Cursillo (pronounced ‘kur-see-yo’) is an apostolate within the Roman Catholic Church whose purpose is to bring self and others closer to Jesus through friendship and the practices of prayer, study and apostolic action (good works and evangelization). Cursillo’s goal is to renew the Faith of the Body of Christ by bringing His message to our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors in the places where we work, live and worship.
The Cursillo Movement began in Spain in 1944 and has spread throughout the world and been experienced by millions of Catholic Christians. Cursillo has received the personal recognition and blessings of several popes, including Pope Paul VI, Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
Cursillo is a Spanish word which literally means ‘short course’ and is the name given to the three day Cursillo Weekend; the Short Course in Christianity.
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 the following 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.
The Cursillo works through God’s grace to help enliven the spirituality of each person by the sharing of friendship in virtue through piety, study and action. With the support of friends it is easier to persevere in Christian life and proclaim God’s love through the way we live our lives and reach out to others.
Following the 3-day weekend, a method of perseverance is available to help each person find practical solutions to the problems faced on a daily basis with the support of friends. Application of the Cursillo method will help provide a true and lasting peace for the rest of one’s life by living out what is fundamental to being a Christian.