3Day Weekend

What is Cursillo?  (pronounced Cur-see-yo)

Cursillo is a movement of the Catholic Church that promotes Catholic ideals, fellowship, and spiritual growth in daily living. It provides an opportunity to deepen your Catholic faith, and to experience the love of God within a supportive and prayerful community.  The Cursillo is a method of giving those, who have the potential of influencing others, a personal encounter with Christ and the means to further enhance, support, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelizing their environments.

What is a Cursillo weekend?

Each winter and fall, a Cursillo 3-day weekend is held (separately for men and women) to introduce others to Cursillo and provide an experience to enable them to follow Jesus more faithfully and effectively. From Thursday evening until Sunday evening, lay people and clergy live and work together to gain a deep, permanent, living awareness of the treasure and responsibility of their faith. Candidates come with many questions and some apprehensions, but they leave full of joyful enthusiasm as brothers and sisters in Christ, determined to extend His kingdom.

What is the format?

The Cursillo weekend format consists of a series of spiritual talks and discussions, blending seriousness and lightheartedness. The weekend is a personal, lively and informative event with talks, discussions, singing, worship and fellowship. The talks are conducted by clergy and lay people. Although Cursillos are lay-directed and controlled, the clergy assist in this effort most enthusiastically.

Is it a retreat?

The retreat portion of the Cursillo lasts only from the opening night until the following morning. Thereafter, the basic teachings of Christ are discussed in an atmosphere of joy, with singing and joke sessions contributing to this atmosphere. You may make a Cursillo only once in your life, but you are encouraged to build upon it for the rest of your life. It is not a substitute for a retreat, but rather compliments it. The Cursillo will make succeeding retreats more profitable.

What happens after the Cursillo?

The weekend lasts three days; the fourth day is the rest of one’s life, and Cursillistas are urged to make some sort of commitment to God to intensify the growth and deepening of their faith. The Cursillo weekend neither pretends nor is able to give a complete Catholic formation in just three days. Cursillistas are by no means finished products on the Sunday night of the weekend. So, additional activities are available to increase their knowledge and keep aflame their enthusiasm. Cursillistas are encouraged to form small reunion groups that meet regularly to share their walk with Christ, and their progress with piety, study, and action. Periodically, another larger type of reunion, called an Ultreya (Spanish for Onward) is held in which Cursillistas give brief talks developing one of the points covered during the Cursillo weekend.

Who should go on a weekend?

A Cursillo weekend is largely intended for those who are:

• baptized, committed Catholics

• able to receive the Sacraments of the church

• active in their parishes

• interested in examining what it means to be a Christian in today’s world.

A Cursillo weekend is also of value to baptized Catholics who:

• live as Catholics, but are not presently involved in the Church

• have slipped away from the Church, but are beginning to move back

Experience over the years, has led to the following recommendations, which we ask you to consider. A person may want to wait at least a year before attending a Cursillo weekend, following major life events such as:

• a Marriage Encounter weekend

• change in marital status

• serious illness

• bereavement

• People with acute emotional problems or in psychiatric treatment.


For more information on how to attend a Cursillo weekend please visit the Pre-Cursillo page.  To learn more about how you can get involved please contact the 3 Day Chariperson Jeni McBride at 3day@memphiscursillo.com.

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