“I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.” – Psalms 42:7-8

by Trisha R. Mirana

As Christians, our hearts  are filled with the desire to strengthen our relationship with God. We are engulfed in constant longing to be closer to Him; to develop a strong bond with our Creator. However, oftentimes, we do not know how to do so as we do not possess a solid foundation through proper guidance. 

From the 24th to the 27th of November, HOST France held its annual Cursillo at the convent of the Polish Catholic Mission in the parisian suburbs of La Ferté-sous-Jouarre. During the 4-day stay, the Youth went on a spiritual journey to further deepen their understanding of Jesus’ teachings and nourish their faith. 

Each morning, a prayer is held to kick-start the day. Admittedly, one of the hardest parts to adapt to over the course of the stay was waking up at 5:30-ish a.m. as non-morning people! Thankfully, the harana-like alarm led by kuya Miguel barging into each room made mornings fun and pleasant. Throughout the Cursillo, lectures were held in a chill and laid back vibe with the staff even providing unlimited snacks and drinks. It was like a school setting but a hundred times cooler and better. Likewise, the activities were very much energizing with everyone enjoying and playing around.  

Balancing out the fun, quiet times were also put in place. Each time, for 30 minutes, the Youth were encouraged to really reach out to and speak to God. Everybody was free to roam around the convent to bask in their thoughts and spirituality. For some, the first few quiet times were difficult as they did not know how to proceed. Some did not know what to do and others felt as if they were talking to themselves. As more quiet times passed, everyone was starting to get the hang of it.

On the third day, after the Sacrament of Confession, the Cursillo participants quite literally bawled their eyes out! To you, who’s reading this article, I will not dive much deeper into this! Everyone gathered to sing praise and worship and it was indeed a moment to remember. A core memory if I may so. The day after, testimonies were shared over breakfast and lunch. Another emotional rush, making some people’s already puffy eyes double in size…

At the end of the Cursillo, upon departure, everyone was asked to describe the Cursillo experience in one word and I said it was life-changing. Indeed it was. Originally, I was very reluctant to join the Cursillo but ultimately decided that it was the perfect opportunity to build my relationship with God. I have learnt so much during the 4 days and 3 nights; not only through the rollos but also through my fellow Youth.  I have learnt to open my heart more and to not be afraid of being vulnerable. I will forever be grateful for this experience because it made me realize that I am indeed loved by God and that He will always be there wanting me to strengthen our bond. 

It goes without saying but we are all grateful to all who made the Cursillo possible! To the lecturers, Father Irwin, Father Dominador and the deacons. Likewise to the staff who are equally as important.

Well, that’s a wrap for the 2023 session! Cursillo 2024, see you soon?

Watch the recap video below:

© 2024 - Diocese of Europe - The International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church

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