Pastors Reflections September 2018

I thought that this month as we have had people away on holiday and have not had our discipleship course I would tell you about how the course came about.

The start of what later was to become the Cursillo Movement began on the Island of Mallorca during the years of World War II. The Spanish Civil War had ended in 1939 and the years after the Civil War were a time of unrest in the Spanish Church. The idea was born to have a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela, the great Spanish pilgrimage centre of the Middle Ages. The pilgrimage would be a time for the young men and women of Spain to dedicate them-selves in a renewed way to the work of Christ.

The pilgrimage set a tone. The spirit of pilgrimage is a spirit of restlessness, a spirit of dissatisfaction with spiritual luke-warmness, a spirit of moving onward. It is also a spirit of brotherhood — of the brotherhood among fellow pilgrims who are striving together to reach the goal. The preparation for the pilgrimage gave rise to efforts of renewal in the different Catholic Action groups in Spain, and among them the branch for young men in the Diocese of Mallorca.

I thought that this month as we have had people away on holiday and have not had our discipleship course I would tell you about how the course came about.

The start of what later was to become the Cursillo Movement began on the Island of Mallorca during the years of World War II. The Spanish Civil War had ended in 1939 and the years after the Civil War were a time of unrest in the Spanish Church. The idea was born to have a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela, the great Spanish pilgrimage centre of the Middle Ages. The pilgrimage would be a time for the young men and women of Spain to dedicate them-selves in a renewed way to the work of Christ.

The pilgrimage set a tone. The spirit of pilgrimage is a spirit of restlessness, a spirit of dissatisfaction with spiritual luke-warmness, a spirit of moving onward. It is also a spirit of brotherhood — of the brotherhood among fellow pilgrims who are striving together to reach the goal. The preparation for the pilgrimage gave rise to efforts of renewal in the different

The first pilgrimage to St. James was in the summer of 1948. Those who first developed the Cursillo Movement worked together as a team from the very first. They worked as a leaders’ team that prayed together, shared their Christian lives together, studied together, planned together, acted together, and evaluated what they had done together. People who have done the weekend course often do this very same pilgrimage now, they are given a scallop shell to carry on their way.

Together they set themselves to the task of forming Christian life among the young people of Mallorca. Out of their common efforts something new in the life of the Church was born — the Cursillo.

Today The Cursillo is now established in over 900 dioceses, in 45 countries, and on five continents, with the largest concentration in North and South America, but there are a lot of people here in England who are members and who have been enerjised to get up and work for God in their communities..  Over the years it has developed into a three Hebrew day weekend, but we are unable to do this.  It was gifted by the Catholic Church to the Anglican church and then to the nonconformist churches.

I did my Curcillo in Leicestershire and have lead a weekend,  I am now part of the Exeter group.  The words are Spanish and I have put in some for you.

DeCOLORES means “of many colours.” Thinking back to the early days in Spain and the people who came to participate in the Movement, you will realize the value of the symbol of the rooster and its beautiful tail feathers. To the Spanish the rooster was symbolic of the rainbow in the Old Testament where God makes a covenant with His People. Also the Spanish, with much poverty following the war years of World War II, found the rooster a symbol of wealth and prosperity, a status symbol in a rural farm area. Roosters are found wandering the roadways and hillsides all over Spain. And a good rooster and hen give promise of eggs and more chickens to come. Thus the countryman has promise of food and a commodity to sell or trade to provide for his family and community. The rainbow colours of the tail feathers have a special and significant meaning to the Christian.

Green denotes new life, growth, and God’s beauty of nature that surrounds us. It symbolizes the ordinary times of the Church year.

Blue denotes loyalty, our commitment to God and His people. It also denotes truth and justice and the waters of our Baptism.

Purple denotes our dying and rising again along with the suffering of Jesus Christ.

Yellow and Orange hues denote warmth, light, promise. They remind us of the love of God’s Son in our lives, the light of a candle, the rays of the sun, and the changing seasons.

Red denotes celebration, joy and confirmation. It is symbolic of our feast days within, the Church, Christmas Day and Pentecost.

ULTREYA. This Spanish word means “to go forward” or “onward.” The term was given to the Cursillo Movement as the Spanish sheepherders called their flocks to move along the rocky trails in southern Spain.

Rollo that is one we had last time a short talk.

PALANCA: well you are going to have to wait to find out what that out means?

 

This scallop shell is displayed in a lucite case in the Museo de Peregrinaciones in Santiago de Compostelas.

It is an original shell found during excavation of the cathedral and is from the 14th century or thereabouts. It would have been carried by a pilgrim of the period as he or she made their way to Santiago. The scallop shell is a symbol of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) whose bones are presumed to be stored in a special chapel under the main altar of the Cathedral. Today many pilgrims wear the shell as they make their own pilgrimages. It is a direct link to the deep mythology of this sacred pilgrimage.

 

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