November 2015

Welcome to the Archdiocese of Detroit

Cursillo Movement


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The MISSION of the DETROIT CURSILLO MOVEMENT is to live the method and strategy of the Cursillo Movement so that each man and woman can be enlightened and Christianized to go forth and transform their environments in the light of the gospel and the glory of the Risen Christ.

What is the Cursillo Movement?

To explain the Cursillo, which is Spanish for “short course”, to someone who has not experienced it is, at best, difficult – not because Cursillo is a secret, but because it is a living experience only fully understood when experienced first hand. It is like the sacraments. Someone can explain them to you, but that only helps the experience. It does not replace the experience.

The Cursillo experience is unique to each person because no one can fully explain how God touches a person. Christ, through the Cursillo and through His grace, touches the person who is open to a personal relationship with Him in a special way and the person is never the same after as they were before.

However, the following quote from the Cursillo National Office website attempts to explain what the Cursillo is about:



Cursillos in Christianity is a movement that, through a method of its own tries to, and through God’s grace manages to; enable the essential realities of the Christian to come to life in the uniqueness, originality, and creativity of each person. In becoming aware of their potential and while accepting their limitations they exercise their freedom by their conviction, strengthen their will with their decision, to propitiate friendship in virtue of their constancy in both their personal and community life.

The Cursillo Movement consists of proclaiming the best news of the best reality: that God, in Christ, loves us. Communicated by the best means, which is friendship towards the best of each one, which is his being person and his capacity of Conviction, Decision, and Constancy.

And what needs to be emphasized today, now, and immediately in order to be on the cutting edge of today’s debate is to facilitate and make possible for every person to encounter oneself always and absolutely essential in order to be able to encounter God and others.

If you wish to learn more about the Cursillo┬« Movement, please order “Cursillo – What is it?” (publication 719) from the on-line Cursillo┬« Bookstore or contact your Diocesan Cursillo┬« Movement Secretariat.

You also download a brochure about the movement here.


Historical background

The Cursillo was born on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain in the 1940’s. It started with a small group of men preparing for a pilgrimage and after the pilgrimage they discovered that what they were teaching still had significant value. They continued to teach workshops on those topics and these evolved into the Cursillo experience we know and love today. The first Cursillo in the United States was held in Waco, Texas in 1957 by two airmen from Spain, Bernardo Vadell and Agustin Palomino who were training with the USAF and Father Gabriel Fernandez, who arrived in Waco from Spain in 1955.

Fr. Gabriel Fernadez experienced his Cursillo, in Spain, under the direction of Father Juan Capo and the movement’s lay founder Eduardo Bonnin.

Fr, Gabriel Fernandez and the two airman were responsible for putting together the first two Cursillo Weekends in Waco, Texas.

For additional information on the origins of the Cursillo, view this file: intro to Cursillo.