A brief history of the Cursillo Movement.

Cursillo came out of the pain and horror of the Spanish Civil War which ended in 1939. Spain was a Catholic country, and in that war Catholics were fighting Catholics, and when the terrible killing ended, the country was nearly dead spiritually.

Then the Holy Spirit took charge, and a young Spanish Catholic lay group responded to a plea from Pope Pius XII to restore Christian values to their country. After prayer and discernment, these remarkable young people, decided to gather 100,000 young men and women to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella (the burial place of St James the Apostle). It was an arduous trip and they encouraged each other by saying "Ultreya", which means "Onward".

The Cursillo was formed during that pilgrimage, and under the leadership of Eduard Bonnin and Juan Hervas, Bishop of Majorca the first Cursillo was held on the island of Majorca, Spain in 1949.

It was brought to the United States by two Spanish Military Exchange Pilots who were training with the US Air Force in Texas. The first US Cursillo was held in Waco, Texas on May 25, 1957, nearly 46 years ago.

What Cursillo will mean for you?

Many who have made their Cursillo retreat weekend have likened it to a personal encounter with Christ or being touched by the Holy Spirit.

Everyone experiences something different and is touched differently by the retreat weekend. The purpose of Cursillo is:

  • A Movement of the Catholic Church which, by means of a specific method, makes it possible for people to live what is fundamental for being a Christian, and to live it together.
  • It helps people discover and fulfill their personal vocations.
  • It promotes the creation of core groups of Christians who leaven their environments with the Gospel.
  • It gives pride in being a Catholic Christian.

Rose Olivares
(714) 531-8186

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