Maryland Episcopal Cursillo
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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WHAT IS CURSILLO?
an opportunity to grow in faith and in spirituality
a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus and how we can serve Him
an experience of living and sharing with others in a loving and caring Christian community and realizing that this can be extended into our own environment
a continuing community that gives support and encouragement empowering the renewed Christians to persevere in carrying out their Baptismal vows
Cursillo includes a three-day weekend which begins on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday. During these three days, talks are given by lay persons and clergy who have spent time working together carefully planning and preparing for the Weekend.
The Cursillo weekend is not a retreat. There is no fasting. The weekend is an opportunity to meet clergy and laity who are seeking to strengthen their faith. It provides an opportunity through shared prayer, worship, study, fellowship, laughter, tears, and love to experience the reality of the gift of God's love freely and unconditionally given.
HOW DID CURSILLO BEGIN?
The first Cursillo Weekends were developed in the Roman Catholic Church in Majorca, Spain. Cursillo was brought to the United States by Spanish airmen who were stationed at air bases in Texas in the early 1940's. The first official Cursillo Weekend in the Episcopal Church (in English) was conducted with help from Roman Catholic sponsors in the Diocese of Iowa. Episcopal Cursillo came to the Diocese of Maryland in 1979 and operates under the direction of the Bishop of Maryland.
WHO MAY TAKE PART?
Cursillo is open to all adult Episcopalians, men and women, married or single. Laity and clergy alike are invited to join the fellowship. Husbands and wives may attend the same Cursillo Weekend, or they may go on different weekends.
WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM PARTICIPANTS?
To be open and willing to respond to what you experience
To share your feelings with others
To allow others to share their feelings with you
To make a genuine effort to discover where you are and where or how you can grow in your Christian life
To feel secure in the knowledge that you are accepted where you are and as you are, and to know that a specific response is not expected of you
To be curious enough and thirsty enough for spiritual exploration and nourishment to acknowledge a need to commit a weekend of your life totally to Christ.
Cursillo is probably not advisable for those who have not already committed themselves to Jesus or for those undergoing serious doubts regarding faith. The Cursillo movement is not designed to promote a basic commitment to Christ and the Gospel. Rather, it is designed to help those who are already committed to enhance that commitment and to bring their lives into line with the Gospels and to live the gospels on a daily basis within a community of committed Christians.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A CURSILLO WEEKEND?
You will need a Sponsor (someone who has previously attended a Cursillo Weekend and a 4th Day Workshop, and who has been actively involved in the Cursillo Movement for at least six months). You will need to submit a Candidate Application. A potential Sponsor will have an application, or you can download one here. Please note, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print this form. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click the button at the bottom of this page.
HOW DO I FIND A SPONSOR?
Start within your Parish. Ask a member of your clergy or a spiritual advisor about Cursillo, or look for someone wearing a cross with "De Colores" on it. Check with the Maryland Episcopal Cursillo Area Representative in your region who can put you in touch with a prospective sponsor. Your sponsor will need to fill out a Sponsor Application that they will submit along with your application for a weekend.
WHEN MUST MY APPLICATION BE RECEIVED?
Applications are due one month in advance of the weekend! To print out an application, click here. Applications must be sent to the Assistant Lay Director of the Maryland Episcopal Cursillo. For more information, please see the Sponsor's Information Page.
WHEN IS THE NEXT WEEKEND?
Cursillo Weekends are currently scheduled two times each year – one in late Spring, and one in Autumn. To see a list of upcoming weekends, please click here.
WHAT IS THE WEEKEND LIKE?
Talk to your Sponsor about the Cursillo Weekend. There are no secrets, but lots of "surprises". Ask your potential Sponsor or someone you know who has attended a Cursillo Weekend to take you to an Ultreya. This will give you some of the flavor of a weekend.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Cursillo Weekends begin on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Plan to leave early enough in the afternoon to stop and have dinner with your Sponsor. Arrive on time and relax! You will need to do nothing else except participate in the Weekend! The Weekend will end late Sunday afternoon. Expect to be home after dinner Sunday evening. Your Sponsor will provide your transportation and the dinners.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE WEEKEND?
Bring comfortable clothing appropriate to the season. Dress is typically casual. Bedding, washcloths and towels will be provided at The Claggett Center. If you like to sleep with two pillows, please remember to bring an extra one.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE WEEKEND?
Each individual who returns from the weekend with a renewed commitment to work for Christ is encouraged to join in the activities of an existing community of persons who have also experienced the weekend. The purpose of this community is to give strength and support to each other in order that each person might grow in faith and develop their particular gifts of ministry. The support is provided through two methods:
GROUP MEETINGS (Reunions)
that are held periodically when several people gather together for mutual encouragement and support through PRAYER, STUDY, and ACTION.
AREA MEETINGS (Ultreyas)
that are meetings of larger groups of people who have either participated
in a weekend or who might be interested in doing so. Here they share and
witness to others so that the Church and their own faith may be built up.
For a current listing of Ultreyas, click here.