The History of the Cursillo Movement            

The Cursillo movement has a rich and old history.  The Cursillo (spanish for ("short course") movement did not just happen. Its traditions are, in fact, deeply rooted in Catholicism. Cursillo evolved from Catholic men who chose to dedicate themselves to the evangilization of young men in Majorca, Spain. Their mission was to bring this younger generation to come to know Jesus Christ in a more intimate way. Through a process of prayer, fellowship and working together these men developed a process to bring the light of Christ to thier family and work environments. By sharing thier hardships and disappointments it became evident that laboring for our Lord bore much reward. This group of men came together and learned how to become a fruitful Christian community, then go out into their environmentsto "sow seed" that will take root. Cursillo de Cristiandad had its beginning in the late 1940's and since has spread to every continent throughout the world.

The first Cursillo was neither a lucky accident nor was it a blueprint which came directly from heaven. Rather, it grew out of a process of development.   Nor were the first leaders just a chance collection of men.  They had been working together for some time trying to bring men to Christ so they could work together to Christianize the world.  With the guidance and blessing of Bishop Herves, the Cursillo eventually separated from the Catholic Action group and with the direction and leadership of its late founder Eduardo Bonnin it formed it own separate "secretariat".(*2)  Since the Cursillo's birth over 5 million "Cursillistas" have experienced the wonder of Cursillo. Cursillo de Cristiandad was officially recognized by the Holy See in June 2004.  It received the Decree of Recognition June 11th of that year during the course of Liturgy of the Word at the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for the Laity which was presided over by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko.

How did Cursillo de Cristiandad find its way to Lorain, Ohio? The roots of Cursillo in the Lorain Spanish Community originated in Waco, Texas. The Cursillo found its way from Majorca, Spain to Waco, Texas in 1957. In 1960 a group of men were sent from Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain, Ohio to attend a Cursillo in Waco, Texas so as to experience first hand what was beginning to spread throught the Catholic communties of the southwest United States.   Fr. Antonio Hernandez, Mr. Hector Torres, Mr. Juan Fonseca, Julio Sepulveda and Severo Rivera are just a few of the men who made that pilgrim journey to Waco, Texas to experience the “Short Course in Christianity”.  Also, in 1960 the Cursillo was rapidly spreading throughout the Southwest and weekends were held for the first time in the eastern United States in New York and here in Lorain, Ohio. The lives of this Hipanic Community were so transformed by the Cursillo experience that, over a period of time a need arose to offer Cursillo to a younger community that had grown up in a Hispanic culture but whose primary language was English (having been born and raised in the United States). To this point in time all Cursillo weekends in Lorain were held in Spanish only. In 1980's the Lorain Spanish /English Cursillo was formed and began its humble service ministry. Since then this group of Catholic Christians have flourished and been able to persevere in today's society. These Cursillistas continue to live the Cursillo philosophy in thier all aspects of their daily lives. From its humble birth at Sacred Heart Chapel this movement has expanded to include St. Julie Billiart Chruch North Ridgeville, OhioThis trip began the humble beginnings of the Spanish Cursillo here in Lorain at the Sacred Heart Chapel.  In 1960 the growth of the Cursillo quickened in the southwest and the weekends were held for the first time in the east in New York City and in 1962 in Lorain, Ohio.  This allowed the Spanish community here in Lorain to experience the three day course in Christianity.    The lives of this community were so transformed that a need arouse  to offer this to the younger community that grew up in a Hispanic Culture but whose primary language was English being born and raised here in the United States.  Up until this point all weekends were given in Spanish only.  Cursillo was flourishing everywhere and in the 1980’s the Lorain Spanish / English Cursillo was formed and started its humble service ministry.   Since then this group of Catholic Christians have flourished and been able to preserver in today’s society and continues to live the Cursillo movement in their daily lives as well as their Christian Community.  From the humble beginnings of Sacred Heart Chapel this movement was expanded to include St Julie Billiart Church in North Ridgeville, Ohio.  These two churches are the pioneers and since then we have grown to include, St. Vincent de Paul Parish Elyria, Ohio, St Augustine Cleveland, OH, St Anthony of Padua in Lorain, Ohio, St Agnes in Elyria, Ohio, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lorain, Ohio, St Joseph Lorain, Ohio and St Joseph in Amherst, Ohio, St Ambrose in Brunswick, Ohio, St. Thomas in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, St Teresa of Avilla in Sheffield Village, Ohio, St Mary’s Elyria, Ohio these are some of the parishes that are currently active in group reunions and Ultreya’s.  God has truly blessed these communities with each other and allowed these communities to reach out and touch the lives of all those who are seeking and yearning to establish a stronger and lively relationship with thier Lord and Saviour. Our Lord has truly called each and everyone of us to evangelize our world and to help those who seek or who are in need. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open to you.......... The Lord is waiting and His arms are always open and welcoming......  


The Lorain Spanish / English Speaking Cursillo would like to offer a heartfelt thank you and gratitude to:

  • The Rev. Anthony J. Schuerger – Mdiv, Diocesan Spiritual Director of the Cursillo Movement for all his direction and support.

  • To St. Augustine Church in Cleveland Ohio and its staff the Rev. Joseph McNulty and Sister Corita Ambro CSJ for all their participation and support on the Cursillo Weekends.  God has truly blessed us with all your ministries and we are so humbled to be able to witness to others on the Holy Grounds of your church community.

*1, *2: Text taken from Cursillos in Christianity, Leaders Manual, (An Offical Publication of the United States National Secretariat of the Cursillo Movement), Sixth Printing September 1988.


The Lorain Spanish/Englsih Speaking Cursillo | Lorain, OH