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History of Cursillo

The full name of Cursillo is Cursillo de Cristiandad. The word "Cursillo" means short course. The full name translates into English as "a short course in Christian living".

Cursillo, which started in Majorca, Spain, in the 1940's, is a movement within the Catholic Church. The founders were dedicated to helping Catholics know Christ better. The intention then and now, is to give participants a renewed spirituality and a clearer understanding of how Christ can work through them to change the environments in which they live.

The Cursillo Movement came to the United States in 1957. That first weekend was held in Texas and was conducted in Spanish.

The Cursillo Movement and its method are endorsed and highly encouraged by the Catholic Church.

What is Cursillo?

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. 

Fourth Day

The Cursillo weekend is merely the beginning of a person’s growth as a Christian. The life-long work of every Cursillo participant is to bring Christ’s love and spirit to each of his or her environments through each person’s special talents. A participant’s “Fourth Day” is living and acting at all times as Christ would. The Cursillo Movement believes that actions speak louder than words.

Cursillo Candidates

Candidates for the Cursillo weekend must have a desire to become more of a person through deeper life in Christ and in service to others. They must desire to grow in perfection as persons and as Christians. Candidates need to understand clearly that the Cursillo weekend is about life, about people, about the Church and about a concrete, visible and experiential community. Candidates should understand that they are not going to attend a mere theoretical course and that no extensive knowledge of scripture is expected. Candidates need to have an attitude of listening and friendship together with a disposition of change.

While there are no specific criteria for Cursillo candidates, the purpose of the Cursillo will best be met by persons who:

  • have strength of character and self control,

  • can make their own decisions,

  • are mature and responsible,

  • are concerned about the social conditions of our times,

  • have the ability and desire to live in and for the community.


Persons may attend a weekend only if they are sponsored by someone who has attended the Cursillo weekend and is living out his or her Fourth Day. A sponsor is responsible for preparing a Cursillo candidate for the weekend and for supporting the candidate for a minimum of one year after the weekend. Accordingly, the relationship between a sponsor and a candidate must be one of openness, honesty and sincerity.

Selection of candidates to make a Cursillo weekend is based on a great deal of prayer. Sponsors are encouraged to “speak to God about men before speaking to men about God.” In addition, sponsors and other Christian leaders consider the environments which need Christ’s influence. Cursillo weekends are for people of all social classes and income levels.

Please join us in developing a deeper personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It begins with a weekend...

Cursillo is an encounter with Christ. It promotes a spiritual revitalization of our world. By living a fully Christian life, we bring Christ to others, including members of our family, school, workplace, etc. Cursillo develops a consciousness that we are called to be leaders. Watch the video of Fr. James Bearss and listen to his message about, "What is Cursillo?"

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