Cursillo, a three-day experience featuring prayer, celebration of the Eucharist, fellowship and spiritual talks by clergy, religious and lay people has inspired participants from the Diocese of Davenport to encourage others to participate.
Last month, six women from three parishes in the Davenport Diocese participated in a Cursillo weekend in Quincy, Illinois. Team members and/or candidates from that retreat included members of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville and St. Mary Parish in Fairfield, said Esther Urban, of the Fairfield parish. She and her husband, Tom, are Fairfield area representatives for Cursillo. Many other volunteers were from the Fort Madison and Keokuk area, she said. Several priests and deacons from the Davenport Diocese have attended as candidates and spiritual directors.
Cursillo’s mission is to “to provide a personal experience of grace in fellowship with a community of faith, transforming our world through Christian leadership.” It is described as a method to spiritual growth. Eight weekends are scheduled each year at the Franciscan Retreat Center in Quincy — four for men and four for women, Urban said.
Father Nick Adam, then-pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Mount Pleasant, attended Cursillo in 2000, at the invitation of parishioners who had been active in the movement since the 1980s, Urban said. He, in turn, introduced Cursillo to St. Mary Parish in Fairfield, where he has served as pastor for a decade. More than 50 people have been sponsored through the Fairfield parish, she added.
“Cursillo is a worldwide event, and when we started hosting quarterly groupings we learned of others who had attended in Nebraska, Belgium and Texas and in South America. It was a wonderful community experience as they came forward and shared their stories. Their experiences were all similar,” Urban said. Last year, Pope Francis greeted a large group of Curstillistas at the Vatican where he reminded others that “we are called by the Holy Spirit.”
Prospective participants need to be invited to attend and to have a sponsor, Urban said. “Consider this your invitation,” she said. Both husband and wife are encouraged to participate in Cursillo, preferably with the husband attending first to inspire his wife to attend.
Upcoming Cursillo weekends for men: Sept. 14-17, and in 2024, Jan. 18-21, March 21-24, June 20-23 and Sept. 12-15. Women’s weekends are Nov. 2-5 and in 2024, Feb. 15-18, April 18-21, July 18-21 and Nov. 7-10. For more information, contact Tom or Esther Urban at email@example.com to find a sponsor.