“The Joy of Being Fully Christian”
An Introduction to Cursillo
Short Course – that’s the literal meaning of Cursillo. This short course in Christianity is oriented toward personal renewal and the renewal of the Church and the world.
The work of Cursillo is the work of the Church: to prepare Christians for their part in fulfilling the Divine Commission to make disciples of all nations. It proposes no new theology or spirituality but is a method for personal development of the desire to live an authentic Christian life in response to one’s baptism
If you have any questions, give Kevin Moravek a call at (843) 235-6718.
Making a Weekend is a marvelous grace, which takes individuals as they are, with all their problems, and enables them to cooperate with God. It helps move them to conversion, enabling them to join their lives more fully to God and to constantly move toward holiness and a communion with their brothers and sisters. It can be said that a Cursillo Weekend is “the realistically joyful communication of being Christian”. Pope Paul VI addressed the Cursillo Movement in these words: “The layman, upon forming himself in Christianity, reforms his mentality and conforms his life to Christ’s image by means of faith, hope and charity; acting with complete responsibility, he transforms the temporal structures in which he is immersed, guided in his actions by the grace of Christ, he continually tries to remake the world according to God’s plan and design….We know that in your plan of spirituality and apostolate in the Cursillo Movement the mind of Christ is the guiding light that orients you…Christ, the Church, the Pope is counting on you.”
The Cursillo Weekend
Central to Cursillo is participation in a Cursillo Weekend. The Weekend is led by a layperson aided by a priest. There is a full schedule for the entire Weekend. Central to each Weekend are:
- A presentation of the Passion of Our Lord, and the opportunity for reconciliation
- 10 talks given by lay persons and 5 by clergy
- the discussion of these talks by the participants in table groups
- the daily celebration of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist
- special times of prayer and reflection
- singing and lots of laughter, camaraderie and good food.
The person who hasn’t attended a Weekend and participated in the movement might be confused or puzzled by Cursillo. When someone says “I can’t describe it: you have to experience it,” The impression can be created that there are secrets that the “newly initiated” can’t reveal. There should be no secrets, but there are surprises – fun surprises! There is absolutely no requirement that anyone get up and give a talk, or witness, or say anything besides introducing oneself.
When the gathered community is being truly the Church in action, there is a reliance on the grace of God to give all the freedom to respond in faith to fulfill in a deeper way one’s own baptismal covenant. Christ and His Church need leaders for today’s ministry. Cursillo is one means for finding inspiration and direction for Christian leadership.
Each Cursillo Weekend Is Different
Any description of the Weekend does not seem to account for the powerful emotional impact that it has on many people. It has been described by participants as:
- “the greatest outpouring of love I have ever experienced”
- “an eye-opener for a lifetime Catholic”
- “a truly joyful time”
- “an encounter with Christ Himself”
- “a life-changing experience”
At a recent gathering of persons who had attended a Weekend, one person in later reflection said, “I have been in the Church for a long time not knowing I was looking and searching. Up to the Weekend, I had always considered the phrase the Body of Christ to be a metaphor. Now I know it as a reality.”
Not everyone has that experience. At its best Cursillo only offers….. it does not set up expectations for specific responses The only characteristic that makes each Cursillo Weekend the same is that the leadership of each Weekend has dedicated itself to prayerfully prepare and present the Weekend by certain guidelines. Each team has dedicated itself to the continual call of Cursillo to lift up their friend Jesus Christ and to rely on the Holy Spirit to make Him known to others
“The Fourth Day”
On the last day of the Weekend, the participants are told how to continue the process in the period-after-the-Weekend (the rest of your life, known as “The Fourth Day”). The key to this is the perseverance and encouragement (the Spanish word Ultreya) to be found in becoming involved in weekly small groups. These small groups are open, in most cases, to all people and have been vehicles to them later to attend a Weekend.
Another form of encouragement comes from regional meetings called “Ultreyas”. These are held monthly and provide an opportunity to renew the ties that were made at one’s Weekend. For many, this has led to the development of deep and lasting friendships across the community. That is, in fact, the “glue” of Cursillio. It keeps alive the theme of Cursillio.