The Debt Cursillo Owes


Prison ministry is my apostolate.  I'm also a Cursillista, which means I've made my Cursillo.  Cursillo is a "working retreat" that introduces you to Jesus.  But I never heard the story of how Cursillo owes it success to two prison inmates.

The prison chaplain handed out the story, yesterday.  I read it then and chalked it up to a nice "tale."  Today, I did a google search and found that it definitely happened.

I don't know why I doubted.  I see it often in prison--conversion.

The story is about the founder of the Cursillo movement, Eduardo Bonnin in 1949.  He had an idea and was trying to start Cursillo.  He wasn't succeeding very well.  Cursillo wasn't going anywhere.

Coincidentally, two men were condemned to die in prison.  The priest chaplain tried to prepare them to meet God.  They would have none of it.  So the priest asked two Catholic laymen to talk to the inmates to see if they could reach them.

One of the men was Eduardo Bonnin.  They went inside the prison and found the two men in their cells, playing cards.  They asked to speak.

About what?

We have a favor to ask?

huh??????

That question caught their attention.  The two Catholic laymen told the two condemned men that since they were going to meet God in a few hours, would they ask a favor of God.

The men were flabbergasted.  Better, their interest was piqued.  They talked and talked.  The result was the men accepted their God, renewed their faith, and died with a crucifix in their hands.

And the cursillo movement took off.

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