About Rockford Cursillo
The full name is "Cursillo De Christianad", meaning "short course in Christianity". It is a movement of Christian renewal, started in Spain in 1944 by Bishop Juan Hervas and Dr. Eduardo Bonin. Although it is quite different from a retreat, the Cursillo weekend complements a retreat.
The first Cursillo in the United States took place in 1957, when Spanish air cadets, who had come to this country for training, held a Cursillo in Texas. From 1957-1961 the weekends were in Spanish. The first English Cursillo weekend in the US was held in 1961. Today, with the blessing of the Pope, the Cursillo Movement is a worldwide movement with centers in nearly all South and Central American countries, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and several African countries.
The planning for the first Cursillo in the Rockford Diocese started late in 1962 for the weekend held August 1963. The first 5 weekends were held for Men only. Ten years later, Bishop Arthur O'Neill attended a Cursillo. Up until 1995 the weekends were held at different parishes throughout the diocese. The Rockford Diocese is unique in that we have one movement for both Spanish and English speaking communities. The Spanish weekends started in 1995. We have held 97 English men's weekends, 87 English women's weekends along with men's & women's Spanish weekends.
We currently have over 50 priest and over 25 deacons in the Rockford Diocese that have lived a weekend. Out of 106 parishes in the diocese 71 parishes have parishioners who are Cursillistas.