What is Cursillo?

Cursillo (kur-see-yo) is a movement of renewal in the Church. Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning short course.

The Cursillo Movement began in the early 1940’s in Spain. This was the beginning of a movement that today has spread through 60 countries and numerous Christian denominations. It is estimated that half a million Christians have experienced Cursillo in one of its various forms. The first Cairns Cursillo was held in 1975. For further history of Cursillo visit Australian Catholic Cursillo via

Cairns Cursillo currently has an active community that provides regular opportunities for support, fellowship and spiritual growth.

Cursillo has a Papal Mandate with participation encouraged by Pope Francis. It is endorsed by Diocesan Bishops including our Bishop James. It acts wholly within the Church and states only the Church’s teaching. The Cursillo Movement is Christ centred and is based on Gospel values.

The purpose of Cursillo is to present a way of living as a Christian in the world. The movement offers a method to strengthen and develop our relationship with God, provides the support of other Christians, and is used by God to reach others. As such it:

  • Identifies what is fundamental to Christian Living.
  • Emphasizes personal faith development.
  • Brings out each individual’s responsibility for living and spreading the Christian life in the environment immediately around them.

Cursillo is a movement that encourages involvement from all who have been baptized, and is led predominately by lay people. It also depends upon the support and encouragement of our priests.

The method is presented in a short course over a three day weekend. A person who has attended Cursillo Three Days is called a Cursillista.

Cairns Diocesan School teachers

The Cursillo three day weekend aslo has an eight hour in-service recognition for Cairns Diocesan School teachers.

What happens during a Cursillo Weekend?

The weekend is a three day course in Christian living. It is an enjoyable and enriching experince that will give you time for reflection on what is fundamental about being Christian. The weekend is based on a series of structured talks and questions followed by discussions. It also includes meditations, singing, prayer and Masses.

The weekend opens with a short Retreat in preparation for the three days of talks focusing on:

  • What are your ideals?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • How do you live the Christian way of life?
  • How do you set the right priorities for family and work?
  • How are you bringing Christ to the world?

It is the experience of many people that, after Cursillo, Christian living takes on a new dimension with a fresh awareness of God’s love and purpose for each one of us.

What is expected of me?

  • To be open and willing to respond to what you experience.
  • To make a genuine effort to discover where you are and how you can grow.
  • To feel secure in the knowledge that you are accepted as you are and where you are.

When are Cursillo Weekends held?

The Cairns Cursillo Movement three day weekend is planned the first half of 2020. The weekend is open to all Catholics, singles and or/couples.

The weekend is usually held at retreat location where you can leave behind your everyday cares and focus on your Spiritual life.

What happens after a Cursillo?

As one of the founders of Cursillo said “It is possible to encounter God in many other ways other than Cursillo - encountering God is easy - it is following Christ afterwards that is the problem”. Cursillo provides this follow- up structure and mutual support.

After attending a Cursillo, a Cursillista is encouraged to continue the learning, growing and sharing begun at the Cursillo, by being part of a small group of other Cursillistas. This involves meeting at an agreed time usually, weekly/fortnightly for prayer and to encourage each other in taking the message of the Gospel into personal environments. Cursillistas also gather for a monthly two-hour Ultreya (go forward in Spanish) for celebration andmutual support.

What is the long term aim of Cursillo?

Cursillo is not aiming to replace existing Church organisations, but to provide support and encouragement for apostolic activity within these organisations.It offers you the opportunity to deepen your personal relationship with Christ through support from a group of people who really care about your spirituality.

What does a Cursillo Three Days Cost?

The cost of the weekend includes accommodation and meals. No one is ever denied the chance to attend because of financial difficulty. For further information about Cursillo please contact a Secretariat member:

  • Maria Mezes on 0422 585 744 or email:
  • Rosalee Lankinen 0429 426 949
  • Peter Ellis on 0431 838 123

How do you discover if Cursillo is for you?

Accept the invitation that Christ’s offered His Apostles to “Come and See”. You could find this is the invitation you have been waiting for.




183 Abbott Street, Cairns  QLD  4870    |   PO Box 625, Cairns  QLD  4870
Ph: 07 4051 2838      |       Email: