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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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A method of Christian renewal originated by a group of laymen, assisted by Bishop Hervas y Benet, on the island of Mallorca, Spain, on January 7, 1949. The term literally means a "little course," and the program itself comes in three stages of three days each: preparation (pre-cursillo), the course proper cursillo), and the follow-up (post-cursillo). Its objective is to change the world by changing one's mind according to the mind of Christ, and then reshaping one's life accordingly. The cursillo proper is an intensive weekend built around some fifteen talks, of which ten are given by laymen, and living together as a close Christian community. Those who participate are called cursillistas, who meet regularly after the initial program in what is called the ultreya, in small groups to pray, share their experiences, and plan apostolic action. An essential part of the cursillo, as conceived by Bishop Hervas, is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to give doctrinal foundation and spiritual structure to the movement.

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