May 9, 2020:
This COVID-19 situation continues to be the dominant aspect of virtually all conversations. We so wish it not to overshadow our growing Cursillo community. Let us have courage to change our approach to keep grouping and meeting, to adapt to the rules that we cannot change and to pray for wisdom to see the opportunities that God places before us.
We are excited to share some good Cursillo news. On this past Tuesday evening we had such an encouraging turnout for School of Leaders. Eric Volden gave a wonderful talk on Loving your Neighbor as Yourself. Eric, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
We are looking forward to the Archdiocese resuming masses on May 18th. Meetings are not yet able to be held in person so it is still important to group and hold Ultreyas via Zoom until early June as you are able. You can sign up for a free Zoom account at https://www.zoom.us/ or use Skype or you could alternatively use https://www.freeconferencecall.com. And how about inviting someone new to your Grouping or your Ultreyas? Now is a great time to share Cursillo with a friend.
Especially think of those you know whom you've not heard from; make the effort to reach out, connect, and encourage those who are isolated. Keep up your connection until we are able to gather together in person once again. Pray for our bishops, priests, and deacons who are separated from all of us and please continue to support your parishes financially and in prayer.
Southeast Metro Ultreya is hosting the Spring Morning of Renewal on May 30th from 9:30 - 12:30. It will be a Zoom meeting so you can watch or attend your favorite morning mass first, have breakfast, and join the call at 9:30. We are expanding the number of people beyond 100 so please invite your groupies and other friends as well. We will be sending out the Zoom conferencing information as we get closer to the event. Cef Aguillon, our National English Coordinator, will be our witness speaker for the morning giving us two talks. The first one is on the History of Cursillo and the Founder. The second talk will be on the Foundational Charism of Cursillo.
We are continuing to plan our summer weekends although there are some obstacles as you can imagine. We are working through these obstacles with Marion Anderson, the Rectora, and Pat Hofkes, the Rector, and the Cursillo Section of Secretariat. As of right now, we are still working to hold the men's weekend July 16-19th and the Women's weekend August 6-9. We will be adjusting plans to better accommodate a safe environment. Dave Hutton, our Site Coordinator is working on this. If it isn't possible to work through the details for the summer, we will move the weekends to early November. We want you all to join us in praying for Weekends 377 and 378. As always, these weekends will happen with God's grace and help. There are always obstacles and we always work together with the Holy Spirit to resolve them. And we will continue to plan. Please don't be afraid to sign up for team and especially to bring your friends and sponsor them. What a great time to bring younger people to our Cursillo weekends.
If you have questions about how to sign up for team or how to sign up candidates, please contact email@example.com.
We continue to pray for a remedy to COVID-19 and look forward to the day when we will all be together again. In the meantime, praying is our best option. Please be helpful as we all follow the guidelines for our state, our Archdiocese and our churches.
Michael and Jane Marie Rief, Lay Directors Twin Cities Cursillo
April 13, 2020:
De Colores and a very Happy Easter Monday to you!
We are having success with virtual Ultreyas and School of Leaders held via Zoom. Please watch for invitations from your Ultreya Representatives and plan to attend remotely. These remote Ultreyas are different but are working out fairly well. We hope to get back to some sense of normalcy soon. Ultreyas will need to be held remotely until at least May 4th per the stay at home order for the State of Minnesota.
Planning is continuing with hope and prayer for our summer weekends. Formation begins on June 10th. The core team is forming and we hope to have full teams ready for our summer candidates. Please sign up to work the weekends and please sponsor. We know there are many friends who need a closer relationship with Christ and will love to be part of our Cursillo community.
Peace and Goodness,
Mike and Jane Marie Rief, Lay Directors
April 4, 2020:
De Colores! You continue to be in our prayers as we all stay home and pray. We are encouraged by the dedication we are seeing throughout our Cursillo community to stay connected in our small groups and Ultreyas. Northeast Ultreya was held on this past Friday evening via Zoom. It was fun to see each other with 27 in attendance and it worked! Leaderschool will be held via Zoom on Tuesday evening, April 7. Please see the email message from Stu Walker sent on April 3.
While we cannot gather as a community in person, we can attend our church services during this most holy Easter week via computer or TV and continue to financially support our churches and charities. And there are so many more opportunities to stay connected and really have a wonderful Holy Week.
Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cousins will be offering a retreat each day of Holy Week via https://www.archspm.org/holyweek/. You can watch in the moment or follow up when you have time as the talks will be posted.
You may sign up for a virtual hour of prayer for the two weeks following Easter sponsored by NACG (National) Cursillo https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBQuKinT-Iq5qzOTcIKHyFXhrtKwa0O266I7_VlDD1BNZ3pA/viewform?usp=sf_link
You can see the NACG newsletter here: https://www.natl-cursillo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CNN_2020.04_en.pdf for various articles and a lovely prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
God bless each and every one of you. Please reach out if you have a question or need to talk to someone. We are here and we know that your groupies will be there for you too. We are all really just a phone call away. Have a very blessed Holy Week. God bless you and your families,
Mike and Jane Marie Rief, Lay Directors, Twin Cities Cursillo
And saving the best for last, a message from Deacon Mick Humbert, 1/2 of our Spiritual Director team.
Death and Life
As these two realities clash and are heightened during Holy Week, along with our worldwide challenge with COVID-19, I offer a brief reflection and prayer from Richard Rohr OFM of the Center for Action and Contemplation:
We invite you to join us in prayer for all those who are suffering as a result of COVID-19, those who have already lost their lives, and those who are healthcare workers attending to the sick. You can also dedicate your contemplative practice as a prayer for the benefit of all.
March 27, 2020:
As you are aware, our churches remain closed and we are all staying home per the directive of Governor Walz. Our Ultreyas and School of Leaders will not be able to meet in person in April. We are planning to use Zoom, a conferencing software, for School of Leaders and will reach out to Ultreya Reps to see if they would like to try conferencing for the Ultreya meetings as well. We will share more information about this next week.
This is a tough time. We are struggling with too much time inside and trying to keep exercising and eating right. We miss our Cursillo activities and miss seeing our friends and family members. Let's focus on what we can do. We can call each other. We can continue to support our local parishes financially. We can help organizations like Sharing and Caring Hands, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services and other charities that we support. We can attend mass via TV or Computer. We are grouping using conferencing like Zoom and Skype.
Looking ahead, please do register to work the summer weekends. We are continuing to hope and to plan.
Our prayers for all of you and our thanks to those of you who are working in Health Care or Essential Services.
Mike and Jane Marie Rief
March 20, 2020:
De Colores! We hope you are well and managing through this difficult time. Our Cursillo events continue to be suspended until our churches reopen and it is safe for us to meet again. Please reach out and call people you know may be living alone or experiencing loneliness. If you need someone to call you occasionally, please let us know.
We are holding our leadership meetings like Secretariat via Zoom which is an online conferencing tool. Using this conferencing software allows us to meet and plan for the time when we will be able to resume our activities.
Our small groups met virtually this week. We used Zoom and Skype. Zoom has a free option for video conferencing as well if you want to try it. Skype allows for video conferencing as well; there are other Apps you can use too. It is good to continue grouping in a safe way using conferencing.
Last week we promised our new 4th Dayers a video of the Post Cursillo talk that we missed having when we had to postpone their weekend reunion. We are sharing the video with all of you and especially for the men and women of weekends 375 and 376! Thank you to Tonya and Guy Beck for preparing this video. God Bless each of you.
Video should appear soon...
March 14, 2020:
A note from the Twin Cities Cursillo Lay Directors - Mike and Jane Marie Rief
March 12, 2020:
We know that you are all hearing the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/ and the Archdiocese https://www.archspm.org/guidance-regarding-the-coronavirus/. We recommend that at this time, all Cursillo events may continue to occur as long as churches are open; we are open. We suggest the following:
1. If you are sick or feeling sick or suspect contact with a sick person and are concerned, please stay home and get better. Know that we are praying for you.
2. We suggest that each of us refrain from shaking hands or hugging during this time of uncertainty. Better to be on the safe side. Instead, please greet each other with your beautiful smiles, a hearty De Colores! or God Bless You!
3. Please perform extra palanca for an end to this virus, for healing for those impacted and for the peace and well being of all. We are especially concerned for shut ins and an increase in loneliness. We suggest a daily rosary.
4. For Cursillo potlucks, we are asking that we each trust each other that food has been prepared carefully or purchased from a store. We ask that each person wash their hands before approaching the food table and consider bringing hand sanitizer to share. We will bring some to events that we attend. If you feel uncomfortable eating food at a Potluck, please eat before hand and come and enjoy the witness speaker and event.
We love our 4th Day community. We will be here through this interesting time and will continue to serve God with great joy into the future. God bless and protect each and every one of us through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Peace and Goodness,