Born out of the spirit renewal in the church that preceded the Second Vatican Council, the Cursillo Movement originated in Spain in the early 1940's and therefore, many terms we use are of Spanish origin.
Christianity in Spain was being practiced in a static, conformist, and spiritually lukewarm manner. The founding fathers looked to the First Christian Community as a model to be used to rekindle the vitality that was missing from their present-day Christianity. The early Christians were a diverse group of people who prayed and studied together and served each other.
The early fathers of the Cursillo movement used model of early Christian living and participated in a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James the Greater at Compostela, Spain.
The preparation for the pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James the Apostle-the birth of Cursillo. The planning of the pilgrimage included groups of young people, workshops, praying together, studying together, and working together. From this planning process evolved the basic structure of the Cursillo, as we know it today. The idea of a pilgrimage, following this pilgrimage to Compostela, was carried over in a new way. The physical pilgrimage would be replaced by the continuous life pilgrimage of every individual toward God.
Bishop Juan Havas of Mallorca, and dedicated young layman, Eduardo Bonnin, were the two primary leaders of the first Cursillo in Christianity. The first official Cursillo, as we know it today, was held in 1949, and has spread throughout the world, reaching the United States in 1957 in Waco, Texas.
All the Weekends were held in Spanish, until 1961. The first English-speaking Weekend was held in San Angelo, TX, and San Francisco, CA, then in 1962 in IN, MI, NM and expanded to 13 cities in different states including Yakima, WA. By 1981 all the 160 US dioceses had introduced the Cursillo Movement.
The first Cursillo in the New Orleans Diocese was held in January 1965. The first Cursillo in the Houma/Thibodaux Diocese was held in 1971.
The Cursillo has received the blessing of the Popes including Pope Paul VI who gave us St. Paul as our Patron Saint. The Cursillo Movement is endorsed and encouraged by American Bishops as well.
Eduardo Bonnín Aguiló was born in Palma de Mallorca on May 4, 1917 in his residential home where Bar Niza now stands and died February 6, 2008. Read more...
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