The Cursillo in Christianity is primarily a lay movement. It is an instrument of renewal by which Christianity can permeate, live and grow in today's world. It proposes no new type of spirituality but a method through which one's spirituality can be strengthened, lived and shared in all areas of one's environment.


A Cursillo weekend begins on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday night. During the three days the participants listen to the Gospel message, broken into fifteen short talks. Five are given by clergy and center on Grace, the gift of God to all persons. The other ten are given by lay persons who already have made a Cursillo. The talks deal with Christian study, action, leadership, living a life in relationship with God, the role of the layperson in the church and similar reflections on situations encountered in daily living. The talks build on each other.

Each talk is followed by a period of small group discussions. The teachings of Christ are presented in an atmosphere of warmth, joy and fellowship. Music and skits provide entertainment.


Cursillo ( pronounced "kur-see-yo" ) is a Spanish word meaning "short course" - short course in Christianity. The Cursillo started in Spain in the late 1940s and spread through out the Spanish speaking countries of the world. It came to the United States in 1957 when Spanish Air Cadets, training in Texas held a Cursillo weekend for a group of Spanish speaking men. The first English language Cursillo was held in 1961 in San Angelo, Texas, and that year, the movement spread to a dozen other states.

The movement was introduced in the Metuchen diocese in 2009.


A Cursillo is made only once in a lifetime, therefore it is not considered a substitute for a retreat. Actually a Cursillo experience makes subsequent retreats more profitable, and Cursillistas are urged to make regular retreats. Men and women make separate Cursillos. A participant should be sponsored by someone who has made a Cursillo.


The program recognizes the continuing need for support in a Cursillista's "fourth day" - the rest of one's life. A Cursillista is urged to join a "group reunion". This is a brief weekly meeting of four or five fellow Cursillistas. These individuals review their past week, sharing how Christ has touched them, their Christian achievements or disappointments, and their progress in the Cursillo method of piety, study and action.

Ultreyas (Spanish for "onward") are held monthly. They are reunions of the Cursillo community at-large and are open to invited guests. They afford Cursillistas an opportunity to meet, pray and socialize with others who are dedicated to living a Christian life. They also provide support for a Cursillista's efforts to bring Christ's message to others in his environment.


It is difficult to explain what the Cursillo does for a person, or what happens over a weekend. Since each person comes to the Cursillo from a different place in time and a different relationship with God, it is understandable that each will respond differently to the material presented and the experience of community living in a Christian atmosphere. For some, it is a total turnabout in their lives; for others, it is a grand awakening; for yet others, it is an enrichment of what they have already known and have been living. We do not promise anything or judge anyone - we simply offer the program and rely on the grace of God and the openness of the individual to produce its benefits.  


Cursillos are held at Centers near Metuchen, New Jersey. For further information contact us at