The Sacramento Diocese English Cursillo Community

Apostolic Planning and Benefits of a Cursillo de Cursillos

Background Information: The Catholic Church, in its post-pandemic reality, has to find ways to have the faithful return to the pews and celebrate the Sunday Liturgy shoulder-to-shoulder with their own faith community.  In the same way, the Cursillo Movement has to find effective ways to gather once again in person and share the beauty of our charism. The doors of the Catholic Church were closed for 15 months, resorting to online technology to reach the faithful.  In the same way, our Ultreya gathering turned into a Zoom event. 

Apostolic Planning: At the start of the new Secretariat's 3-year term in January 2023, the Most Reverend Jaime Soto presided over the Rite of Commissioning of its 8 members. These members accepted the responsibilities entrusted to them by their bishop and the community as servant leaders. They pledged to remain faithful stewards of the Catholic Church and the charism of the Cursillo Movement. At this juncture, they realized it was time for an in-person gathering of all Cursillistas - to guide those they serve to a loving friendship with Christ through a living witness, prayer, and sacrifice.

The newly commissioned Secretariat held their first meeting with a vision of inviting the "far away Cursillistas" in our diocese. The Sacramento Diocese comprises 20 counties covering 42,597 square miles of the north and eastern regions of California. It was in the first official Secretariat meeting that the (1st Year) Apostolic Plan was introduced.

The vision was to energize the Movement with key activities that would promote fellowship amongst FRIENDS, rebuilding the cornerstone of our Movement, FRIENDSHIP, and COMMUNITY. The Apostolic Plan was designed to itemize quarterly objectives to achieve the goal of gathering...for in these gatherings we encounter the God of all good things through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We created committees to handle key tasks in reinvigorating the Movement. Committees were identified for the planning and execution of the following activities: (1) Review and revise the 2003 Articles and ByLaws; (2) A Day of Recollection with Secretariat and Parish Representatives gathering in prayer. (3) A Fund Development group to raise money for a Cursillo de Cursillos (CDC) workshop and all other needs; (4) A CDC Logistical Planning Team from National, Regional, and Host Team; and (5) Grand Ultreya with the Filipino, Vietnamese, Spanish and English Cursillo Communities in the Sacramento Diocese.

Punctuated in between all these activities are the Secretariat's primary roles and responsibilities in performing its 3 facets of Cursillo methodologies. The Precursillo, Three-Day Cursillo, and Postcursillo are now in place for this year. Discernment for the next Rector/Rectora was completed at the beginning of the year, the Precursillo work promoting Men’s and Women's Cursillo Weekends continues, and the weekends are now scheduled for Fall. What's left to do is for Weekend Team Members to evaluate what worked and what didn't work for better future planning.

Upon review of our first-year Cursillo Apostolic Plan for the first 3 quarters of 2023, we've met all our goals: (1) The Secretariat ratified its Amended Articles and Bylaws in its July Secretariat meeting; (2) A Day of Recollection with the theme "Enkindled with the Fire of God's Love," was held last spring with 40 key leaders participating; (3) An "Energize Luncheon" fundraising event was held with 200 Cursillistas participating through attendance, volunteerism and auction item donations; (4) a CDC was held on August 31-September 3. Six members from National and Regional staff facilitated the CDC Weekend with 35 Cursillistas; and (5) The Grand Ultreya is now scheduled for the Spring of 2024, a show of unity in diversity.

Cursillos de Cursillos.  We've achieved all our initial goals to jumpstart the Movement in Sacramento, but it's not the end of it. Our first year of apostolic planning has to include a CDC.  The CDC must be lived...to inform the Cursillo leadership of its essence, purpose, mentality, method, and charism. The leadership has to know the Charism very well so as to inculcate in us what is fundamental to being a Christian, which is one and the same as being a Cursillista. 

We learned about the qualities of an authentic Leader, the benefits of regular Ultreya and Group Reunion, and the economics of Weekend Team Formation.  The School of Leader's efficacy depends on properly structuring its contents, considering the nature of participation, understanding the rationale and benefits from it.

With our gained knowledge from all the CDC Rollos, we can now look into our future Apostolic Planning, focused on saturating our environment with the Cursillo charism. The key to all this gained knowledge is to understand Eduardo Bonnín’s mentality and the origin of his ideas, values, and beliefs. Prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit, Servant of God Eduardo Bonnín passed on to the Laity and Mother Church the vision of building the Kingdom of God through genuine Friendship with God and Friendship with one another. De Colores!

Verne Bowers, Diocesan Cursillo Coordinator for the Diocese of Sacramento

This article is featured in the National Cursillo October 2023 Newsletter.
You can view and read the newsletter with the following link: CNN_1023_ENF.pdf (natl-cursillo.org)