25 years ago the Cursillo movement came to life in the Archdiocese of Mobile. That was after I left Auburn at the end of my undergraduate career, and before I returned as wife of a graduate student and mother of 2, with a 3rd on the way. But the seeds were being planted while I was in Auburn the first time. And those who planted the seeds, and nutured the movement were very important people in my life.
And so, as we gathered at Holy Trinity, AL – at a place that has now been declared the “Holiest Ground” – it was like a great family reunion for me. After some 30 years, to spend a day in the company of Sr. Chris who was responsible for most of my instruction as I joined the Catholic Church just after my 21st birthday, with Fr. Gene, who received and confirmed me in the Catholic Church, and Carol, who stood as one of my sponsors (and thereby is my godmother)… now that was HOME.
It was also home because of place. I have always considered Holy Trinity to be Holy Ground. And as Marty talked in the homily about coming to Holy Trinity as a pilgrim (not as a tourist) – it made even more sense to me why I should feel that way. My pilgrimages to Holy Trinity started with retreats in college, in helping a small bit with a high school retreat while a college student and continued through making a 3-day Cursillo weekend there, and working 3 more weekends so far. I’ve always found the presence of God in this place – in the grounds, but moreso in the people I have encountered while there. These are the people who have listened to the storms in my soul. These are the people who have walked with me in times a both joy and pain. It seems that most of the people that I trust on that level are somehow related to this place.
And so, as I spent the day, listening to stories, and sharing I felt like I was home. It has always boosted my spirit to be in the presence of my brothers and sisters in Christ – especially when we sing. A great gift of yesterday was to be a part of the team of musicians – that’s the best because we face the congregation and get the full effect of the singing body.
If, as Br. David Stendl-Rast puts it, what we all desire most deeply is to belong – then yesterday, I got what I most deeply need and desire. Alleluia!