Q: Where did Cursillo come from?
A: "Cursillo" is a Spanish word meaning "short course" in Christianity. The first Cursillo was held by a group of men studying with their Bishop to prepare for a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James in Compostela Spain in the 1940's. Their faith was enriched and this caused them to renew their commitment to Jesus Christ, His Church, and to living out their Catholic faith, a commitment which had a very positive and lasting impact on their lives, their families and neighbors. This became the first “Cursillo”.
Today, the Cursillo movement within the Catholic Church is present in 70 countries worldwide and active in 225 dioceses in the United States. It has canonical recognition, and has been blessed and encouraged by bishops and Popes ever since Paul VI designated St. Paul as the patron of Cursillo in 1967. Cursillo came to Oklahoma in 1976 and since then over 1,500 men and women in the Diocese of Tulsa have ‘lived’ a Cursillo weekend.
Within our diocese the Cursillo Movement is accountable to Bishop Slattery under the spiritual direction of Fr. Elkin Gonzalez, Associate Pastor, Christ the King parish, Tulsa, and Deacon Tim Sullivan.
Q: Who should attend a Cursillo?
A: Any Catholic adult who desires to “brush up” on being a Catholic along side others from around the diocese. During a Cursillo weekend a series of talks are presented by a priest and deacon who serve as the Spiritual Directors for the weekend, while others are presented by fellow laypersons. These talks introduce and/or remind us of the fundamental truths of our Catholic Christian faith – things that we may have learned long ago, but have forgotten or gotten a little fuzzy on over time –or- perhaps things some of us just never got the memo on!
Whatever the case, these talks are like a “Catholic 101” course and contain the basics we ought to know as Catholics. These talks are the “meat and potatoes” of our Catholic faith, and can help us grow closer to Christ, and better live out the faith we are called to. There is also daily Mass, times for prayer, and for small group discussions on each of the topics presented.
Q: Why do you need an Application?
A: To be eligible to attend a Cursillo weekend a 'candidate' must complete an Application and have it signed by the person who is sponsoring the Candidate, AND by the Candidate's pastor - priest of his/her home parish. Cursillo weekends sponsored by the Diocese of Tulsa are intended for Catholics only who are able to receive the Sacraments of the Church as the Eucharist and Reconciliation are offered to all over the course of the weekend. Thus, the application process confirms the eligibility of each candidate in order to gain the most out of the Cursillo experience. View/Print Application
Q: Does Cursillo make a difference?
A: Cursillo supports and encourages each of us to become more like Christ. For many, living a Cursillo weekend is a powerful and rewarding experience which leads to a greater love for Jesus Christ, His church, and the world which He has made. Many report lasting, positive, and even profound effects on their personal faith life, family, friends, workplace and parish. Many have found Cursillo to be a key factor in discerning their vocation and becoming active in parish or other ministry. Within our diocese several have even entered the diaconate and been ordained, being inspired by their having attended a Cursillo weekend.
Thus, Cursillo has and continues to play a vital role within “the new evangelization” as proclaimed by St. Pope John-Paul II, and further encouraged by Pope Francis when he met with leaders of the world-wide Cursillo movement in Rome in April 2015 and said, “..I encourage you to go beyond, be faithful to your charism! To keep alive the zeal, the fire of the Spirit that always compels the followers of Christ to reach those on the peripheries, to ‘step out of their comfort zone and have the courage to reach all the suburbs that need the light of the Gospel”.
Q: What happens after Cursillo?
A: Each person who attends a Cursillo weekend is invited and encouraged to join a “friendship group” to provide ongoing support to one another for living out our faith within the real circumstances of our lives. These groups are self-organizing and individuals may join existing groups or form new ones. There are many groups currently operating throughout the diocese and it is not a requirement that you attend a Cursillo weekend to join one.
There are also monthly gatherings during which members of all groups (men & women) come together for prayer, discussion, and fellowship. These groups called “Ultreyas”, are open to all and again it is not a requirement that you attend a Cursillo weekend to come!
Q: What is Cursillo about?
A: The following video provides a short summary of Cursillo.