What is Cursillo?

   The Cursillo Movement is a movement of the Catholic Church, where the lay faithful working together with our priests and bishops, use the cursillo method to find, form, sustain and link Lay Leaders for Christ and His church.  Cursillo is a means of supporting Christian Community.

 "TAKE A CHRISTIAN or a handful of Christians who, in the midst of their own community, show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with efforts of all for whatever is noble and good.  Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine.  Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this?  Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them?  Why are they in our midst?  Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one."

   (Pope Paul VI's   Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World)


    In today's world can Christianity penetrate the many areas of secular life?  Can it live there?  Can it grow there?  Can it transform the world in a way that is more fruitful than the past and in keeping with the times?  The Cursillo Movement thinks so. It proposes no new type of spirituality, but simply a method through which one's spirituality may be developed, lived and shared in any area of human life where there are Christians willing to dedicate their lives to God in an ongoing manner.  The method is introduced by a little course.


Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo) is a Spanish word meaning "little" or "short course." It begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday night.  During those three days those attending live and work together listening to talks given by priests and laity.  They also share the Eucharist and pray together. 

The titles of the talks indicate their content:  Ideal, Habitual Grace, The Lay Person in the Church, Actual Grace, Piety, Study, The Sacraments,  Action (Lay Evangelization), Obstacles to a life of Grace, Leaders, Study of the Environment, Life in Grace, Christianity in Action, The Cursillista beyond the Cursillo,  and Total Security (in Jesus).  Each talk is followed by a discussion period.


The "after" activity of the Cursillo is known as the "fourth day."  During this time perseverance is important just as it is in any method of renewal.  In the Cursillo Movement the community spirit is continued after the three days through the "Ultreya" or reunions of the community.  These are available as a means of growth in understanding and zeal within the Christian community.  Reunions of smaller groups of friends are also available in order for them to encourage one another in friendship, spiritual improvement and the Christian Lay Apostolate.


A Cursillo is an encounter with Christ.  That sounds too simple but it's not.  Think about it.  A real meeting with Christ.  If that is understood then the power, beauty and joy of the Cursillo Movement will be understood.  Interested?  To check out a Cursillo movement in your area go here to find people in your area to talk to.

   The Cursillo is an encounter with Christ. Correctly applied and overseen the Cursillo  Movement can have very positive results in the spiritual revitalization of the world.  The Christ-likeness in a few good people is contagious.  The transference of Christ's values to others in one's family, work, Social Environments, etc., is the Christianizing of environments the Cursillo promotes.  The goal of the movement is that Christ be the prime influence in society.  So it is said that the PRIMARY OBJECTIVES of the Cursillo Movement are to develop in adult Christians a consciousness of their power and mission to become leaders in the work of Christian renewal, and to sustain them as they provide a Christian leaven in civic, social and economic life.  This "Christianizing of our Environments" is what the Cursillo Movement is all about.