Cursillo, pronounced "Cur-SEE-yo" is a Spanish word meaning "short course". Cursillos de Christianidad is the full title of the movement. This phrase literally means a short course of lectures in Christian living, but it is not intended to simply refer to a course of instruction (lectures). Rather, it means a short running course (such as St. Paul's admonition to run the good race). It is something to experience, not just to understand intellectually, which is implied in thinking of a course of instruction. Cursillo includes a three-day weekend which begins on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday. During these three days, talks are given by lay persons and clergy who have spent time working together carefully planning and preparing for the weekend.
A Cursillo weekend can be made only once and therefore is not a substitute for a retreat. The basic atmosphere of a Cursillo weekend is unlike the individual solitude of a retreat. During the weekend the teachings of Christ are discussed in a climate of joy and community. Actually the Cursillo weekend makes succeeding retreats more profitable and participants are encouraged to make regular retreats.
The weekend is an opportunity to meet clergy and laity who are seeking to strengthen their faith.
How Did Cursillo Begin?
The first Cursillo Weekends were developed in the 1940's in Majorca, Spain. The first Cursillo weekends were aimed at young Catholics, in an attempt to bring them back to Christ at a difficult time for Spanish Catholicism.
What happens after the weekend?
Each individual who returns from the weekend with a renewed commitment to work for Christ is encouraged to join in the activities of an existing community of persons who have also experienced the weekend. The purpose of this community is to give strength and support to each other in order that each person might grow in faith and develop their particular gifts of ministry. The support is provided through two methods:
GROUP MEETINGS (Reunions) that are held frequently when several people gather together for mutual encouragement and support through PRAYER, STUDY, and ACTION.
AREA MEETINGS (Ultreyas) that are meetings of larger groups of people who have either participated in a weekend or who might be interested in doing so. Here they share and witness to others so that the Church and their own faith may be built up.
Who can take part?
Cursillo is open to all adult Catholics, men and women, married or single. Laity and clergy alike are invited to join the fellowship.
What is expected of participants?
To be open and willing to respond to what you experience, to share your feelings with others, and to allow them to share theirs with you. To make a genuine effort to discover where you are and where or how you can grow in your Christian life.
To feel secure in the knowledge that you are accepted where you are and as you are, and to know that a specific response is not expected of you. To be curious enough and thirsty enough for spiritual exploration and nourishment to acknowledge a need to commit a weekend of your life totally to Christ.
How do I apply?
Every participant has a sponsor, who has attended a Cursillo weekend. This sponsor will assist you in preparation for the weekend and, more importantly, assist you after the weekend. If you know someone in your parish who has attended a Cursillo weekend, ask them to tell you more and how to get started, and let your priest know about your interest. Pray about it, and if you conclude that you should go, submit an application that your sponsor will provide.
Armagh Diocesan Cursillo Events:
Cursillo Weekends: Usually in September, held in Benburb Priory Ultreya (Prayer Meeting):
Last Friday of every Month, 8.00pm, Marist Crypt, St Mary's Road, Dundalk
Rosary for Peace: Every Sunday, 7.00pm, St Nicholas' Church, Dundalk
Clonoe Ultreya: 3rd Wednesday of Every Month