Cursillos in Christianity
Cursillo has been very powerfully used by God in the renewal of Christians and Christian communities of all styles and backgrounds. I am deeply grateful for all that has been done through its work.
The Most Rev'd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
What IS Cursillo®?
- Cursillo means 'short course'. It's pronounced kur-see-yo. The full name of the movement in Spanish is Cursillo de Christiandad: a 'short course in Christianity'.
- Cursillo is unique. It not the same as the Alpha Course. Cursillo is for committed Christians, usually confirmed communicants in their Christian communities. Rather than an introduction to the Christian Faith, Cursillo is a method for growing in and sharing that Faith.
- Cursillo is apostolic. As such, it begins and continues in any diocese only with the blessing of the diocesan Bishop, who is a Successor to Jesus' Holy Apostles. It is therefore a movement of the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church, and not a "secret society". The Rt. Rev'd Christopher Herbert, former Diocesan Bishop of St Albans (retired), gave his approval for St Michael's to promote Cursillo.
- Cursillo is ecumenical. Most major Christian denominations support the Cursillo movement and method, though sometimes using different names (eg 'Walk to Emmaus', Tres Dias).
A Brief History of Cursillo
Cursillo began in Spain after the Spanish Civil war ended in 1939. To help restore the spiritual life of their war-ravaged country, young men of Spain began to plan a great National Pilgrimage to the shire of St James at Compostella, to rededicate young people to the work of Christian mission. Due to the Second World War, the pilgrimage did not take place until the summer of 1948, when some 70,000 young people under the leadership of the Pilgrim Scouts of Spain, travelled to the shrine of St James to pray for the re-conversion of Spain. Meanwhile, a new Bishop, Juan Hervas, arrived in Majorca and it was with his guidance that the 3-day weekend was first held in the Monastery of San Honarata in Majorca in January 1949. Its chief purpose was to give people the experience that those many young people had on their pilgrimage to the shrine of St James.
The Movement spread from Spain throughout the world. The first Roman Catholic Cursillo in the United States was in Spanish and held in Waco, Texas on May 25, 1957. The first Anglican Cursillo was held in Dallas, Texas in 1972. In September 1981, a team from Dallas, Texas came at their own expense to put on two Cursillo weekends in the United Kingdom. One took place in Cymru (North Wales) and one in Gloucester. As well as training, these Dioceses were also given financial support and a wealth of experience to guide them. As a result, Cursillo has grown throughout the UK and is represented in some 30 dioceses in Britain, Wales and Scotland.
The Cursillo® Mission Statement
Anglican Cursillo is...
a movement of the Church providing a method by which Christians are empowered to grow through prayer, study and action and enabled to share Gods love with everyone.
What does Cursillo® offer?
- An opportunity to grow in the Christian Faith.
- A means of grace to experience the love and grace of God.
- A community to aid other Christians in our personal pilgrimages and journeys.
- A movement within the church and not outside it, working together with groups and organisations in the parish.
- A method for building bridges to promote the Gospel, embracing all traditions in the Anglican continuum, from Evangelical to Anglo-Catholic. Cursillo affirms the dual integrity of both Word and Sacrament.
Who is Cursillo® for?
People just like you - laity and clergy - anyone who is:
- wanting to be glad and confident in their faith.
What is a Cursillo® Weekend?
- This is the first three days: Like the three days of our Lord's passion, beginning with Maundy Thursday and ending with Easter (the Easter triduum), a Cursillo Weekend begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday afternoon.
- During these three days, those attending live and work together, listening to talks given by different people, both lay and ordained.
- You will hear talks on Ideals, Grace, Obstacles to Grace, the Life of Prayer, Study, Action, Lay People in the Church, Sacraments and the Christian Community.
- The talks lead to lively discussion in small groups.
- Learning, praying, sharing, singing, laughing and living together is the basis for discovering what it means to say, "We are the body of Christ."
What is expected of me?
- There is no specific response expected of you.
- Just be open to what happens.
- Simply take a fresh look at what the Church has always taught - Good News - the miraculous and joyous discovery of Christ's endless love.
- Is that really all?
- Yes! There are no tricks, no gimmicks, no hidden mysteries only revealed to the initiated. If there are any surprises, that's only because the Christian life is full of surprises.
You aren't expected to know or do more, just reflect on being more!
The weekend is not an end in itself but very much a beginning. Its purpose is to lead us into the Fourth Day.
The Fourth Day is where we continue our journey together, and is the most important part of Cursillo. We support and encourage one another as we seek to live and work to God's praise and glory.
Sounds too good to be true? Then come and see for yourself!
Interested in attending a Cursillo Three Day Weekend, or in joining a Fourth Day Group Reunion? Please contact the Parish Office.
Telephone: 01279 654416
St Michael’s Church
Alternatively, email the Secretary of the St Albans Cursillo directly:
Click here to visit the St Albans Cursillo website, to find out more and to download an information leaflet.
Click here to visit the British Anglican Cursillo Council (BACC) website.