Cursillo retreat provides inspiration and information on how to nourish and grow a Catholic spiritual life
Friday, Mar. 31, 2017
IC photo/Laura Vallejo
Fr. Joseph Frez, parochial vicar of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, encourages the crowd to embrace the Cursillo retreat experience.
MIDVALE — Dozens of Cursillistas from all over the Diocese of Salt Lake City gathered at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Midvale for a daylong retreat on March 25.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Cursillistas joyfully heard the words of Fr. Joseph Frez, parochial vicar of Saint Therese, who since 2013 has been the local Cursillo spiritual advisor. He helped the crowd immerse themselves in self-reflection and prayer during the day filled with emotions.
“This is basically to help them grow in their relationship with God,” said Fr. Frez about the retreat.
The Cursillos is an apostolic movement founded in Spain in the 1940s; the focus of the movement is to show Christian lay people how to become effective Christian leaders, Fr. Frez said.
“These people have chosen to grow in their faith and by that to help the Church especially here in Utah, where Catholics are a minority,” he said.
Emphasizing that a Cursillo is a person very involved in their parishes, “the movement is also a foundation grounding to their spiritual life,” Fr. Frez said.
The Diocese of Salt Lake City has Cursillistas in many parishes. People attended the retreat from Saint Patrick Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Saint Martin de Porres Parish, among others, and were very attentive to Fr. Frez’s words.
Frank Lujan, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Magna, is the lay Cursillo program director for the state of Utah. He has been involved in the Salt Lake Cursillo movement since it started in the 1970s.
“Our motto is ‘Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ,’” said Lujan, adding that in this type of retreat participants get the nourishment they need to follow that motto.
“Father [Frez] is giving us spiritual energy to reflect on our spiritual life to keep growing,” added Rita Stelmach, from Saint Patrick Parish. “He is feeding us spiritually.”
For Bea Manzanares, a cursillista from Saint Martin de Porres Parish, being able to attend this retreat was a great way to be together and share faith, experiences and ways of getting closer to God, she said.
“Bringing us to a reunion for a weekend brings us closer to Christ,” Manzanares said. “Nowadays it is very important to talk and share about God.”
“As Cursillistas we all experienced the peace, love and warmth of our blessed Lord,” Fr. Frez said.
The retreat was followed by the Sacrament of Confession and a Mass.
For information about the Cursillo movement in Utah, contact Christine Benevento, Cursillo secretary, 801-913-1181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.