English Cursillo weekends return in 2024

Published: February 23, 2024

English Cursillo Weekends

Click on the button above to find an upcoming Cursillo weekend in English. All applicants must be sponsored by someone who has previously attended a Cursillo weekend. Applications are available by email from area Ultreya leaders or Ed Moix, Pre-Cursillo chairperson, at ed.moix59@gmail.com. For more information, contact Deacon Rob Brothers, spiritual director, at (479) 306-8188. 

For the first time in more than seven years, Cursillo weekends in English were held for men and women in the Diocese of Little Rock. A men's weekend was hosted in January and a women's weekend was offered in February.

Deacon Rob Brothers, spiritual director, said the next weekends will be offered in 2025. Visit our calendar for dates and contact information.

Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo) is a Spanish word meaning "little" or "short course." Cursillos de Cristiandad (short courses of Christianity) is an international, lay movement of the Catholic Church developed in Spain in the 1940s and spread to the United States by 1957, according to Arkansas Catholic.

The goal of Cursillo is to "teach men and women how to become effective Christian leaders in their neighborhoods, parishes, work situations and other places where people live," according to Vatican News. Cursillo "forms Christians through spiritual formation courses (cursillos), in which they are invited to build a closer relationship with Christ and to a deeper experience of Christian community. It was officially recognized by Pope St. Paul VI, who designated Cursillos as a renewal movement of the Church."

There are three stages of the movement: Pre-Cursillo (recruiting phase), Cursillo Three Day (weekend retreat) and Post-Cursillo (small group gatherings, ultreyas, school of leaders).

The retreat begins on a Thursday evening and ends on Sunday night, during which participants listen to courses (talks) presented by clergy and laypeople, pray, have small group discussion and celebrate Mass together. Retreats and small groups are offered separately for men and women.

"(Cursillo) is designed to help adults learn more about their faith and to develop a closer personal relationship with Jesus Christ, making it possible for Catholics everywhere to live a Christian life in a natural way,” Deacon Brothers told Arkansas Catholic.

After the weekend, cursillistas (those who attended the retreat) are divided into small groups to meet on an ongoing, weekly basis. "Ultreyas" (pronounced ul-tray-ahs) or reunions bring men and women together for larger gatherings of continuing education and may be held monthly, quarterly or annually.

For more information about the Cursillo program in our diocese, contact Deacon Brothers in English at (479) 306-8188 or robb@svdprogers.com.