SUTTON (SNR) - The 2015 Men’s and Women’s Cursillo Weekends are planned for February and March 2015 at St. Mary Parish in Sutton.
Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo) is a Spanish word meaning “little” or “short course.” The official name of the Movement is “Cursillo de Christiandad,” or “short course in Christianity.” The Cursillo Weekend begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday evening. During the “Three Days,” participants live and work together; they listen to talks given by priests and laypersons, share the Eucharist and pray together. There is also ample time for personal reflection and opportunities to receive the sacraments.
Cursillo teaches that the Gospel should be proclaimed in very natural ways, i.e., Christians should be Christ-like as they go about daily activities, right where God put them. Unfortunately, while most people would like to live their lives in a Christ-like manner, the pressures of the world often make this difficult. Cursillo provides a means to meet the challenges and respond to the opportunities presented each day.
In a June 2011 letter to the cursillistas of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) commented: “Your service of proclaiming Christ by being his witnesses in your everyday environments, is an embodiment, a concrete renewal of the Baptism that we have received in Him and makes you disciples and missionaries of the Word, as this was expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: ‘Through their baptism and confirmation all are commissioned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself’ (Lumen Gentium, No. 33).”
In the Cursillo Movement, what is experienced during the three days is continued, should the cursillista choose, through group reunion and Ultreya. A group reunion consists of a small group of friends who meet on a regular basis to share their lives together as Christians for the purpose of encouraging one another to continue to grow spiritually. The Spanish word ‘Ultreya’ means ‘keep on going’ or ‘onward.’ It is the word the medieval pilgrims used when they were on their way to the shrine of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. They would shout ‘Ultreya’ as a cry of encouragement. In the Cursillo literature, the term is used to refer to the [monthly] gatherings of all the group reunions and all cursillistas; the place where they come together to encourage each other to keep on going.
According to Cardinal Bergoglio’s letter mentioned above, “The gift of the Kerygma that you received in your Cursillo sends you on mission as proposed by the tripod of piety, study and action. As an Archdiocesan Church, we need the unity of all in Christ, so that He, and only He may reign in our hearts and we may thus be able to recognize him like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. In thanking you for your journey as a Cursillista, I ask you not to stop renewing your apostolic zeal and dedication and that of your brothers and sisters in your Group Reunion before Jesus in the Eucharist. Today more than ever we need that your nearness in the environments be a source of light and joy for so many brothers and sisters who do not yet know that God is a Father who loves them tenderly. Today more than ever we need your presence so that many families may encounter the transcendent love of Christ - a new and greater dimension of human love. Today more than ever we need you and your witness at the Ultreyas, so as to go “onward,” to go beyond, in the proclamation and experience of the Kerygma.”
Cursillo has been active in the Lincoln Diocese for 50 years, with a 50th anniversary celebration planned for June 28. It will include Mass with Bishop James Conley as celebrant, followed by a catered dinner. When details are finalized, the information will be made available.
The next Cursillo Weekends are scheduled for Feb. 26 – March 1 for men, and March 12-15 for women. Both events will be held at St. Mary Parish in Sutton. To know more about Cursillo and/or the upcoming weekends, contact John Springer, lay director for the Lincoln Diocese (402-826-2699), or the coordinators for the upcoming weekends: Greg Vandenberg for the men’s weekend (308-530-7587) or Kathy Springer for the women’s weekend (402-826-2699). Father Mark Seiker of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in North Platte is the spiritual advisor of the Cursillo Movement in the Lincoln Diocese.
Information about Cursillo and contact information for Secretariat members is also available on the diocesan Cursillo webpage at http://www.seas-np.org/cursillolincoln.html.