Monday, August 8, 2022

Cursillos: spreading the message of Christ for the New Evangelization

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Suzanne Hammons
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

For the first time in 50 years, the Diocese of Gallup will hold a Cursillo de Cursillos, a three-day retreat sponsored by a group known as the Cursillo Movement.

The Cursillos were founded in the 1940s in Spain by Eduardo Bonñin Aguilõ, a man who felt called to let everyone know the love of God after reading a speech by Pope Pius XII. According to the Cursillo Movement’s website, in order to seek new ways to evangelize, Aguilõ developed three basic guidelines: love of God, love of friendship, and love for the person, especially those who are far away.

Theresa Brophy, the lay director for the Cursillos in the Diocese of Gallup, explained the work of the movement for the Diocese.

“The ultimate goal is to form spiritual groups around the Diocese, and then twice a year bring them together,” said Brophy. “The small groups keep us all in focus, so we can go out and be Christ-like to others.”

She stated that the Cursillo movement is found worldwide, comprised of lay people, and that in the Diocese of Gallup there are currently around 2500 people involved. The purpose of the upcoming weekend is to bring together those who are already part of the movement – called “cursillistas” – in a three-day workshop.

“This is almost like a renewal of the movement – this is for people who want to go deeper, or learn more, or stay true to the Charism of the movement,” said Brophy, “but this particular one is for people who have done it before, to strengthen the movement. It’s similar to the basic course of getting to know ourselves, getting to know Christ, and getting to know others, as well as building Christian community.”

According to Brophy, the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese also wants to answer the call of the New Evangelization, an effort undertaken by the Church to re-evangelize those who have either not yet experienced the message of Christ or have fallen away because of secularization.

We want to ‘re-catechize’ adults,” said Brophy. “The vow we agree to is ‘Christ is counting on me and I am counting on Christ,’ and the motto of the movement is called ‘make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.’”

By holding this weekend, the people of the Cursillo Movement hope to come together and prepare for going out and evangelizing.

Those of us who’ve chosen this as an apostolate need the support of those invested in the movement, especially for those who have this as their choice of community,” said Brophy. “Everyone needs a community, and we support another.”

In coming together, the cursillistas hope to spread that community – the community of love offered by Christ and the Church – to anyone willing to answer the call.

Read more about the Cursillo Movement, their founder and history, at their website:


  1. A Cursillo was held a couple of years ago at St. Rita’s in Show Low. I attended the closura and I don’t believe this is the ‘first time in 50 years’ that one is being held in tis diocese.
    I am Buffalo NY #4 in 1968.

    • I think this was the first one just for people who are cursillistas, instead of one that’s open to anyone. I’ll double-check, though, and if the article made a mistake correct it.

      Thanks for your feedback!

      • The event on April 4-7, 2013 at Kamp Kiwanis was a Cursillo de Cursillos, not to be confused with a three day Cursillo. Candidates attend a three day Cursillo. Cursillistas attend Cursillo de Cursillos. An individual is a Cursillista once a three day Cursillo is lived by that individual.

        This was a first for Cursillo de Cursillos.



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