by Robert C. Frank
One afternoon in 1998, my wife and I had an opportunity to visit with Eduardo Bonnin at his home on the Island of Mallorca. Eduardo was a Spanish Roman Catholic layperson who, with some friends in the early 1940’s, wanted to find a way of teaching Christianity that would truly inspire people to become more active in their churches. The method he and his friends created is a three day course in the fundamentals of Christianity that became known as Cursillo (Spanish for “little course” and pronounced “curseeo”).
Their method has now spread around the world, not only in the Roman Catholic Church, but in Protestant denominations as well.
My wife and I had attended a Cursillo weekend earlier and had become so inspired by the view of Christianity it presented that we helped bring Via de Cristo, the Lutheran version of Cursillo, to our area.
This three-day spiritual renewal experience is unusual in that it is presented by a fairly large team of lay people who are aided by a few members of the clergy. It is held at a church or camp where outside communication is limited to emergencies. During the weekend, the participants listen to talks and discuss the basic fundamentals of Christianity. Inspiring stories of personal experiences and beautiful music are sprinkled throughout.
In those three days, the message that God loves us comes across loud and clear. The participants consistently come away feeling loved, cared for, and anxious to get more deeply involved in their local churches. One of the reasons for the unusual success of these weekends is that every member of the large team is teaching by example. It is teamwork that makes love functional.
Although my book, Christ’s Team, does not include a discussion of Cursillo, I highly recommend the book, The Cursillo Movement in America by Kristy Nabhan-Warren.
Robert C. Frank
Author of Christ’s Team