|From the South Texas Catholic Archives
Published July 18, 2008
Written By Consuela Martinez
|View Original Archive in PDF|
Mgsr. Patrick Higgins committed many years to the movement as spiritual director.
In January 1949, the first cursillo was held thus the birth of the Cursillo Movement in Spain; it grew out of Catholic action groups of the late 30’s and early 40’s. It started in Mallorca and later continued in Ciudad Real, Spain under Bishop Juan Hervas. The Cursillo Movement started its work of renewal mainly during the reign of Pope John Paul preceding the second Vatican Council which began in 1960. The Cursillo has been refined and changed some, but is still basically the same as the first original cursillo given by the young Catholic of action group that included Eduardo Bonin, one of the founders of the movement.
First men's English Cursillo in the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1964.
In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the Cursillo Movement, as part of the Christian formation division, continues to be a part of the work of renewal. Since Bishop Thomas J. Drury came to the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas in 1965, the movement grew in depth with his strong endorsement. Father Charles McNaboe, the first cursillo’s spiritual director handed over the spiritual directorship of the Spanish movement to Father Thomas Fernandez O.M.I., then pastor of Holy Family Church in Corpus Christi. Monsignor Albert Schmitt, pastor of the Cathedral of Corpus Christi assumed the duties of the English movement from 1963-1970. Msgr. Patrick Higgins, became the next spiritual director up to 2005 when he passed away leaving a great legacy of love and commitment for Cursillos. His leadership involved a team of many priests in the movement, i.e., Father John Walsh, Seamus McGowan, John Killeen, Ed Kircher, Joe Berger, Louis Joseph, Father Hamilton, the late Father Ambrose Branza,O.S.B., Father Frank Martinez and Father Prince Kuruvila and Deacon Pete Ybarra, Linard Harper, Noel Breland and Armando Botello. Presently, we are very grateful to have Father Ralph Jones S.O.L.T. as the English Cursillo Movement’s Spiritual Director.
First women's English Cursillo in the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1966.
There has been 308 men Cursillos and 247 women Cursillos English and Spanish, celebrated in the diocese. Over 8,000 men and over 7,500 women have made a Cursillo in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Most of the Cursillo leaders of the Corpus Christi Diocese have availed themselves of the opportunities to expand their knowledge of the basic principles of Christianity in order to persevere and continue working diligently with the movement, within the family, as well as spreading God’s kingdom in their respective environments.
Leaders have had the opportunity of attending workshops and national conferences all over the United States. A large delegation attended the World Ultreya in Mexico City in 1970 where they had the opportunity to meet Eduardo Bonin and Bishop Juan Hervas from Mallorca, principal founders of the Cursillo Movement, before they passed away.
Today because of Bishop Edmond Carmody’s continuous concern toward diocesan Evangelization, his gracious support caused the movement to build a new Cursillo Center. The new Center is a blessing of opportunity to collaborate with Evangelization movements that are using the facilities for week-end retreats, i.e., Walk to Emmaus, Youth groups, Acts, Journey to Damascus, and many other Evangelizations groups. With deep gratitude to Bishop Edmond Carmody the movements’ purpose to evangelize has become a joint effort throughout the diocese.
Come and visit with the many Cursillistas you’ll have the opportunity to see after many years of having lived your Cursillo Week end. Come see the new center, come and enjoy the live music, food, games, and so many wonderful memories the Lord has given us through the gift of “Cursillo”.
Christ Is Still Counting On You! De Colores!