The Cursillo Movement is
a movement of the Catholic Church. The Spanish word Cursillo means short
course and is often associated with a 3-Day weekend. The proper name
is Cursillo de Cristiandad (short course of Christianity). However,
there is much more to the Cursillo Movement than just a 3-Day weekend.
Movement originated in Spain in the 1940's. It
began when a group of men dedicated themselves to bringing the young men
of their city of Mallorca, Spain to know Christ better. It developed as
they prayed and worked together and as they talked together, sharing their
thoughts about the state of the world and the effectiveness of their efforts
to bring the light of Christ to it. The story of the Cursillo Movement
is exciting. It's filled with the adventure of new discoveries and works
of outstanding dedication, tragic misunderstandings and setbacks, as well
as impressive patience. These young men and the clergy who supported them
endured many unpromising situations in the faith that God would work.
But it is even more an exciting
story on the spiritual level. It is the story of how God taught a group
of men how to work for Him in an effective way, a way that bears fruit.
In the late 1940's the first Cursillo was given and the Cursillo Movement
began. The first Cursillo was neither a lucky accident nor a blueprint
which came directly from heaven, but grew out of a process of development.
The first leaders had been working together for some time trying to bring
men to Christ so they could work together to Christianize the world.
It grew in the climate of spiritual renewal. It was developed by men of
prayer who were seeking to serve the Lord and was formed by the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit working in men who had dedicated themselves to bringing
others to a knowledge of Christ.
The Cursillo Movement came
to birth in the movements of renewal that preceded the second Vatican Council.
Vatican II was such a major event in the history of the modern Catholic
Church that there is a certain tendency to date everything from the Council.
But Vatican II was itself born out of an effort of spiritual and pastoral
renewal that had begun years before. The liturgical movement, the scriptural
renewal, Catholic Action and other movements of the lay apostolate had
begun years before the Council. Everywhere in the Church, people were seeking
to find ways of "bringing the Church to life in the hearts of men" (Romano
The leaders worked as a team
that prayed together, shared their Christian lives together, studied together,
planned together, acted together and evaluated what they had done together.
Together they worked at the task of forming Christian life among the young
people in Majorca. Out of their common efforts, something new in the life
of the Church was born. Church renewal, spiritual renewal, pastoral renewal,
the pilgrim style, a pastoral plan, teamwork among leaders - the Cursillo
Movement grew out of all these things. It developed not by accident nor
through a clearly specified plan, but was an organic development of the
efforts of a group of men who had dedicated themselves to the work of God.
Cursillo was brought to the
United States in 1957 and then to Canada a few years later. It is
now flourishing throughout the world.