Cursillo (pronounce it "Ker-See-Yo") 

Cursillos in Christianity

Cursillos in Christianity (in Spanish: Cursillos de Cristiandad - a short course of Christianity) was originally a ministry of the Roman Catholic church, founded in Majorca by a group of laymen in 1944, while they were refining a technique to train pilgrimage  leaders.  

Cursillo is the original three-day movement, and has since been licensed for use by several mainline Christian denominations including the Anglican Church in England.

Short History 

A layman named Eduardo Bonnín participated in the early years of the "short courses" in Majorca and helped develop cursillos to the point that they became an active renewal movement in the Church.  They spread to the USA in the 1950s, and eventually arrived in the United Kingdom in 1981.

With the full support of the Bishops, Cursillo has continued to spread throughout England, and now Cursillo movements exist in most of the 43 dioceses of the Church of England.

It is a movement within the Church of England, not a separate organization.


The Cursillo focuses on the renewal of faith in Christian lay people over the course of a three-day weekend, it includes fifteen talks, some given by priests and some by lay people.  The major emphasis of the weekend is to ask participants to take what they have learned back into the world, on what they call the "fourth day". The method stresses personal spiritual development, as accelerated by a group reunion (after the weekend).

De Colores

A story from the early days of the movement in Spain tells of an occasion where a group of men were returning from a Cursillo weekend when their bus broke down. They began to sing "De Colores" a traditional Spanish folk song.  The use of the song in Cursillo took hold, and has held up as the movement has spread outside the Spanish-speaking world and to other denominations.

The use of a multi-colored cockerel as a symbol for the Cursillo movement is believed to have originated from one of the verses of that song.


Ultreya is a Spanish word, derived from the original Latin, meaning Onward!  It was in common use by pilgrims to greet and to encourage one another along the way.

This word is now used by the Cursillo community to signify the meeting which is held after a Cursillo experience.

The Ultreya gathers together groups from a particular diocese and provides continuity by contributing to the maintenance of the Cursillo spirit and by revealing the reality of the living Church.

In a climate of friendship, members share their life experiences based on the three tenets of Cursillo life: i.e.: Prayer, Study and Action, or based on a passage from Scripture.  This sharing can be contemplative in nature or may deal with an evangelizing experience. These sharings from real-life experiences, serve as examples to all of us of the challenge which Jesus lays before His followers: "Go and do likewise." 

As its name implies, the Ultreya, is a call to move forward and to keep the flame of the Cursillo burning brightly.

*Cursillo is a registered trademark of the National Cursillo Center in Jarrell, Texas.
 Unauthorized use of this name is prohibited by law.