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‘Put out into deep water’ and consider a Cursillo weekend

By Jerry Carbone

for the Idaho Catholic Register

What is Cursillo, and why should I attend one? We ask questions like these when presented with an idea to attend a workshop, a retreat, or something similar.

I lived a Cursillo weekend five years ago. My wife, Sherrey, saw how I was more focused on a deeper relationship with all three Persons of the Trinity, and how much I was open to discussing how God is working in our lives. Sherrey wanted a part of that as well, and lived her Cursillo a month later. As a result, we are closer on our walk with God, and, as a direct benefit, more present to our family, friends, and co-workers.

Cursillo is a short word for ‘Courses in Christianity’ or Cursillos en Christiandad. The Cursillo Movement originated in Mallorca, Spain, in 1944. Now, it is presented on weekends throughout the world in all five continents in native languages.

The cloistered weekend starts on a Thursday night, ending on Sunday afternoon. It is a significant time commitment, but life-changing. Men and women live a separate Cursillo weekend, which is put on by mainly the laity, supported by priests and deacons. During the three days, the Cursillista (one who lives a Cursillo) listens to a series of short talks, and participates in discussions, sacraments, prayer, camaraderie and great food.

When I moved back to the Treasure Valley after more than 20 years of military service, I found not only was I in need of transition to civilian life, but also a need to see what God wanted me to do. Starting a new business here was difficult. Up to this point, I lived a life guided by my false self, which is a life led mainly by my ego and what the world or culture was telling me how to live.

I attended the 2016 Idaho Men’s Conference, after two years of adjusting to civilian life. It was amazing to see about 1,000 men attending the conference.

I happened to see a friend of mine, Glen Smith, in the conference vendor area. Glen asked me if I heard about Cursillo, and I said no. He explained some about it and asked me if I wanted to sign up for a weekend.

The ingrained, false self in me said, “Don’t do it!” The true self in me, spurred on by the day’s events at the men’s conference, said, “Sign up!” I did so, and later lived my Cursillo weekend.

Glen also invited me to join some other men who meet weekly at a local coffee shop. It was great to meet these other men, all from different parishes, who meet regularly to discuss what they are studying, how they pray, and how God is working in their lives. I participated weekly until my Cursillo week-end, then continued weekly afterward.

After Cursillo, I found a life to be lived by my true self – which is God within me looking at God beyond me. We all have this true self in us, but the lure of worldly needs and pleasures tempts the false self to take primary position in our lives.

My faith is deeper now because of Cursillo. This is apparent in my daily thoughts, conversations and actions. The true self has emerged; the false self has faded. My hope for all of you is to live a Cursillo weekend to improve knowing yourself, knowing God, and knowing others. Make a friend, become a friend, and bring that friend to Christ.

If you are a person who wants to participate more deeply in your faith than just the “required basics,” then the Cursillo movement is for you. If you have a spark from the Holy Spirit to dig deeper in your faith, a call to be a better spiritual leader for your family, or just want to engage family and friends in a truer level of yourself, then the Cursillo movement is for you.

For more information on the Idaho Cursillo Movement go to For more information about the upcoming men’s Cursillo, Feb. 16-19, contact me at For the Women’s Cursillo, March 16-19, contact Megan Heying at

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FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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