The three-day retreat is just the starting point. The whole of a pilgrim’s life after the Cursillo experience is usually referred to as their “Fourth Day.” On the weekend we learn about systems and techniques to support us throughout this fourth day. Those who are interested in finding out more about Cursillo are encouraged to attend any of the meetings and activities below.
Pilgrims are encouraged to adopt a rule of life to act as a framework to hold ourselves accountable and guide us in our spiritual journey. This might involve individual goals and aims, to be re-assessed on our own or in the company of a spiritual director, or within the context of 4th Day activities.
The beating heart of the Cursilllo way is Group Reunion. The word reunion comes from the Spanish, and is better thought of just as a “small group meeting.” These groups are ideally between four and six people who agree to meet regularly – weekly, fortnightly or monthly as a rule. There is a set format for the meeting, beginning and ending with set prayers. In between these is a time of sharing, where each member has the opportunity to share, uniterrupted, where they are in their life of prayer, study and action. Success and failure can be shared in a supportive atmosphere of confidentiality. Even more helpful sometimes is that here we can talk of our plans and aspirations. The meeting only takes about half an hour, and can be anywhere or at any time of day; many groups start with the Reuinion and then carry on into a social gathering in one form or another. There are breakfast groups, groups at work, and one group we know of took a day trip to Italy for their meeting! Another new dimension has been the discovery by many of us of online meetings. Using “Zoom” or another app can be a lifeline to those who cannot meet in person for various reasons.
Larger meetings called Ultreyas are often convened at a diocesan level. The word ultreya is an old Spanish word meaning Persevere! Keep going! and is used by Cursillistas (those who have attended a Cursillo) as a greeting or parting word, but it is also used for these larger gatherings. For these Ultreyas there is again a framework, which includes a witness talk from one of those attending which serves as an encouragement to the whole group. Ultreyas are joyful gatherings which usually involve singing, and food!
Every year, at the end of August or beginning of September, we hold Ultreya GB. This is hosted each year by a different diocese or province, and is a spectacular gathering of cursillistas from England, Scotland and Wales. Details of the next Ultreya GB can be found in the Events section of this website.
In addition to the more formalised Group Reunions and Ultreyas many areas hold social events and study days, which are invariably open to anyone to attend.