What is Cursillo?

An Introduction to the Cursillo Movement

According to the National Episcopal Cursillo, the goal of Cursillo is "to change the world, to remake the world in Christ and to restore all things to Christ," beginning with our own environments. The Three-Day Weekend introduces the strategy of Cursillo – a structure or a backbone for Christian life in every environment. The Fourth Day represents the ways that we continue to support each other in living that Christian life and it consists of Group Reunion, Ultreya, Spiritual Direction, and Communities in Action. These things are the heart of the movement!

A Little History . . .

Cursillo actually began with small groups, which we now call Group Reunion. Active, zealous Christian laymen in Spain sought ways to bring Christ and their Christian values into their real life situations. Because the movement originated in Spain, we have carried over many of the Spanish words originally used. This group of men met weekly, prayed together, and planned ways to bring Christ into their everyday settings. They found strength and mutual encouragement for each other as they carried out their plans under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As this circle of friends grew, they began to hold weekend retreats to focus on the fundamentals of Christianity, the study of our everyday environments, and how to take an active, intentional role as Christian leaders and witnesses of the Gospel.

Realizing that active Christians could not survive in isolation, the early leaders of Cursillo determined that the small groups needed to be linked regularly for celebration and encouragement. These regular gatherings we call "Ultreya." This word emphasized the need to persevere in the overwhelming task of apostolic witness while conveying a sense of hope.

In addition to attending a Three-Day Weekend and joining Reunion Groups and Ultreya, Spiritual Direction is advocated as an intentional and continuous discernment of God’s call in our lives. Both lay and ordained individuals may be trained to offer Spiritual Direction. People often seek spiritual direction during a time of transition in their lives but a Spiritual Director can also be used as a guide for personal spiritual growth as an ongoing discipline. The Community in Action describes the overall Christian Community, living out the call of Christian Leadership together.