What is Cursillo?
Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning "a short course in Christian living". Participants attend a men's or a women's three-day live-in weekend praying, singing, laughing and learning in a caring community as they think and talk about the complexities and joys of their Christian experience. Over the weekend there are fifteen talks given by both clergy and laypeople. A central thrust is to equip people to take their refreshed life back into the world on what is described as the "fourth day". The Cursillo method involves ongoing support for this.
This occurs firstly within the Cursillo three-day weekends and then through ongoing organised times of fellowship.
Cursillo began on the Island of Mallorca, east of mainland Spain. In 1948 Catholic Action organised thousands of youth to make a great pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain. Leaders were trained by a three - day method which has since been adopted in some 60 countries and has nurtured some 5,000,000 Christians in their walk with God.
In 1980 Pope John Paul II, addressing the first National Italian Ultreya in Rome said, "Your movement, .... devotes itself to drawing forth from Christians a commitment to live lives consistent with their faith whether individually or as a community - and to bring this ferment to the environments where you live."
Anglican Cursillo, designed for those familiar with Anglican worship, resonates strongly with this statement.
A common greeting in Cursillo experience is the phrase de colores. De Colores means "of colours" in Spanish and comes from a traditional Spanish folk-song widely used in the Cursillo movement. The words of the song are an expression of joy and a celebration of all creation with its many bright colours. It is said to have been adopted by Cursillo when a Spanish group returning in a bus from a Cursillo weekend encountered a severe storm which had them sheltering on the side of the road. When the storm was over, the clouds parted and the sun shone brilliantly. One cursillista looked out and saw a rooster, resplendent in colour in the sparkling aftermath of the storm. Singing and shouting 'De Colores!' the cursillistas began to sing and rejoice again, singing praise to God for the beauty of nature inspired by the shining colours of a little rooster!
The greeting, De Colores, wishes you that same joy.
Click here for a fuller account of the origins of Cursillo, including its introduction to Tasmania.