1. Home
  2. Members Documents
  3. I Went to Cursillo

I Went to Cursillo

You Went to a Cursillo Weekend…Now What?

Welcome back from your weekend! While we hope you enjoyed it, our prayer is that you are more prepared to live out Jesus’ command to “go out and make disciples of all nations” starting with those in your house and your next-door neighbors.

Hopefully, you were able to take good notes and will take the time to look over them.However, the weekend is a lot to take in, so perhaps you will find this supplemental information helpful.

What is Cursillo again?

The Cursillo weekend is part of the Cursillo movement. The Cursillo weekend gives us a short-course in Christianity that includes a method to help us live out our personal vocation from God. God wants to use each person, not just ordained men and women, to share His love with those around us. God wants each of us to be action-oriented and to create plans to evangelize our environments.

The talks begin by leading us towards the desire of being a Christian living a life in grace.Then, they offer us a way to think about how we live that life in grace – through the three-legged stool of piety, study, and action.Finally, they give us a method on how to continue in the life in grace and lead others to Christ.

While Sunday is the method, it can get lost in the exhaustion and excitement of the day.So, here is a short recap.On Sunday, we are called to study our environments.This is not the creation outside, but the places we live, work, and have our being – our homes, churches, jobs, gyms, and even the restaurants we frequent, just to name a few.We are called to develop our own rule of life as part of our piety.We are called join with other Christians to change these environments.Sometimes that joining is through prayer alone; sometimes it means more than that.This is when we see a Christian community in action.At the end of the day, we hear about grouping and Ultreyas, the two biggest components of the method.

Have you developed a rule of life? How can we help you do that?

Your rule of life is the foundation for your piety (how you are in relationship with God).If you have not filled out your rule of life on the back of your Grouping card, now is a good time to think about that. Morning Offering – How are you saying “Good morning” to God? Is this the time for intercessions? For scripture reading? For other devotions? Or is it a quick “Good morning God, please go before me.” Personal prayer – When are you setting aside time daily for prayer and study? Worship – Have you made a commitment to be in church EVERY Sunday? More than that? Communion – Goes hand in hand with community worship these days.Visit to the blessed sacrament – For some people but not for everyone.This is possible to do in most Episcopal churches…Wherever you see the red candle, you will find the reserve sacrament, which some find meaningful to “just be” around. Examination of conscience – Good to do once in a while. You can find one on page 14 in your Pilgrim’s Guide. Spiritual Direction – Sometimes this is a strong friend you can really help point you in the right direction in hearing God’s words for you.Sometimes it’s a person trained in spiritual direction.While there are online resources, it’s best to start with your priest for further information.

What are you studying?

Are you actively studying scripture? Do you have a plan to study and grow in your understanding of God and his plan for you? The Bible is God’s written words to us and continues to be vital for our union with him.Devotions, music, and other items are a great way to learn more about scripture and to be introduced to scripture, but they should not take the place of scripture.If you have never systematically read the Bible before the Gospel of Mark, Romans, and Acts are good places to start.Many of the New Testament letters are wonderful and informative as well.Make sure you are using a translation that you are comfortable with.Or perhaps find a podcast/recording of scripture that you can listen to in the car or someplace else.If you are still overwhelmed, consider asking your groupies, your sponsor, or your parish priest how to begin.Perhaps your church offers bible study and now is the time to join.No matter where we are on our journey with God, we will never outgrow the need to read the Bible, study it, and apply it.

What plans are you making?

While the goal is to evangelize our environments, the first plans we may need to make after our Cursillo weekend is to find a group and commit to going to Ultreyas.

Grouping is much more than meeting together to feel warm and fuzzy. (Most of what follows is from the National Episcopal Cursillo Group Reunion, Booklet #3).

The purpose of grouping is to • Unite members in friendship and union with Christ’s love • Help members mature in faith, hope and love • Do all this through sharing of Christian life • Accelerate the conversion of each member as they represent the Jesus Movement to the world • Strengthen each member’s commitment to evangelism in home, neighborhood, place of work, etc.

There are three ingredients to a vital Group Reunion: personal growth, group building, and mission. Personal growth has to do with continuing to discover who you are. Group building is about becoming a team. It requires caring, sharing, forgiving, and affirming. Mission has to do with the matter of taking responsible action individually and collectively to share Christ with other.

It will take some time to move from surface level sharing to deep, abiding friendships, but it is very possible. One of the greatest gifts we can offer our groupies is our ears. When we truly listen, not to fix anything but to simply be available to others, wonderful things happen. The greatest gift is prayer. Whatever a group member is sharing can (and should) be offered up to God. He will offer guidance to you and your groupies.

Ultreyas are scheduled monthly in most regions of the diocese. They vary in location but you will find most of the same elements at each one – encouragement from others, Eucharist, music, grouping, a LAY witness talk, and food. They are a great way to be encouraged and to encourage others in our apostolic action.

Finally, we get to the part about evangelizing our environments. It may be helpful at this point to look at your grouping card again. #7 specifically talks about our plans to actively share Christ in the environments God has placed us in. Are you conscientiously forming a plan to evangelize your environment(s)? Your home? Work? Golf club? Gym? Someplace else?

While many times action is planned, sometimes God gives us opportunities to witness that we were not expecting. We need to be conscious of those opportunities so that we can say “Yes” to God more often. When we are seeking God (through piety) and studying about Him and ourselves (through study), we can say “yes” to what He is calling us to do (action). Go back to #5 and #6 on the card which talk about what apostolic success or failure did you have. Whether an action is a success or failure is NOT based on how the other person responds. Your action is a success if you said “yes” to God. It is a failure if you said “no” or let the opportunity pass by. Do not beat yourself up over a failure but do learn from them. God’s mercies are new every morning, and He will send you more opportunities.

How would you like to be involved in the greater Cursillo community?

Hopefully, some of your apostolic action will be directed back towards the Cursillo community.

Palanca, the prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the pilgrims and team members, are vital to the Cursillo method.This is the simplest way your apostolic action can be directed towards Cursillo.Please be part of the community who prays, prays, and prays for the weekends.

Sponsorship is “the heart and soul of the Cursillo movement” (National Cursillo Booklet #9).We cannot have weekends without sponsors, but it is a big job. When you sponsor someone, you need to pray, pray, pray for that person. You need to make sure he/she has personal notes from loved ones. You need to help him/her find a group and help them attend Ultreya.(Grouping and Ultreya can even begin before the weekend).You need to arrange or provide transportation to and from the weekend. You need to offer dinner on Thursday and dinner on Sunday.You need to attend Wake Up and Clausura. You need to answer all his/her questions (or find the answers).You need to get them to Welcoming Ultreya.It may sound overwhelming, but you should be able to form a Christian community in action to get this done.

Working ON a team.While not everyone is called to work a team, the movement only moves forward when we are hosting the 3-day weekend.For that to happen, we need team members.When you apply to work a team, you do not get to request a job or a talk.The rector/rectora is praying for the team that God is forming.He/she will listen to God and assign you a job and perhaps a talk or back-up talk.The team commitment includes two retreats (perhaps overnight), perhaps writing a talk, and arriving early Thursday to help set up. If you apply for a team but are not called, try again.Remember, God is in charge and will call you when He needs you.

Working for a team from the outside.Many, many things need done, offered, and prepared ahead of time for a weekend to be successful.If you would like to serve the weekend but are not on the team, please learn who the Head of Set Up is and contact him/her.He/she has a long list of things that need to be taken care of and you may be the person to do one of the items.

The Diocese of FL has a Cursillo Council which needs new members from time to time.For more information on Council, check out the diocesan website page on Cursillo for information about the lay director and contact him/her.

Anything Else?

Still have questions? DO NOT hesitate to ask! Ask the priest, your sponsor, or another Cursillista.We are all in this together to build a Christian community in action that will change our environments.