What Is Cursillo?
Cursillo is a community within the church. Its purpose is to help people 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 rather to let God work through each of us as we influence others, as all of us should be aware that we can exert a positive influence on those around us.
The goal of Cursillo is to bring all to Christ … this is the same goal of the Church. 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. 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.
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); then He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day).
Episcopalians who are leading an active Christian life and are a living witness to their love for Christ should consider Cursillo. Once a candidate fills out and submits the application, they are informed of what to expect at the three-day weekend.
Three-Day Cursillo Weekend
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. After Friday morning worship and 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.
The Cursillo weekend becomes 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 symbolically called the Fourth Day. It is composed of three major elements:
• The Group Reunion is a small group of friends (usually 3-5) who meet weekly, and who support each other on their spiritual journey.
They share their walk as it relates to their piety, their study, and their apostolic action in everyday life.
• The Ultreya brings back the whole Cursillo community and provides support and builds community by sharing communal experiences.
• Spiritual Direction is another important element of the Cursillo.
Skilled lay or clergy spiritual directors help provide a deepening of people’s union with Christ.
There are NO Cursillo secrets
Each weekend and group reunion follows the same general format, but each is different due to those that participate and how they chose to participate. No one expected to participate in any activity or worship service in any manner that they think is uncomfortable. Cursillo is a choice and there are NO secrets. Every candidate is asked to come and experience Cursillo for what it is. Literature is available to anyone who wishes to read or purchase the materials. Everything that goes on during the weekend may be told to anyone. There is no homework. A Book of Common Prayer and a Bible will be provided but people may chose to to bring their own.