Ministry retread: Cursillo gains momentum in southeast MissouriBy: Linda Leicht Chaffee MO
Enthusiasm about Cursillo is growing in the Diocese. A group of about a dozen Cursillistas—people who have completed a Cursillo Weekend—gathered recently in St. Ambrose Parish in Chaffee to pray for women who were participating in a women’s Cursillo Weekend in St. Louis.
Sharon Essner, who is helping to coordinate the effort to restart a Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, led the group in the song “Here I Am Lord,” followed by prayers for the weekend participants, the team working with them, and the men who would be going soon to a weekend of their own.
After Morning Prayer, the small group sat or kneeled, quietly offering their prayers for the next 30 minutes. They asked that the Lord would touch and bless the lives of the Cursillo candidates, that the people who were supporting them by prayers, writing letters of encouragement, preparing the meals, and taking care of all the details for the weekend, would also be blessed.
And they prayed for the efforts to bring the Cursillo movement back to Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
Five of the 24 women at the April 29-May 1 weekend in St. Louis were from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, as were several of the team members. It will be next year before men and women in the diocese will have an opportunity to attend a Cursillo Weekend closer to home. And first, the diocese must have an eight-member secretariat in place by June in order to be reinstated by the national Cursillo office.
The Cursillo Movement began in 1944 in Majorca, Spain, and by the 1970s it had spread throughout the world, including Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The last weekend in the Diocese was held about 2009.
Potential leaders are needed to fill the slots on the secretariat and to support the effort to reinstate the diocese with the national office. In the past, Cursillo Weekends were held in a couple areas of the diocese, filling up for each of the twice-a-year events for men and for women. Once the Diocese is reinstated and locations are found, the regional weekends could start again.
Sharon Essner encouraged Cursillistas to step up for leadership roles, first by attending an Ultreya.
“Ultreyas have been a way to sort of stir up the memory and reconnect,” Essner said, “to reestablish relationships and reawaken the Cursillo mentality.”
For more information
For more information or to connect with Cursillo, contact Sharon Essner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 334-0373; or Anne Detten at email@example.com or call (303) 915-0510. Fr. Bill Hodgson serves as Diocesan Chaplain of Cursillo. Fr. Hodgson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (573) 785-9635.