Diocese's Cursillo Unites the Faithful

Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

Rita Stelmach 

Special to the Intermountain Catholic 

The essence of the Cursillo is to build up and strengthen Christianity in our society; to create groups of Christians who, while living what is fundamental for being a Christian in a conscious, ever-growing and shared manner, instill Christian and spiritual criteria into the environments and structures in which they are immersed, while exercising their own vocation, according to the National Cursillo.

The purpose of the Cursillo is to provide a foundation so the person may live what is fundamental for being Christian (love of God and love of neighbor) experienced through three essentials encounters: an encounter with Christ, oneself and with others, the National Cursillo states.

Because it’s not an easy task to try to bring Christ into our environments, after the Cursillo weekend, the Cursillo Movement has two tools to assist with this: the Group Reunion and the Ultreya.

The Group Reunion is a small group of Cursillo friends who meet regularly to share with one another the growth that has taken place within each of them. We share our spiritual growth as well as our growth in becoming a person who strives to bring a Christ-like attitude to our environments. This meeting, called a Friendship Group, provides the continual support needed to persevere as a part of God’s plan.

The Ultreya (a Spanish word meaning “onward”) is the larger Cursillo community comprised of the members of the Group Reunions. The Ultreya provides the support and encouragement that each of us need.

As laity in the Church, we have a mission to fulfill, the National Cursillo states. We must realize that we, as individuals, can have a great impact on society. As a Church, we are called to be Apostles, Saints, and men and women of our times. Our world needs us to be apostolic. We must incarnate Christ so that we can proclaim him to each person in the environments where God has planted us.  He chose ordinary people to become "fishers of men." Should we do any less? Several people who have lived the Cursillo experience in the Salt Lake City, St. George, Ogden and Tooele areas have come together in the Spirit of the Cursillo through follow up gatherings of Christian spiritual sharing in an effort to renew the zeal in our diocese and have received the blessings of Bishop Oscar A. Solis.

Bishop Solis appointed Monsignor Msgr. Francis Mannion, pastor emeritus of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, as the spiritual advisor for the diocesan Cursillo movement. After having worked a few Cursillo weekends Msgr. Mannion said he found the weekend “entirely positive. The only thing that I found challenging was the strenuous schedule. I am not good at giving talks at 7:30 in the morning!  But it was all worth it."

The theology and spirituality of the Cursillo weekend “are very sound,” Msgr. Mannion said. “I did not hear a single thing that bothered me. The spirituality is very Christ-centered. Being a lay-led movement makes it very much in the spirit of Vatican II. I have become even more enthusiastic about movements that develop the spirituality of the laity."

He has recommended attending a Cursillo Weekend to others, he said. “Put simply, the Movement produces more active and thoughtful Catholics."

The Diocese of Salt Lake City’s Cursillo Movement invites all Utah Catholics to “Come and See.” If you have lived your Cursillo in another diocese, please come join us. For information, text or email Christine Christensen, 801-913-1181or christine_01@ymail.com; Jose Rodriguez, 801-589-9119 or mar897@comcast.net; Art Romo, 801-834-5951 or romoart41@gmail.com; or Rita Stelmach, 801-647-0143 or rita.stelmach@gmail.com.

Information in this article came from the National Cursillo.

Rita Stelmach is a member of the Diocese of Salt Lake City’s Cursillo Movement.


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