Format of the Exercises
Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning “little” or “short course.” It begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday night. During those three days the Cursillistas (those attending) live and work together, listening to talks given by priests and laymen. They also attend Mass, receive Communion, pray the rosary, and visit the Blessed Sacrament daily. The priest, who is the “spiritual director”, and the laymen who make up the Cursillo team spend weeks working and praying together in preparation. The Cursillo takes careful planning because the time is short and the subject extensive.
Not a Retreat
A Cursillo can be made only once in a lifetime, therefore it is not a substitute for a retreat. The basic atmosphere of a Cursillo differs greatly from the individual solitude of a retreat. During the three day exercises the teachings of Christ are discussed in a climate of joy, with many singing and joke sessions. Actually the Cursillo makes succeeding retreats more profitable and Cursillistas are encouraged to make regular retreats.