As Christians, we are sons and daughters of God, and also apprentices, learning at the feet of Jesus our whole lives. Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo) is Spanish for “little” or “short course.” It begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday night. During the three days those attending live and work together listening to talks given by priests, religious and laity. They share the Eucharist and pray together.
The titles of the talks indicate their content: Ideal, Habitual Grace, Layperson in the Church, Actual Grace, Piety, Study, Sacraments, Action, Obstacles to a Life of Grace, Leaders, Study of the Environment, Life in Grace, Christianity in Action, Total Security and Fourth Day. Each talk is followed by a discussion period. The Cursillo Movement consists in proclaiming the best news of the best reality: that God in Christ loves us.
Recently, Nashotah House hosted a ‘Taste of Cursillo’ retreat with Rectora Jeanne Top, the treasurer of the Chicago Episcopal Cursillo.
“One of the goals of Cursillo is to reinvigorate and raise up the laity of the church in a traditional three-day weekend,” she says. “At Nashotah House, we had a condensed Cursillo where we focused on the same goals as the regular three-day weekend – lectio divina, biblical study, and action – how do we use God’s gifts to change or lead in our communities? The three-day weekend is not the end. The fourth day is about what you will go forward doing for the rest of your life, how you will live your life in God. It is about witness and a continuing faith in God. By their lives and commitment, they are the catalysts who can transform communities.”
The Cursillo is for Christians evaluating themselves and their lives, their relationship with other people and their relationship with God. Open to men and women in the church ,Cursillo originally began for the laity, but priests and other religious are also welcome. While not only for those within the Roman Catholic or Episcopal church, Cursillo also focuses on people who are willing to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve the community.
Phil Berghuis, ’15, notes that Cursillo is profound and personal, seeking the reality of God’s love. He says, “It was a great opportunity to learn about not only this lay movement, but also lay ministry in general and small group formation in the church.”
To host an event or retreat at Nashotah House, please visit nashotah.edu.
For more information about Cursillo, please visit cursillo.org.