By Canon S Sebastian Campbell
Cursillo is Spanish and simply means “a short course in Christianity”.
Fundamentally, it is to convert Christian disciples into apostles. It is to help these same Christians to discover and live out a personal vocation as they influence their environment.
Cursillo has its origin in the Roman Catholic Church of the 1940s. It was intended as a movement for men, but later incorporated women who now play a dominant role. It has now been adopted by the Anglican Church and other denominations such as the Methodists under different names, such as “Emmaus”
Today, Cursillo is entrenched in the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The record will show that more then 2,000 Bahamians and Turks Islanders have had their faith revived because of Cursillo. These are recipients from all walks of life and across the religious spectrum.
The goal of Cursillo is to bring the world to Christ by empowering adult Christian leaders through the use of a specific method which equips and encourages Christians to live out their baptismal covenant to serve Christ.
Cursillo is not:
• A body of spiritually elite
• A para-church organisation (a church within the church)
• An evangelistic programme (not to convert non-Christians, but to convert Christians)
• A form of group therapy (if you have personal challenges then seek counselling outside of Cursillo)
• An ecumenical movement
• A weekend extravaganza (no entertainment)
In another article I would best describe what Cursillo really is.
Recent development in The Bahamas
From June 6-9 we experienced an all men’s weekend at Cursillo. Candidates were Darrin Sweeting, Everette McKenzie, Selwyn McKenzie, Earl Rahming, Carl Smith, Kristen Johnson, Tyrone Cunningham, Stephen Moxey, Christopher Roberts, Felix Bowe, Tyrone Kellman, Basil McHardy, Everette Mackey, Christoff Strachan, Clarence McKenzie, Charles Major, Zhivargo Rolle, Oscar Munroe, and Bradley Williams.
It was a mountain top experience that served as a transformative moment for them and the team alike. They have now gone back into their environments to make a difference. Very important, though, Cursillo is not a one-shot deal. It has follow-up built into it and therefore it is to last for the rest of our lives. Two very important elements to this follow-through are:
• Day of deeper understanding
This is intended as an immediate follow-up after the three-day weekend. It is, as its name implies, an intentional time to better understand what you have gotten into. The next date is Sunday, July 14, at 3.30pm. All the participating men and the team are asked to come together at Holy Cross parish for this experience. It goes for two and a half hours. Indeed, all Cursillistas are invited to share this experience.
Scheduled for Sunday, July 14, at 5.30pm, this is for all Cursillistas (all who have been to Cursillo). Ultreya means “Forward, be encouraged!” It’s a time of sharing and praise and worship. It should be held at least quarterly. Additionally, non-Cursillistas are also most welcome to attend Ultreya. Cursillistas are urged to invite non-Cursillistas to an Ultreya. Non-Anglicans, all, are invited.
Again, Cursillo is not merely a retreat on a three-day weekend. Cursillo becomes life, transforming life. Cursillo is a movement of the whole church. It’s an intentional effort to influence our environments. Please come out to Holy Cross as we continue to enhance the experience.
(To be continued)