Cursillo Founder Dies at 90

Members Thank Him for Bringing Them the Gospel

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By Nieves San Martín

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain, FEB. 7, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Eduardo Bonnin, founder of the Catholic lay Cursillo movement, died Wednesday at age 90.

A note on the movement's Web site asked for prayers for the founder, who was born May 4, 1917.

"Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I send this message with a heart full of Christ's mercy and joy, to inform you of the passing to eternal life of our beloved friend, Eduardo Bonnin, founder of the Cursillos of Christianity, Feb. 6, 2008, in Mallorca," Victor Lugo, national executive director, wrote on the site.

The national secretariat of the movement in Spain, in a notice on its Web site, stated that "with his death, one of the pioneers of the work of the Cursillos of Christianity, is lost. It was in this parcel of the Church where the Lord planted him and to this place, he gave his effort, his dreams, his time and all of his life."

Laypeople's role

The Cursillos of Christianity began in Spain, on the island of Mallorca, between the years of 1940 and 1949. "Numerous laymen and some priests, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, discovered very clearly the fact that laymen too, in virtue of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, perform an active role in evangelization," the national secretariat site explained.

The movement spread throughout all of Spain and from there to the Americas and beyond.

A wake is under way today and will continue through Feb. 9. The funeral will be celebrated Feb. 12 by Bishop Jesús Murgui of Mallorca.

The secretariat statement continued, "Eduardo has always been for us someone important, but beginning now, in our prayers we can ask him to intercede for us before the Father, so that we can continue with his work of evangelizing the world and making as many as possible have the joy of knowing that God loves them. If he did everything that he did on earth, what won't he do now that he's in heaven?"

The statement concluded by thanking Bonnin for his work, "Thank you, Eduardo, for making our lives better, for making us happier and because many of our lives would not have the light of the Gospel if you had not been here."