What is Cursillo?
Cursillo means "A short course" and literally is a "short course in Christianity" or a "short course in Christian Living." It is a three day, intensive study and experience of how to better live your life as a Christian.
The weekends are led by a team of Cursillistas (def: one who has attended a Cursillo) of about 50-60 people. The team consists of lay directors, clergy, musicians and cooks.
Cursillo began in Majorca, Spain in the Roman Catholic Church. Cursillo in the United States began when two Spanish pilots were in America in the 1940's. Cursillo is now in many states as well as Europe, Canada, Australia and South America.
Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California held its first set of weekends in June, 1990. LCSC was developed from other three day movements such as Episcopal Cursillo and Walk to Emmaus (Methodist). LCSC uses Lutheran Theology and is led by Lutheran Clergy. You must be an active member at a Lutheran church to attend.
There is no sponsorship from either the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), which are the two main governing bodies of the different synods of the Lutheran Church.
Weekends are held at St. Joseph's Catholic Retreat Center in Rosemead, California (about 30 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles). We have also hosted a few weekends at El Camino Pines Lutheran Camp in Frazier Park, CA. This camp is in the mountains and provides a beautiful setting for the weekend. About 30-40 pilgrims can attend a weekend, with another 50-60 on each team.
Via De Cristo
Via de Cristo is relatively new to Southern California. The full name of this movement is Via de Cristo of Southern California and the Central Valley. While this movement is generally the same as Cursillo, you do not have to be a member of a Lutheran congregation to attend. The weekends do use Lutheran theology, however. The purpose of developing another three-day movement in Southern California is to spread the weekends to other areas outside of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
The first weekend was March, 1997 at El Camino Pines Camp and was coed. For more information on the national Via de Cristo movement, please visit the Via de Cristo National Home Page.
After atttending a Cursillo, you are invited to share in a small reunion group with other Cursillistas (kur-see-ees-tahs) in your area (called a grouping). There are also monthly meetings of all Cursillistas called Ultreyas (uhl-tray-uh) which are held at various churches. Click Here for a list of upcoming Ultreyas.
There is no cost involved in attending a Cursillo. The weekend is a gift to you from the community of those who have attended previously and those who are working on the team. A sponsor takes care of getting you there and bringing you home, as well as providing you with applications for the weekend.
Anyone can attend, whether you are single, married, divorced, clergy, etc. All we ask is that you be open to the weekend as it unfolds, and you give your self surrender and charity.