Cursillo ( pronounced Kur-See-Yo ) is a Lay-Persons Movement within the Catholic
Church. In other words it is made up of and run by ordinary people like you and I.
The word ‘Cursillo’ is a Spanish word that means ‘short course’. The Cursillo movement
was founded in the mid 1940’s on the island of Majorca by a group of young men who
recognised that, following WW2, there was a need to bring people, especially men,
back to the church and to renew and recharge the faith of those who still attended.
They recognised that there was an urgent need to re-Christianise a world that was
slipping further and further from the teachings of Christ. After extensive study
and a lot of prayer, they devised a short course in Christianity; or to be more specific,
a course on how to live as a Christian with all the difficult realities of modern
The Cursillo method was later approved by the Bishop of Majorca and has since received
the full approval of the Vatican and our own Bishops in the diocese of Down and Connor.
Cursillo came to Ireland in the 1960’s and to the diocese of Down & Connor in 1989.
Since then thousands of people have experienced a Cursillo weekend and many have
since brought what they learned and experienced into their own lives to the benefit
of their own families and the wider community.
The Cursillo weekend starts on a Thursday evening and finishes on Sunday afternoon.
If we tell you that the message on a Cursillo weekend is a very simple one, that
Christ Loves You; that the weekend consists of a series of talks given by Laypeople,
Clergy and Religious; that there are discussions, prayer, song and laughter it won’t
come anywhere close to giving you a clear understanding of the Cursillo experience.
That is because each Cursillo is unique to each person on the weekend. It has to
be experienced to be appreciated fully. It is not a retreat and certainly will not
be like anything you will have experienced before. There is nothing secretive about
the weekend but it is surprising and can be incredibly uplifting.