By Nancy Kijewski, Precursillo Chairperson, Diocese of Phoenix
What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is a Spanish word, which translates best as “Short Course”. The full title is “Cursillo De Cristiandad”, which means “Short Course in Christianity” or Christian Living.
Cursillo is not an organization, but rather a worldwide lay movement within the Catholic Church, and its mission is exactly the same as the Church’s – Evangelization. The Cursillo movement proposes that Christianity can be lived out at home, at work, in all areas of the secular world. Through joyful, deep, united Christians, the world can be transformed.
The Cursillo Method
The method of Cursillo begins with three days [weekend] of joyful living and sharing – a short but intense course in Christianity. During those three days, those attending live and work together, listening to talks given by priests, deacons and laity. The Cursillo weekend is an encounter with oneself, Christ, and others. Its simplicity is precisely why it’s a powerful, beautiful and joyful experience.
However, the three days are only an introduction. Following the 3-day weekend, Cursillo provides a method of perseverance through true friendships. These friendship groups help each person find practical solutions to the problems faced on a daily basis, and continue each one’s growth closer to Christ. The Christ-likeness in a few good people is contagious. The transfer of their Christian values and goals into the places they live, bring about a renewal of the world.
A Worldwide Movement
The Cursillo Movement began in Spain in the mid 1940’s on the Island of Mallorca. Layman Eduardo Bonnin, inspired by the Holy Spirit, was the primary leader in founding the Cursillo Movement, with the support of Bishop Juan Hervas. The Cursillo Movement came to the United States at Waco, Texas, in 1957. By 1959 Cursillo had spread throughout Texas, and had arrived in Phoenix. The Cursillo Movement has now spread worldwide in several languages.
The Cursillo Movement has received the personal recognition and blessings of the popes, including Pope Paul VI (who designated St. Paul as its Patron Saint), John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. The Cursillo Movement received Canonical Recognition and approval of its statutes from the Holy See.
The Cursillo Movement has been so effective in the Catholic Church; that many other Christian denominations modeled similar programs off it. In addition, Marriage Encounter, Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP)and many other programs also modeled themselves off Cursillo. There is even a spin-off prison ministry (Kairos); as well as for youth.
Come and See
Our parish has a representative couple, Mike and Irene Mead, who help promote and organize Cursillo activities at St. Thomas More. Once a month, the Cursillo community and anyone else interested gather for a morning of sharing at one of the Northwest Parishes. These times of sharing of prayer and community are called “Ultreyas.” They are open to all and are announced in the bulletin. We invite you to join us and see what Cursillo is all about. You are welcome to visit our website at www.phoenixcursillo.com De Colores!December 31, 2017