What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is a lay ministry of the Episcopal church to help renew and deepen Christian commitment, serving under the leadership of our Bishop. Its purpose is to help those in the church understand their individual callings to be Christian Leaders. The leadership may be exercised in work situations, in the family and social life, in leisure activities, and within the Church environment. Leadership in Cursillo does not mean power over others, but influence on others; all of us need to be aware that we can exert a positive influence on those around us.
What is the Goal of Cursillo? The goal of Cursillo is the goal of the Church: to bring all to Christ. This is done when informed, trained leaders set out with the support of others having a similar commitment.
What does Cursillo do? It helps to renew and deepen Christian commitment. Cursillo is one of many renewal movements. Many people have said Cursillo provides an important learning experience which causes many to feel like newly made Christians with a purpose and with support.
What is the Cursillo Movement About? Cursillo is patterned on Jesus’ own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo); He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Three-Day Weekend); He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day).
Pre-Cursillo – During this period, sponsors (i.e. those individuals that have been to the three-day Cursillo weekend and are living the Fourth Day) identify those Episcopalians who are leading an active Christian life and are a living witness to their love for Christ, recommending their candidacy. It is also the period that selected candidates are informed of what to expect at the three-day weekend and assisted in appropriate preparations.
The Three-Day Weekend – Brings together a diverse group of Episcopalians to share the richness of many modes of worship and to broaden each one’s appreciation for our Church. Lay people conduct the weekend with two or three members of the clergy functioning as spiritual advisors. Cursillo presumes that those who attend are already well grounded in the faith. It is not intended to be a conversion experience but an enriching and deepening of what is already there. It often provides new insights into our faith as well as fostering ministry among lay people. The weekend begins Thursday evening spent in the Chapel with meditations, discussions, and Compline. Then blessed silence is kept until after the worship on Friday morning. After breakfast participants are assigned to table groups for the weekend. The three days are filled with talks and group discussions with emphasis on the doctrine of Grace, the Sacraments, and the great Cursillo tripod: Piety, Study, and Action. Plus there is fellowship, singing, good food, and time for privacy, meditation, prayer, and walks. Eucharist is celebrated each day.
Fourth Day – The Cursillo weekend is not an end to itself. It is a starting point that lasts the rest of your life. It is a springboard to a long-range practice of the Baptismal Covenant in the life of the Church called the Fourth Day. The Fourth Day is composed of three major elements:
Group Reunion – The heart of Cursillo is a small group of friends (usually 3-5) who meet regulary and who hold each other accountable for their spiritual journey. They report on their piety, their study, and their apostolic action. A bonding develops that institutes a strong support group for life.
Ultreya – An area-wide group of people that usually meet on a monthly or quarterly basis. Helps to provide support and builds community and fellowship with one another.
Spiritual Direction – Is an important element of the Cursillo Movement. It is a commitment to seek out skilled lay persons or cleric for spiritual direction to provide help in deepening their union with Christ.
Are there Cursillo Secrets? You may have been told by some who have attended the weekend that they cannot tell you what Cursillo is all about or what goes on during a Three-day weekend. This is not correct. Everything that goes on during the weekend may be told to anyone. Cursillo literature is available to anyone who wishes to read or purchase the materials