The Easter season and beyond is a time when spirituality plays on our hearts. This warm feeling of having a loving Jesus Christ within us generates a renewed love for family and others. It makes us want to proclaim the word of the Lord to others so they may experience a relationship with Christ.
This feeling can be carried on to a greater extent. Within several months, some of the communities in the Peoria Diocese will offer Christians an opportunity to experience a three-day spiritual renewal weekend, the cursillo. We in the Illinois Valley will be conducting such an event for men June 7-10 and for women June 21-24.
Blessed by the quiescent location surrounded by cornfields, Sts. Peter & Paul Cursillo and Catholic Church offers an opportunity to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of our world to a peaceful place where you will have time for reflection on 15 talks over the three days. This is a lay-run program during which 10 talks will be given by lay persons with five presented by clergy. There will be a lot of listening, discussing, singing, fun time, and praying. New friends will be made and, of course, there will be a lot of food — food for consumption and thought.
Cursillo is a method through which one’s spirituality can be strengthened, lived and shared in all areas of one’s environment.
I, personally, experienced my Cursillo No. 351 in 1989. Everyone comes away from a weekend with different feelings and emotions regarding their Christian perspectives. For me, it was a godsend. I had my life in turmoil. My priorities were misplaced.
I worked in sales management for a huge international soft drink company (Coca-Cola). I was mostly concerned about going up “the company ladder,” so that was my No. 1 focus. Also, I was doing a lot of college and high school sports officiating (baseball and basketball), so that took up a lot of my time.
Then, in third place was consideration for my family, which at the time my wife, Loretta, managed. Ever since a small boy, I had a good Christian background, being a Lutheran. However, after that cursillo and the contemplating done on the weekend and after, I recycled my priorities.
Two years after my cursillo, I was attending a Lutheran convention at Augustana College, Rock Island, At that convention was a couple of people who had done cursillos at Rock Island and were now organizing Via de Cristo, the Lutheran replication of the Catholic cursillo.
I volunteered to help get that movement organized and from there, my wife, who had also attended a cursillo, and I went on to help organize two additional Via de Cristo Secretariats — one in the Peoria area and the other in the Plainfield area. Also having been involved with a Tres Deis group in Rochelle, Loretta has worked on 18 teams and myself 31.
I opened my heart up to you so that you will consider opening your heart to Christ with this invitation to attend a cursillo.
God bless you!
Note to readers: Richard Volker and his wife, Loretta, are co-chairpersons for the publicity committee of the Illinois Valley Cursillo.