By Sister Margie Lavonis, CSC
SOUTH BEND — Cursillo has transformed the lives of many Catholics and their families. It is an opportunity to get closer to Christ and to become part of an ongoing faith community.
“My parents made their Cursillo in the late 1980s when I was beginning grade school,” Father Andrew Curry, pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine, North Manchester, and St. Francis Xavier, Pierceton, recalled. “A noticeable shift in my family life occurred when we went from parties at home with people from my parents’ work to an influx of new friends from their Cursillo weekends. It went from an occasional beer, cigarettes and card parties to weekly prayer gatherings with songs to Jesus on guitars and the prayer of Our Lady’s rosary.”
“A small group of families would get together weekly and gather at a different family’s home every month for a prayer event,” Father Curry continued.
Cursillo had a great influence on him. “I would have to say that this became the foundation for my vocation to the Priesthood,” he noted. “The Catholic parish and school were influential, but to see my parents’ desire for Christ and their friendship with other Christians in the home sparked a sense of the true meaning of priesthood in me, which is to help people open their hearts to inviting people into their homes, families and friendships. I think that with my parents being in Cursillo, a worldwide movement, I received an awareness of the universality of the Church.”
The Cursillo movement has its origins in Spain where a group of young men who conducted pilgrimages were seeking a way to deepen their spirituality, become better Christians, get closer to the Lord and spread the Gospel. The fulfillment of their desire eventually grew into a Christian renewal movement that is active in many countries throughout the world.
The main goal or purpose of Cursillo is to help enrich and develop adult Christian leaders who strive to deepen their relationship with Christ and bring Him into their daily lives by living the Gospel.
At Baptism, Catholics receive the call to participate in Christ’s mission to renew the world with God’s love. Cursillo supports adult Catholics in their efforts to live out this responsibility in the many environments where they live and work.
“Cursillo gave me my first opportunity to really experience Christ in an intimate, prayerful and joyful community,” said Paul Curry, Father Curry’s dad. “It opened me up from my private, immature relationship with the Lord to where I felt comfortable talking about my love of God with others and then being open to talking more deeply about my faith with my family. Cursillo has allowed me to establish lifelong authentic relationships with other Christian men and women.”
“The Cursillo weekend made me look at my faith in a new way,” added Tony Luber. “Many of the ideas and concepts I had learned as a child and young adult now had a meaning that I had not recognized before. My role as a layperson moved from just sitting in a pew to being a Christian wherever I go.”
Cursillo does not end after the initial weekend is over. One of the many blessings of Cursillo is becoming part of a supportive life-giving faith community that assists the members as they strive together to grow in their relationship with Christ and the Church.
Deepening the faith is a lifetime process. Those who make a Cursillo are encouraged to become part of a small group that meets regularly to support one another in their attempts to be good Christians and live Christ’s mission.
The Cursillo movement is having a picnic from 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend commemorating 50 years in the diocese. Mass will be celebrated by Holy Cross Father Jack Keefe at 4 p.m. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will attend the picnic.
CURSILLO WEEKEND INFORMATION
The next Cursillo Weekend for men in the diocese is Sept. 12-15 and the women’s weekend will be Oct. 10-13 at the Wawasee Episcopal Center, Syracuse.
Bishop Rhoades will be at the men’s Cursillo on Friday, Sept. 13, for the rosary scheduled for 4 p.m. and will stay to share dinner schedule for 5:30 p.m.
Bishop Rhoades will be at the women’s Cursillo on Friday, Oct. 11, to present the Habitual Grace Rollo (talk) scheduled for 10:45 a.m. and will stay for lunch scheduled at 12:15pm.
The Fort Wayne-South Bend Cursillos are held at the Episcopal Center in Syracuse. The center is located off State Rd. 13 north of Syracuse. Turn off State Road 13 onto East Vawter. A sign will direct participants to the center and All Saints Episcopal Church located at 7812 E. Vawter.
For more information contact Mary and Tim Weber at (574) 289-2269, Sheri Garwood at (574) 287-0496 or [email protected].
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