What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is an encounter with Christ. It promotes a spiritual revitalisation of our world. By living a fully Christian life, we bring Christ to others, including members of our family, school, workplace, etc. Cursillo develops a consciousness that we are called to be leaders in our everyday lives.
In the Cursillo Movement, we approach evangelisation as a very natural act of being Christ-like within each of our daily activities. We realise that while most people would like to live their lives in a Christ-like manner, the pressures of the world often make this difficult.
The Cursillo Movement provides a method and a technique to provide each of us with the tools, the mentality, the strength, and the support to make this natural type of evangelisation possible.
What is a Cursillo Weekend?
Cursillo is a Spanish word which simply means ‘workshop’ or ‘short course’.
It is a Catholic short course in Christianity. It is a 3 Day residential course that is lived in Christian Community. Many who have attended Cursillo have found it to be an inspiring experience, offering renewal and a deepening of their Christian commitment and faith within their own parish.
The 3 Days begin with a retreat phase, then a series of talk given by lay-people and spiritual directors, which are then discussed in groups. Holy Mass is celebrated daily, along with meditations, communal and personal prayer. Through experiencing Cursillo, many experience Jesus Christ.
Cursillo invites Christians everywhere to build a world, founded on the rock of human love and friendship.
Cursillo through God’s grace manages to enable the essential realities of the Christian to come to life in the uniqueness, originality, and creativity of each person. In becoming aware of their potential and while accepting their limitations they exercise their freedom by their conviction, strengthen their will with their decision, and through friendship proclaims the best news of the best reality: that God, in Christ, loves us.
It is: An encounter with God, An encounter with others, An encounter with yourself.
A little bit of Our History
The Cursillo movement is active in over 60 countries worldwide. It is at the origin of over 80 renewal movements within the Catholic Church and also active within many other Christian denominations.
The Cursillo movement started in Majorca, Spain in 1944. A layman named Eduardo Bonnín participated in the early years of the “short courses” and helped develop the cursillos to the point that it became an active renewal movement in the Church.
In 1957, the movement had spread to North America. By 1981, almost all of the 160 dioceses in the United States had introduced the Cursillo Movement.
In 1972 Cursillo came to England.
Today, Cursillo is a worldwide movement with centres in nearly all South and Central American countries, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and in several African countries.
The movement is recognized by the Pope as member of the International Catholic Organizations of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome.
In 1980, the Cursillo Movement established a worldwide international office, the OMCC (Organismo Mundial de Cursillos de Cristiandad). This international office is currently located in Portugal.
Being “in Colours” (de colores) is to be in God’s grace. For that reason the Cursillo people (cursillistas) greet saying “De Colores” to each other.
A story from the early days of the movement in Spain tells of an occasion where a group of men were returning from a Cursillo weekend when their bus broke down. They began to sing De Colores, a traditional folk song. The use of the song in Cursillo took hold, and has held up as the movement has spread outside the Spanish-speaking world and to other denominations. De Colores – ‘Of Colour’ is recognised as our international greeting. De Colores was a popular Spanish song and was sung by pilgrims on the way to Santiago in the early 1940’s in the beginnings of Cursillo. It sums up the power and Grace experienced in Cursillo.
You can find out more about Cursillo across the world by following this link.