COLUMBIA—The Men’s Cursillo #69 retreat held at Our Lady of the Hills drew 21 men from 14 parishes for a closer encounter with God.
Cursillo weekends focus on helping Catholics become more effective Christian leaders over the course of three days, which includes numerous talks and group discussion, plus daily Mass and reconciliation, 24-hour adoration, and spiritual direction provided by pastors and deacons.
“Cursillo is truly a gift from God,” said Father John Murray, parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Hills. “Simply put, these men who made their Cursillo have had a profound experience of Jesus Christ, and they seek to bring that experience back to parish life, family members and all those they meet.”
Father John helped guide the Aug. 23-26 event, along with Father Peter Souza, pastor of Our Lady of the Hills, Deacon John DeWolfe from Holy Family Church on Hilton Head Island, and Deacon Bob Pierce from St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken.
The Cursillo #69 team, led by Patrick Roddy from Christ our King Church in Mount Pleasant, consists of 25 laymen who volunteer their time to provide a heartfelt, spiritual encounter with God.
“The whole purpose of the Cursillo movement is to bring a friend to Christ,” Roddy said.
Many of the participants spoke of their Cursillo experience as being a game-changer, humbling, eye-opening, and transforming.
“If you want more out of your faith life and are struggling in that search, Cursillo was a difference-maker and left me feeling super-charged by the Holy Spirit after the weekend,” said Mike Weinzapel, from Our Lady of the Lake in Chapin.
During the weekend, hundreds of S.C. Cursillistas prayed diligently for God’s graces for the participants.
At the end of the weekend, Roddy said, “These 21 friends are now closer to Christ and are ready to go forward to re-evangelize their families first and their friends second.”
A truly special aspect of the Cursillo was the participation of the diaconate men. At the heart of the diaconate is their vow to the ministry of service and their primary duties outside the altar are to humbly instruct and encourage the laity, preside over worship and prayer, and always demonstrate charity to others.
“The Cursillo program is a wonderful opportunity for men to gather, without any outside distractions, to strengthen their faith and enable them to grow their spirituality within themselves, their family and their work environments,” Deacon DeWolfe said.
The Women’s Cursillo #69 will be held Oct. 4-7 at Our Lady of the Hills Church. The next Men’s Cursillo is scheduled for Feb. 7-10, 2019.
Submitted by James V. Chin
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