Cursillo is a three day learning, sharing, and inspirational experience of living in a Christian community. The word Cursillo is Spanish for “a short course.” During the three day Cursillo weekend a person not only hears inspiring talks on what it really means to be a Christian, but actually experiences the joy of building and being part of a genuine Christian community.
Cursillo began in Spain in the 1940’s as a way to help men renew the Catholic Church in Spain. It developed into a “method” to help renew the church. This “method” is called a short course or short experience in the fundamental teachings of Jesus as lived by other Christians. Following the weekend, the method provides the opportunity to reunite on a weekly and/or monthly basis in order to sustain initial enthusiasmand to encourage continued spiritual growth for a lifetime. The Cursillo is now followed throughout the world and by both Catholic and Protestant Christian faiths.
Cursillo has received the blessing of Pope Paul VI who gave us St. Paul as our patron Saint. Pope St. John-Paul ll honored the Cursillo by acknowledging its presence in 60 countries. It is lived by over 8 million Catholics around the world. Cursillo is also encouraged and endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The 3 Day Weekend
During the three days, fifteen talks are given: ten by lay people and five by priests or deacons. These talks emphasize the true meaning of grace, the sacraments, the Mass, the nature and need of prayer, living one’s daily life in union with God, studying to understand the gift of God, and introducing Christ to others by word and deed. The atmosphere of the weekend is one of joy and grace.
After the Weekend
The Cursillo weekend in itself is just the beginning. When correctly applied and overseen, the Cursillomethod results in the spiritual re-vitalization of the Christian community. The influence of Christ on the individual is shared with his/her family, school, place of business, social circle, etc. The goal of the Cursillo movement is to make Christ the prime influence in one’s life and in society.
After the Cursillo weekend, the Cursillista (one who has made a Cursillo) is encouraged to do three things. 1) Expand his/her prayer life through an individual program of daily spiritual exercise; 2) Initiate an ongoing program of spiritual study; 3) Evangelize as a natural attribute of being Christ-like in our daily activities.
In order to sustain spiritual growth, a “Group Reunion” is held weekly. A Group Reunion is a small, independent gathering of men or women that encourages each person to share his/her week in terms of prayer, study, and action (apostleship). By doing this we lend support to one another and help sustain our apostolic enthusiasm for Christ.
For more information go to the Harrisburg Cursillo Community website at http://harrisburg-cursillo.weebly.com/
or the National Cursillo Movement website at http://www.natl-cursillo.org/