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Cursillo in Christianity
The Cursillo Movement of the Archdiocese of Toronto
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The Cursillo Method

The Cursillo Method is unlike many other Catholic organizations and groups. The Cursillo Movement is not a Prayer Group. The Cursillo is an individual experience of a walk with Christ surrounded by other Catholics that have chosen to walk with Christ in their daily lives.

Cursillistas exercise their spirituality through piety, study and action on an individual basis. However, Cursillistas also meet in small local groups, called Groupings, usually based in parishes on a regular basis in order to share their experiences as they move on their spiritual journey.

Ultreya is a Spanish word, derived from the original Latin, meaning Onward! It was in common use by pilgrims to greet and to encourage one another along the way to Compostella in Spain. The Ultreya gathers together groups from a particular region and provides continuity by contributing to the maintenance of the Cursillo spirit and by revealing the reality of the living Church.

The School of Leaders prepares Cursillistas for leadership in the movement.

The Cursillo de Cursillos helps the Cursillo leaders delve into all spiritual and technical elements of our Movement in light of its charism.

The growth of the Movement is driven by Cursillistas starting on their "Fourth Day." Cursillistas are driven by the Holy Spirit as they go forward to evangelize and spread the word that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Candidates are normally sponsored by Cursillistas.

The Cursillo Weekend

Cursillo begins with a three day live-in weekend. It is not a retreat. The basic atmosphere of a Cursillo Weekend differs from the solitude of a retreat and is meant to be experienced once. During the three days, the teachings of Christ are discussed in a spirit of joy and celebration and the lived witness of ordinary people, who have discovered God’s love for them, what it is to live in Christ, is shared. A Cursillo Weekend is not a prayer group, a short course in theology, a forum for social doctrine, a course in apologetics or group therapy, but is a proclamation of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus and the understanding that we are the Church which brings His presence and message to our homes and communities.

The Weekend Format

The Cursillo Weekend begins on a Thursday evening with an introductory presentation and brief retreat period to provide an opportunity to more fully enter into the weekend. The Weekend ends Sunday evening. During the three days, a team of lay men or women (Weekends are not co-ed) and 1-2 priests or spiritual advisors give presentations about what is essential to a full Christian life, about the lived reality of life with God.

Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is provided. There are meditations, times for personal reflection and quiet, as well as fun and socializing in a supportive Christian community atmosphere.

The presentations are designed to help the participants to better know themselves, to know Jesus more deeply and finally to suggest ways to take what is learned back to one’s daily life.

After the Weekend

After the three-day Cursillo, perseverance is important to help one continue to draw closer to Christ. Weekend participants are encouraged to meet regularly for ongoing friendship and support in small groups of friends of their choosing and in larger gatherings called ‘ultreyas,’ which means ‘onward – persevere.’ This Cursillo method, introduced on the Weekend, is a unique and effective way to continue the walk with Christ begun on the Weekend and to sustain it for life. It is a means of personal growth in living what is fundamental for being a Christian and for encouraging one another in sharing the Good News that ‘God loves you’. A Cursillo is three days long, but lasts a lifetime.

The founder, Eduardo Bonnín, defines Cursillo as follows: "The Cursillo in Christianity is a movement that by means of its own method attempts, from within the Church, to ensure that the realities of Christianity are brought to life in the uniqueness, the originality and in the creativity of each person. From their deep conviction, their freedom finds the right direction, and they discover their potential and accept their limitations, thus their will is strengthened. Friendships are developed by virtue of their decision and perseverance in their daily, personal and community life."

Where are Cursillo Weekends held?

Cursillo Weekends take place at Consolata Retreat Centre, 2671 Islington Avenue, Toronto. Attendees on Cursillo Weekends are sponsored by other members of the movement who provide any assistance required.

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