A brief history of Cursillo
What Is Cursillo?
Cursillo is 'A movement of the Church providing a method by which Christians are empowered to grow through prayer, study and action and enabled to share God's love with everyone.'
A Brief History
Following the Spanish Civil War at the end of the 1930’s a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James in Compostela was arranged in order to encourage the Christian faith in young people and help change their damaged society to one that was fully centred on Christ.
Leaders of the pilgrimage were prepared through short courses, called Cursillos, which improved their knowledge of faith, leadership and the organisation of the pilgrimage.
One of the leaders, Eduardo Bonnin, was passionate with the idea of the Cursillo. With help he developed a three day Cursillo structure which aimed to remedy the ‘ignorance of faith, the superficiality of ritualism and the apathy of non-faith commitment in daily life’. This idea has since spread across the globe and is active in most of Europe and the Americas, as well as parts of Africa and Asia.
The Cursillo Weekends
A Cursillo weekend is three days long, normally running from Thursday evening through to Sunday afternoon. All weekends are led by a team of lay people and clergy, who have all experienced a Cursillo weekend themselves.
During the weekend the participants (Cursillistas) will live, worship and learn together. Talks will be given by the leaders on some of the main areas of Christian life and faith, such as grace, faith and action. These areas will also be discussed in group workshops, and reinforced with prayer and quiet reflection.
What do I get out of the Weekend?
Cursillo weekends are a great way to meet people who have a common desire to deepen their relationship with God. They break away from the routine of service-based worship and bring a strengthening of Christian commitment within a community. It is an opportunity to discover our personal gifts and use them for Christian service and leadership, so that we can build up the witness of the Church in the world that both may be renewed and transformed.
What happens after the Weekend?
Following the weekend, Group Reunions are held to maintain encouragement and support to the Cursillistas. National and Diocese-wide Ultreyas are held annually, and give an opportunity for people to meet and share their experiences of a Cursillo weekend.
Cursillistas are also encouraged to find a ‘Spiritual Director’, a person who has experience and maturity in following a life with Christ, to help guide and pray for the Cursillista during their spiritual journey.