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What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is defined as a "short course in
Christianity". The Cursillo Movement is a
movement within the Catholic Church
that shares the fundamentals of being a
Christian as an individual and in
community. The Cursillo helps people
discover and fulfill their personal
vocations while promoting groups of
Christians who leaven their environments
with the Gospel.
The purpose of the Cursillo Movement is to make
Christian Communities possible in neighborhoods,
parishes, work situations, and other places where people
live the greater part of their lives. The Cursillo makes it possible for
anyone in the world to live a Christian life in a natural way.
It is the means by which men and women are able to live the Gospel.
“Cursillo is an instrument raised up by God for the proclamation of the
gospel in our time.” – Saint John Paul II
Since it is a movement of the Church, the Cursillo Movement has the same apostolic purpose as the Church.
As Pope Paul VI said: "The Church exists to Evangelize..."
The Cursillo Movement provides the means to accomplish
this evangelization by focusing to assist the baptized to identify and
complete their mission on earth. The aim of the Cursillo movement is
to prepare men and women to go forth as apostles, and proclaim the
Gospel. It provides the Cursillistas (people who have experienced the
Cursillo) with the training and the tools needed to sustain
their mission on earth: Group Reunions, Ultreyas, and School of Leaders.
There are three stages in Cursillo:
Pre-Cursillo; Cursillo (3-Day); Post-Cursillo (4th Day)
The first stirrings of what later was to become the Cursillo Movement began on the Island of Mallorca, Spain, during the years of World War II. The Spanish Civil War had ended in 1939 and the years after the Civil War were a time of ferment in the Spanish Church. The idea was born to have a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela, the great Spanish pilgrimage center of the Middle Ages. The pilgrimage would be a time for the young men and women of Spain to dedicate themselves in a renewed way to the work of Christ. The pilgrimage set a tone.
The spirit of pilgrimage is a spirit of restlessness, a spirit of dissatisfaction with spiritual luke-warmness...a spirit of moving onward. It is also a spirit of brotherhood -- of the brotherhood among fellow pilgrims who are striving together to reach the goal. The preparation for the pilgrimage gave rise to efforts of renewal in the different Catholic Action groups in Spain, and among them the branch for young men in the Diocese of Mallorca. As a result of the preparations for the pilgrimage, there was a greater interest in finding an effective way to work apostolicly.
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