What Is Cursillo?
A Cursillo is a three day experience that begins on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday evening. The primary focus is helping the participants be better Christians, leaders in their family, parish and community. Our mission statement: “To provide a personal experience of grace in fellowship with a community of faith, transforming our world through Christian leadership”.
During these three days, those attending listen to talks given by priests, deacons, religious sisters, and laypersons. They also participate in Eucharist and Reconciliation and share in the fellowship of Jesus Christ and each other.
The weekend begins with quiet time Thursday evening through Friday morning – this is referred to as the “retreat phase.” Following breakfast, participants are assigned to table groups – a group that they will remain with the rest of the weekend – and with whom they will discuss the presentations. Friday focuses on the encounter of self-discovering for yourself “where you are.” On Saturday, the participants focus on their relationship with God and generating a desire for a deeper relationship with Him. On Sunday, participants learn practical ways in which to live the Christian life with others and to be an evangelizer in the world. Plus there is fellowship, singing, good food, and time for meditation, prayer and walks.
Even though they follow the same format, each Cursillo is unique because the team and participants all have different life experiences. Therefore, it is difficult to explain exactly what your weekend experience will be like. We can tell you that it will be a spirit-filled three days in which your relationship with Jesus, His Father, and the Holy Spirit will be enriched. Cursillo will give you a new understanding and appreciation for community. Everyone is on a faith journey, and each step, each story that is shared with us, is a unique gift. You will see the world through a different lens – seeing God’s presence in all that happens, especially in the people God places on your path. You will learn to appreciate the beauty of conversation filled with laughter and tears.
Who Can Attend Cursillo?
Anyone age 21 and over may attend a Cursillo. Quincy Cursillo is a Catholic experience but we welcome Christians of any denomination to attend. Men and women attend separate Cursillo weekends. Being realistic, men and women communicate differently – we each have our own challenges that we face.
Quincy Cursillo also requires that, if married, the husband attends before the wife. Historically, Cursillo was started with the goal of increasing the spiritual growth of men to create Christian leaders in the home and parish. It is our desire that both the husband and wife attend Cursillo to grow together, in Christ, rather than apart. Single, widowed and divorced are also encouraged to attend.
Where is the Cursillo Held?
Quincy Cursillo holds their weekends at the Franciscan Retreat Center located at 1909 N. 18th Street, Quincy, Illinois, of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. The Retreat Center is owned by Quincy University and is part of their North Campus.
The four-level building was a former Franciscan seminary. The Retreat Center wing includes a chapel, dining room, conference room; private sleeping rooms include a twin bed, desk and sink. Showers and bathrooms are located on each of the two sleeping floors. The facility is handicap accessible.
How Do I Sign Up?
You will need a sponsor, a friend who invites you to Cursillo. The sponsor’s job is to answer any questions, assist in completing an application and arrange transportation to and from the Franciscan Retreat Center. They will also pray for you before, during and after the weekend.
If you are interested in attending and no one has asked you, we have a list of parish representatives – called “Area Reps” – listed on the website. Choose someone from a parish located closest to you and they will be able to answer any questions you may have and connect you with a sponsor.
What is the Cost?
The weekend fee is $185. A pre-registration deposit of $30 is required and will be applied toward the total cost. If needed, there are scholarships available – called “Gift of Cursillo” – that will pay $100 toward the cost of the weekend.
What is the origination of Cursillo?
Pope Pius XII, in 1940, challenged Church leaders to help people return to their Christian values. A group of men from the Catholic Action Movement led the development of Cursillo to renew the young men of the Church. The first Cursillo was held in 1944 in Spain, thus the use of Spanish terminology. The full Spanish name is “Cursillos de Cristiandad” which means “short course in Christianity.”
Cursillo is a worldwide movement today. The first weekend in the United States was held in 1957. Quincy Cursillo held it’s first weekend in December 1974 under the guidance of the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. A Board of Directors, elected by the Quincy Cursillo community, guides the direction of the program at the local level. Currently there are eight weekends held each year – four for men and four for women. The specific dates can be found on our Calendar.