Spiritual fruits, not religious nuts - time to try a Cursillo weekend in Derry

Fr. Peter McVerry is one of the speakers at the Cursillo weekend in Derry which takes place from September 24-27.
Fr. Peter McVerry is one of the speakers at the Cursillo weekend in Derry which takes place from September 24-27.

A religious group which has been in operation in Derry since the 1980s will be holding a special open weekend at Termonbacca next weekend.

The Derry Cursillo group is asking local people who have never had experience of the group before to come along on any or all of the three days they are hosting from September 24-27.

“One of the key elements of Cursillo is friendship,” explained Denis McGowan from Cursillo. “Be a friend, make a friend or bring a friend to Christ. Experience God’s love through friendship. We are opening our doors to anyone who wants to experience Cursillo.”

Denis said the purpose of the weekend which will have a number of speakers, is to “create spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.”

“Thousands of people have had life changing experiences through Cursillo. Derry has one of the most vibrant and respected movements in Ireland. There is a lot of work that goes on quietly in the background and a lot of Christian work being done quietly under the radar.

“Cursillo was introduced into the Derry Diocese in 1985 and to date some 5000+ people have experienced a Cursillo weekend. Although 30 years old in Derry, it remains a vibrant, evangelizing community, probably among the most energetic in Ireland whose members organise at least two separate residential weekends for men and

Dana Rosemary Scallon will speak on Saturday.

Dana Rosemary Scallon will speak on Saturday.

women every year, as well as the “Walk to Knock Pilgrimage” and an annual pilgrimage to Medjugorje.”

He explained that the weekend of events will allow people the chance to reflect on their lives and have time for reflective meditation.

“This is an opportunity to experience different aspects of Cursillo without joining Cursillo,” he said.

The weekend can be residential or non residential and people have the freedom to come and go to certain events. Rooms are available to book at Termonbacca.

Thursday and Friday of next week have been titled - an encounter with self.

On Thursday night at 7.30 p.m. there will be an opening Mass at St. Eugene’s Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Donal Keown and concelebrated by priests who have done the Cursillo weekend.

Friday will begin with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at Termonbacca followed by a talk by Father Mike Drennan on confession - ‘Why bother?’

In the afternoon there will be a community reconciliation service and confession led by Bishop McKeown and various confessors. At 5 p.m. Father John Farren will celebrate a healing Mass.

Saturday has been described as “encounter with Christ.”

Speakers on the day include Father Mike Drennan who will speak on John’s Gospel, the Spanish Cursillista, Dana Rosemary Scallon and Dr D. O’Callaghan. Mass will be celebrated by Father Paddy Doherty in the Marquee at 5 p.m.

A special friendship (agape) meal will be held on Saturday evening in the Guildhall. Places are limited to 200 and tickets will go on a “first come first served” basis.

Sunday will be an “encounter with others” with speakers Father Peter McVerry, Noirin Ni Riain (personal witness to a life of faith) and Brendan O’Reilly (focussing on the key pillars of Christianity). A closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Donal McKeown will take place in St Eugene’s Cathedral from 5-6 p.m.

Registration forms for the weekend are available from Cursillo, Termonbacca Retreat Centre, Derry, Veritas Bookshop Derry, and the Holy Shop Waterloo St, Derry.

Places at the meal can be reserved at the Cursillo weekly friendship nights held in Termonbacca on Wednesdays during September.

For more information please contact Frankie on 07594292438.