John Paul II Encourages the Cursillo Movement

"Follow Confidently the Way You Have Undertaken"

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II offered encouragement to the Cursillo movement, a Chrisitan renewal effort now present in 60 countries and 800 dioceses.



"The little seed sown in Spain more than 50 years ago has become a great tree rich in fruits of the Spirit," the Holy Father said.

The basic concept of its spiritual way is the "cursillo" (little course): a three-day retreat for those who are seeking God, to hear the fundamental truths of the Christian faith. The idea was first implemented in 1948, with a pilgrimage of youth to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. The initiative spread and today is lived by over 8 million people.

John Paul II and members of the movement recalled the Holy Father´s words when he met with the new movements at Pentecost 1998: the need to "grow in ecclesial awareness and identity."

On this point, the Cursillo movement recently took an important step by petitioning for canonical recognition and approval of its statutes by the Holy See.

On Saturday, John Paul II appealed to its members to be "courageous witnesses of the ´deaconry of truth´ and to act with the ´force of communion.´"

The proclamation at the heart of this movement is the call "to fix one´s gaze on the face of Christ," the Pope said, as he requested in his apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte."

The Holy Father emphasized that this gaze implies "trust in the primacy of grace to undertake a journey of catechesis and prayer, of conversion and holiness of life," whose fruits will be "a solid sense of belonging to the Church and a renewed impetus for evangelization in the realms of daily life and activity."

"Dear Cursillistas! Follow confidently the way of formation and Christian life that you have undertaken with so much generosity," John Paul II concluded. "Duc in Altum! [Go into the deep!]"