Welcome to Cursillo 101. The purpose of this page is to answer some commonly asked questions about the Cursillo movement in general and Cursillo in the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina. To go to the answer for a specific question, click on the question in the list below.
What is "Cursillo"
Cursillo is patterned on Jesus� own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo); He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Cursillo Three-Day Weekend); He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day).
The weekend begins Thursday evening spent in the Chapel with meditations, discussions, and Compline. Then blessed silence is kept until after the worship on Friday morning. After breakfast participants are assigned to table groups for the weekend. The three days are filled with talks and group discussions with emphasis on the doctrine of Grace, the Sacraments, and the great Cursillo tripod: Piety, Study, and Action. Plus there is fellowship, singing, good food, and time for privacy, meditation, prayer, and walks. Eucharist is celebrated each day.
The Cursillo weekend is not an end to itself. It is a starting point that lasts the rest of your life. It is a springboard to a long-range practice of the Baptismal Covenant in the life of the Church called the Fourth Day. The Fourth Day is composed of three major elements:
The Group Reunion
the heart of Cursillo, is a small group of friends (usually 3-5) who meet weekly, and who hold each other accountable for their spiritual journey. They report on their piety, their study, and their apostolic action. A bonding develops that institutes a strong support group for life.
which is usually held monthly, is a "reunion of the reunions". It provides support and builds community by allowing the sharing of communal experiences.
is an important element of the Cursillo Movement. It is a commitment to seek out skilled lay persons or cleric for spiritual direction to provide help in deepening their union with Christ. If you are wondering "what is God saying to me?", you may want to seek out spiritual direction. Your parish priest or diocesan office can help you find skilled spiritual directors in your area.
What does the word "Cursillo" mean?
Cursillo (pronounced "kur-SEE-oh") is a Spanish word that means "short course." In the context of the Cursillo method, it means a short course in Christian living.
How did Cursillo start?
The first Cursillo Weekends were developed in the Roman Catholic Church in Majorca, Spain. Cursillo was brought to the United States in the early 1960s by Spanish airmen who were stationed at air bases in Texas. The first Cursillo weekends in the U.S. were conducted in Spanish. A few years after it took root here in the Catholic Church, it spread into the Episcopal Church, which licenses the name Cursillo and many materials from the Roman Catholic Church. The first official Cursillo Weekend in the Episcopal Church (in English) was conducted with help from Roman Catholic sponsors in the Diocese of Iowa. Cursillo came to the Diocese of East Carolina in the early 1980s.
What goes on at a Cursillo weekend?
Cursillo weekends begin with dinner on Thursday evening, and end with a Eucharist on Sunday afternoon. The weekend centers around a series of fifteen talks, called "rollos" (pronounced "ROY-oh"), about various aspects of Christian life. There are also group discussions and activities relating to the talks, as well as music, worship, prayer, food and fellowship.
When and where are Cursillo weekends held?
In the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, Cursillo weekends are held in late April and early November at the Trinity Center, an Episcopal camp and conference center near Atlantic Beach, N.C.
What does "De Colores" mean?
In Spanish, it simply means "the colors". It's also the name of a song traditionally sung on Cursillo weekends that praises the beauty of the diversity and simplicity of God's creation. "De Colores" has also come to be used as a greeting among cursillistas (those who have attended a Cursillo weekend) but mostly just in the United States.
What's the deal with the chickens?
Actually, they're roosters. The rooster has long been a Christian witness symbol. The bright colors on the rooster images associated with Cursillo represent the diversity and beauty of God's creation.
Is there a cost?
The cost for Pilgrims (those attending a Cursillo weekend for the first time) is $200. A $50 deposit is requested with your appilcation. Scholarships to cover all or part of the fee are available, so financial difficulties should not be an obstacle to attending.
Who may participate?
Cursillo in the Episcopal diocese of East Carolina is open to any adult, man or woman, married or single, who is active in an Episcopal parish in the diocese and is seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. Laity and clergy alike are invited to join the fellowship. Husbands and wives may attend the same Cursillo Weekend, or they may go on different weekends. Confirmation in the Episcopal Church is not a prerequisite; however, Cursillo applications must be approved by an Episcopal priest before being submitted.
How can I make my Cursillo?
Each participant is sponsored by someone who is active in the Cursillo Community. The sponsor is responsible for providing his or her Pilgrim with an application form, seeing that it is completed properly, signed by a priest and mailed for processing. Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the Pilgrim clearly understands the concept and objectives of Cursillo, seeing that the Pilgrim arrives for the Weekend on time, has transportation home and is integrated into the Cursillo community after the weekend. The sponsor is also responsible for providing his or her Pilgrim with an application form, seeing that it is completed properly, signed by a priest and mailed for processing. If you are interested, but don't know someone willing to serve as your sponsor, please let us know by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after the weekend?
Although Three Day Cursillo Weekends are incredible experiences, they are just the beginning. The real point to Cursillo is Life AFTER the Weekend. Each individual who returns from the Weekend with a renewed commitment to work for Christ is encouraged to join in the activities of an existing community of persons who have also experienced the weekend. The purpose of this community is to give strength and support to each other in order that each person might grow in faith and develop their particular gifts of ministry. The support is provided through two methods:
How does one serve on a team?
You submit an application each time you want to serve on a team. If there is not an application in your parish office, you can get one from your local Ultreya Rector,or by visiting the diocesan website. Currently, the team fee is $200.00. Scholarship assistance may be available through your Ultreya.
There are four required meetings for team members prior to each Cursillo weekend. The first is held at Trinity Center prior to the Clausura of the Cursillo Weekend prior to the one on which you will serve. The second is usually held on a Saturday approximately six weeks prior to the Weekend. Time and location of this meeting is announced at the first meeting. The third is held on a Saturday one month before the scheduled Cursillo Weekend. The fourth meeting is held at Trinity Center on Thursday morning usually at 10:00 AM, prior to the team commissioning. This is held prior to the arrivals of the Pilgrims on Thursday afternoon.