What is Cursillo:

Cursillo (pronounced ‘kur-see-yo’; meaning small course) is an apostolic movement in the Catholic Church which started in Mallorca, Spain in 1944 and has been active in the Diocese of Ogdensburg since the 1960s. The purpose of Cursillo is to form effective lay Christian leaders and disciples of Jesus Christ through an intensive short course presented over a three-day weekend.

Cursillistas (pronounced 'cur-see-is-tas'; those who have participated in the three-day Cursillo weekend) then continue deepen their relationships with Jesus by gathering regularly in small groups. Through these small groups and sharing the practices of prayer, study and apostolic action, friendships deepen, members are held accountable to grow in their relationships with Jesus and each other. This faith cannot be contained. Cursillo’s goal is to renew the Faith of the Body of Christ by bringing His message of love to our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors in the places where we work, live and worship, so that they too, may follow Jesus.

Want to Learn More Before Making a  Weekend?

If you would like to get a feel for what Cursillo is about, we encourage you to "come and see." You are most welcome to join us for an Ultreya (ull-tray-ya meaning “onward”), a monthly regional prayer-and-fellowship gathering of small Cursillo groups. Currently, there are three Ultreyas:    

Massena Region Ultreya (formerly Brasher Falls): Last Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm, St. Mary’s Social Hall, 11 Sycamore Street, Massena, NY 
Contact: Marika Donders at 315-393-2920 ext. 1380 or     

Peru Region Ultreya (Formerly Plattsburgh Region): 2nd Thursday of the month starting February 10, 2022 at St Augustine Church,3030 Main Street, Peru, NY 12972. 
Contact Dwane Bast at 518-643-2162

Watertown Region Ultreya:  TBA     

The Cursillo Weekend:

Normally, there are two Cursillo weekends each year, one for men, and one for women. The next Cursillo weekends are tentatively scheduled as follows: Women’s Weekend - November 17-20, 2022,  Men’s Weekend - May 11-14, 2023

A Cursillo Weekend is an encounter with self, Christ and others. It is three days of joyful living and sharing, experiencing and learning a simple method to know God better and develop more fully as a Christian. The purpose of the weekend is to provide the tools for daily Christian living. Cursillo begins on a Thursday evening and ends Sunday evening. 

During the three days, participants hear talks given by priests, deacons and lay persons, and may participate in discussion with others in small groups. The Eucharist is celebrated each day, and there is time for personal prayer and reflection, Sacrament of Reconciliation and fellowship. The weekend reviews the basics of Catholic faith with an emphasis on how you may live it more effectively in your own life.    

Since each person’s circumstances in life are different and each has a unique relationship with God, the Cursillo weekend is a deeply personal experience and, as such, can’t be fully described. It must be lived and experienced first-hand to appreciate.

Below are links to the fillable PDF Candidate Application form. Candidates should complete the candidate section of the Candidate Application, print it, and give it to their parish priest to complete.  Mail the completed form to the address at the bottom of the form or contact the pre-Cursillo coordinator at If you are interested in becoming a candidate but do not have a sponsor, please complete the application and indicate that you will need a sponsor. The Cursillo Team will assist with finding a sponsor in your area.    Sponsors should complete the Sponsor Application and read the Sponsor Commitment carefully. If you have any questions about sponsoring, please contact  the pre-Cursillo coordinator at    

In order to make a Cursillo Weekend, each candidate must have a sponsor. If you have questions, or would like to be sponsored, please contact the pre-cursillo coordinator at   

Application for Candidates       Cursillo Sponsors Application and Commitment


The Secretariat is the administrative arm of the North Country Cursillo and meets quarterly in person and other months or as needed virtually via MS TEAMS.    

2021/2022 Officers:  
Lay Director: Dwane Bast: or call 518-643-2162
School of Leaders Chair: Cathy Witkowski
Pre Cursillo Coordinator: Michael Neaton:
Post Cursillo Coordinator: Marika Donders
Weekend Coordinator: Linda Manchester
Palanca Coordinator: :  Patricia Jenkins
     Darcy Fargo
     Kathy Kirschner     
     Robert Manchester

Spiritual Advisor: Rev. Al Hauser