Guam Cursillo Movement celebrates 50 years

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The 42nd Women’s Weekend graduates pose for a photo with Spiritual Director Father Joel Delos Reyes and Archbishop Michael Byrnes in the middle. Front row, left to right: Catherine Leon Guerrero, Ellen Wells, Sinahi Manglona, Brittany Manglona, Sheila Lujan, T’Anah Terlaje, Perlita Galvez; back row, left to right: Florence Leon Guerrero, Michelle Garcia, Kateri Santos, Father Joel, Archbishop Byrnes, Corina Cruz, Marielle Cipriano, and Angelina Miralles.

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

Some of you may have been wondering where “Cursillo” originated from and how it has reached out globally. The term, “Cursillo,” means “a short course,” often associated with a three-day weekend retreat, the first of which was conducted in 1949 in the Diocese of Palma de Mallorca in Spain.

It stirred up so much apostolic restlessness that it spread to become a movement for mature men. The first Cursillo conducted in the manner we know it today is fitting because it is centered on Christ and his teachings. As more Cursillo weekends developed in neighboring towns, it eventually became a movement, ultimately spreading quickly throughout the world.

The first Cursillo on Guam was held at Father Duenas Memorial School on Aug. 15, 1968. It was brought to Guam by a team of Cursillistas (who have participated in the weekend) from the Archdiocese of Manila. In November 1968, the “School of Leaders” was established to prepare local “Rollistas” (speakers who give talks or “rollos”) and auxiliaries to perpetuate the movement on Guam.

A year later, the first Cursillo weekend for women was held at the Sisters of Mercy Convent, in Tai (Mangilao) on Aug. 7, 1969, and introduced by a team of women Cursillistas also from the Archdiocese of Manila.

During a Cursillo weekend retreat, one’s focus is in building a lasting relationship and encounter with Christ in a manner only the retreatant can experience. It is a method which consistently strengthens personal and communal relationship with Christ.

Since then, The Guam Cursillo Movement has had 45 weekends for women and 50 weekends for men. We have reached out to our brothers and sisters in Saipan and Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia as well. The movement has garnered over a thousand Cursillistas to date. Though many are invited to make a Cursillo weekend, few are chosen and although it seems restrictive, it strives to develop Christian leaders in our communities.

On Aug. 15, 2018, the Guam Cursillo Movement celebrated 50 years of developing, encouraging, and bringing people closer to Christ. And we honor the spirit of the movement at a Gala Event on Sept. 8, 2018 at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort. We invite all our brothers and sisters to our gala as well as those in other church ministries. De Colores!

Information provided by Roland Biscoe