LUMEN GENTIUM AWARD WINNER

Cursillo de Cristiandad: An effective evangelization movement for Christ

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For 16 years the Hispanic “Cursillo de Cristiandad’ has been working on its mission of evangelization becoming one of the most active apostolic movements of the Diocese. This year, they will be recognized with the Lumen Gentium Award for their service in Evangelization and Communications.
Rosa Rivas, lay director of the Cursillo, said, “I am very grateful to God and the diocese for this recognition, because the Cursillo is working very well, making tremendous efforts in the evangelization of the environments, reaching out to those who are far away, those who have forgotten the church and God, that is our mission.”
She said that the Cursillo seeks to take a person out of their environment “to bring them to live the four-day retreat, evangelize them and bring them back changed, so they can become missionary disciples evangelizing and becoming great support in their parishes.”
Rivas says that their movement is presently serving in most of the parishes with Spanish-speaking communities in the diocese.
Before the four-day retreat candidates go to a pre-Cursillo that is like an interview where team members go to the house and explain to the candidate exactly what the Cursillo is.
“After that, the candidate already accepted to go to live the Cursillo, and then we connect them to a friendship group then goes to the Ultreya, our weekly meetings in the parishes,” Rivas said.
“There they meet to plan evangelization activities, go out to pray rosaries, share the word of God, and then afterward all those groups meet in the parish to share the faith together,” she added.
She shared that Cursillo has a “School of Leaders” that meets every Tuesday except the third Tuesday of the month, with presentations from a spiritual guide that can be a deacon, a priest or a lay leader.
“It is very nice because we are going to nourish ourselves and grow every week in the School and we also want to thank the diocese because for years they have allowed us to use a conference room so that we can have the School of Leaders,” Rivas said.
Deacon Vicente Caban, a member of the movement said, “I have been participating in the Cursillo in Massachusetts for years and in truth what is being done in Providence is tremendous. We are doing the work that Jesus Christ tells us to do, which is to take the message of the Gospel to our brothers, both men and women and help prepare them to be our leaders in the future.”
“Then, one day, when we are already with God in the fourth day, these brothers will also continue to carry that message of evangelization,” he continued. “I admire every person who works in this team for their dedication and I am the first to support the Cursillo 100 percent, not only with my presence and my work but with anything I can,” he added.
Maria Gonzalez, a board member said: “It is an honor to receive this award because we have been working for a long time and now the doors are opening and now there is a recognition in many churches of the importance of the Cursillo as a tool and support in evangelization.”
Gladys Mateo, former director of the School of Leaders said: “To be part of the Cursillo and to live the four days the candidate must be living in grace and receiving all the sacraments.”
“The Cursillo is a short but intense experience where one is going to have an encounter with oneself, with Christ and our brothers and sisters. It is an inexplicable experience, something wonderful,” she added.
On behalf of the group, Rivas expressed their shared joy at being honored this year with a Lumen Gentium award.
“Jesus has heard our prayers and is sending many blessings to all of us since we have been working quietly for almost 16 years,” she said.

— AWARDS BANQUET —
The honorees will be awarded during a dinner at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln on Wednesday, May 15.

Guests wishing to purchase tickets to the dinner — whose proceeds will support Diocesan Youth Ministry — are asked to register online at dioceseofprovidence.org/lumen-gentium-awards.

For more information, please call 401-277-2121.