For hundreds of years the Spanish went on pilgrimages to the Cathedral of St. James where the apostle James is said to he buried. The purpose of these pilgrimages was for spiritual renewal. These pilgrimages are the origin of our cursillo pilgrims guide. The song DeColores was sung by these pilgrims as they walked along the countryside observing God’s creation.
After the Spanish Civil War and World War II The Catholic Church had problems keeping men active in the church.
A group of spanish men in 1948 organized a retreat to show that God is still alive and loves them. This was the beginning of a short course in Christianity or cursillo. Later a need evolved to expand the training of these young Catholic men for Christian action in all types of environments.
Wives noted that their husbands were coming back from these weekends a changed person. They asked if they could attend and at first they were turned down. Later they confronted the priests to begin holding weekends for women. Shortly thereafter, weekends were started for women as well as men.
In 1953 – The first cursillo was held outside of Spain in Columbia.
In 1957 – Two United States Air Force cadets brought cursillo to Texas from Spain. Up until this time, all cursillo weekends were held in the spanish language.
In 1961 – The first English speaking cursillo weekend was held. It was held in Texas. The movement slowly spread to other states, including south Florida.
In the late 1970’s, the Lord sent two couples to the Orange Park area from the Miami/West Palm Beach areas. These fine folks sponsored several people from Advent Lutheran Church. The first to person to go to south Florida to make a Sonshine South Cursillo Weekend was Pastor Dave Winter. Shortly after Pastor Clark Mc Phail, along with others, went to Boca Raton to make a Gold Coast Cursillo Weekend.