Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Venice Florida
What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is an encounter with Christ.
Cursillo (pronounced " kur - see - yoh") or Cursillo de Christiandad is a Spanish term which means "short course in Christianity". Cursillo begins with a three-day experience, which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. It is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and through them their families, churches and the world in which they live. Cursillo is a combined effort of laity and clergy toward the renewal of the church. This encounter with Christ encourages growth in grace and intensifies the Catholic Christian’s ability to be His witnesses in the world. This encounter strengthens faith, promotes personal holiness and assists Christians in discovering their personal vocation.
The goal of Cursillo is the same as the goal of the Church: to bring all to Christ. This is done when informed, trained leaders set out with the support of others having a similar commitment.
Cursillo originated in Majorca, Spain in the 1940’s. Eduardo Bonnin and his companions developed the Cursillo Method while attempting to train others for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St James at Compostela. This first effort produced such a profound effect that the group began holding three-day “short courses” and soon the method was accepted officially by the Church.
The first Cursillo in North America was in Waco, Texas in 1959. The first English Cursillo was in 1961. Since then the Cursillo Movement has spread throughout the United States and the world.
What happens on a Cursillo Weekend?
Cursillo is a 72 hour experience. The weekend begins on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday evening. The participants (called “Candidates”) live and study together in singing, prayer, worship, and discussion. Discussions center on various talks given by laity and clergy. These talks present the theme of God’s grace and how grace comes alive in the Christian community and expresses itself in the world. The Candidates discover how grace is real in their lives, and how they can live in the life of grace, bringing grace to others. There is the opportunity to participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and to begin to understand more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers.
What happens after a Cursillo Weekend?
The objective of Cursillo is to inspire, challenge, and equip candidates for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work. One of the primary strengths of Cursillo is the follow-up. Your weekend lasts only three days, but you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life. The Cursillo method includes the means by which the seeds God plants in our lives can grow and bear fruit during the “Fourth Day”, which is the rest of our lives. Each individual who returns from the weekend with a renewed commitment to work for Christ is encouraged to join in the activities of an existing community of persons who have also experienced the weekend. Optional gatherings renew the Cursillo community in a spirit of Christian friendship and support so that the members are further motivated to live and share their faith with others.
How do I experience a Cursillo?
A person attends a Cursillo Weekend to become a Cursillista (Cursillo Member). Each person participating in the weekend must have a sponsor who is a Cursillista. The sponsor will provide you with information about Cursillo and give you the application form. The sponsor also completes a portion of the application. The signature of a priest is needed on the application form.
Who can attend a Cursillo Weekend?
Cursillo is for the development of Christians who:
•Want to more fully understand the mission they are called to through their baptism.
•May have unanswered questions about prayer, study, and sharing their faith.
•Understand that being a Christian includes responsibility.
•Are willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an ongoing manner.
•Have positions of responsibility in the Church and the world.
•Who are practicing Catholics, free to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Church.
•Who are strong and mature in the Christian faith and are sound emotionally and psychologically.
For married couples: both partners are strongly encouraged to participate in Cursillo within a reasonable time. Applications from married couples are, ordinarily, submitted together.
How do I find a Sponsor?
Start within your Parish; ask your priest or check with the Secretariat's Area Representatives in your region who can put you in touch with a prospective sponsor.
The next weekend for men is October 17, 2013 to October 20, 2013 and
The next weekend for women is October 24, 2013 to October 27, 2013.
For information regarding the weekend, contact JIM Wood
Who is the Patron Saint of Cursillo?
Since the 1960’s St. Paul the Apostle has been the patron of the Cursillo Movement.
A Msgr. Hervas in Spain is attributed with first naming him and stated in a speech during a Jubilee celebration of St. Paul’s visit to Spain, “…if St Paul were to come back on earth he would become a Cursillista.”
The Vatican declared it official in 1963.
What’s with the rooster?
Legend has it that in Spain, a group of men were returning from a Cursillo weekend when their bus broke down. They started to sing a traditional folk song called “De Colores”. The song refers to a rooster and the many colors of God’s love. Since the early times use of the song, the rooster and the rainbow have become tradition in Cursillo.
Glossary of Terms
Cursillista : One who has gone through the Cursillo course and uses the Cursillo method.
Evangelization: Any step or action that helps spread the Gospel and builds the Kingdom of God.
Fourth Day: All the time in the life of a Cursillista after the 3-day weekend.
Group Reunion: also known as a Friendship Group; a small group of Cursillistas who meet regularly to share their lives as Christians and their evangelizing efforts.
Palanca: (Spanish for “lever”) prayers and sacrifices offered to God during evangelizing efforts.
Rollos: Talks given during the Cursillo weekend that convey the faith and ideals of the Cursillo Movement.
School of Leaders: A place where work of the Cursillo movement is planned, shared, and carried out. It meets monthly, using a Leaders Group Reunion as the format in which this is done. The School of Leaders is open to all Cursillistas who have made a Cursillo weekend.
Secretariat: The Diocese of Venice Secretariat is composed of clergy and laity, men and women. The whole Secretariat is entrusted by the Bishop with the responsibility of promoting, developing and directing the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Venice. The authority entrusted to the Secretariat is to embrace, study, and promote the Charism of the Movement.
Ultreya: a gathering of friendship groups in a locality (usually monthly) to link them together as an evangelizing community. The participants share their lives in Christ and are inspired by the lives of others.