news of our Lord. Cursillo is a time for learning and rejoicing and going out to reflect to others a new found joy…”
Indeed, there is great joy when, by God’s grace, the Holy Spirit fills the heart with the love of our Lord, and leads followers to become the messengers of joy for others. “Love vs. Love”, an article written by Reverend Paul Feider, invites us to take a moment to absorb the implications of John 15:9,12 “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you…Love one another as I have loved you.” Rev. Paul writes, “Jesus loves you with the same intense love the Father has for him”. This is a powerful message. Ask yourself, “Does my mind absorb this truth? Does my heart feel this intense love? Do I offer love to others with this earnestness?” I admit to being a work in progress. While my somewhat curvy path to understanding began after blindly accepting a Cursillo invitation, my journey continues with a heightened awareness of being loved and loving others. During a Cursillo weekend, it is with sincere hope new candidates experience “transformative moments” of this love. They may come during songs, talks, discussions, fellowship, or time resting with the Lord and allowing His intense love to penetrate hearts, minds, and souls. Are you longing for such moments?
Dawn Jung, Rector, Cursillo XXXIX