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Archives Cursillo forms disciples for evangelization

March 31, 2021

By Marika Donders
Director for Evangelization

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)

For Catholics to be able to share the faith to the ends of the earth, we need to get beyond our parish doors; we need to get out of ourselves. Our faith needs to get out of our hearts and heads into the world around us, outside of ourselves. We need to openly express faith in words and deeds. We need to stop keeping our relationship with Jesus and his church to ourselves like some big secret. This secret is one that needs to be shared and taught and expressed in words.

One of my least favorite expressions is a quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." The implication is that words are not necessary to share the faith or at least, many people use it as an excuse not to use words. Yes, we can live a good Catholic life and show good example, which may draw some people to the faith, but at some point, you need to be able to use words and share what is the reason for your hope, your joy, and why you are living the way you do.

You may ask, what does this have to do with Cursillo? Isn't Cursillo just a weekend retreat?

Cursillo starts with a retreat, but it is much more than that. It is a movement in the Church, which forms disciples. The slogan is "Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.” Cursillo, at its heart, is about evangelization and discipleship. Through the weekend and beyond, friendships are formed and faith is shared in small groups. The individual Cursillistas come to know and deepen their faith and learn to practice sharing that faith with others so when the opportunity occurs, they are comfortable with sharing their faith with others.

The power of Cursillo really rests in living out what was begun in the Cursillo weekend by sharing our daily lived faith in small groups. It is in the opportunity to get together regularly and consistently with a small group to share how you have lived the faith that week, where you encountered Christ in prayer, study and action.

I have found through faith sharing that faith is lived in the ordinary little things in life, and it affects the way you live, not in the big things, but in the little everyday things you do for love of Christ. It is through these seemingly insignificant actions such as the study that may present one small new insight, or that moment of prayer that provides just a little more clarity, that we are ever so slowly being formed into better disciples of Christ, allowing his image in us to become more and more evident, more obvious.

Our faith is not a one-and-done. It is a slow maturing of faith, and to mature in faith, we need to reflect on our faith and talk about it. Not in a "Hey! Look at me!" way, but in a way that expresses in word and action what Jesus Christ has done for me, and can do for you and through you, for all those whom you will meet.

To learn more about Cursillo, or to apply to attend a Cursillo weekend, see www.rcdony.org/evangelization/cursillo.html or contact nccsec2019@gmail.com


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