Well before a candidate selection is committed to paper and the application is handed out to be filled in, these important points need to be reviewed and carefully scrutinized. Quoted material taken from The Cursillo Movement’s Leaders Manual, Copyright 1981, 7th printing April 1998
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. These are the most important elements of candidate selection. Without prayer, how does one come to know the true will of our Lord? Is the candidate we have in mind the same one He has in mind? Remember always what we say in the Cursillo: “Talk to God about man before you speak to man about God.”
PALANCA, PALANCA, PALANCA. This is the next most important element of candidate selection. Without self -sacrifice and deliberately offered works of mercy to God and His Son, there is no genuine commitment to the human and spiritual value of the candidate as such or to the candidate’s effectiveness in the Cursillo Movement. Corporate (i.e., parish or Ultreya) and individual palanca are needed as the lever palanca is intended to be; that is, to move the candidate to doing and being a leaven in their environments.
CHRISTIAN MATURITY As the LEADERS MANUAL stipulates, “Candidate selection must always be based on the effectiveness or potential effectiveness of the candidate as the leaven of his or her environment and circumstances.” This means that the potential candidate must have a certain “strength of character” that for the purposes of the Cursillo is formed by Christian attitudes. While the conversion process (metanoia) is very much a part of the Cursillo weekend, this does not mean that the weekend should be used to “convert” an otherwise non-Christian individual; or even with the motive of “making a better person out of them.” The Cursillo Movement cannot do for people what other Christian/Catholic ministries are specifically designed to perform. Nor is the Cursillo meant for individuals who have gross physical or Zsychological or emotional problems. Again, there are other Christian/Catholic ministries designed to meet those needs. The Cursillo weekend is for those who are “vertebrae, leaders, self-starters, movers…who have the ability and desire to live in and for the [Cursillo] community…and are mature, free, and responsible.”
CATHOLIC DISPOSITION The candidate should be a practicing Catholic and should be eligible to receive the Sacraments. Someone whose marital situation makes reconciliation with the Church impossible at this time might not be advised to attend the weekend since that individual would not be able to participate fully and, as a consequence, find the experience frustrating. The Cursillo in the Diocese of Orange is Catholic and Apostolic. If the potential candidate is a mature Christian, though belonging to another faith community, but in every other way a leader in his or her environment, suggest to that individual that another denominational Cursillo would be more appropriate for them. The Methodist Cursillo, for example, is called “Road to Emmaus.” Keep in mind that the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Our Lady the Blessed Mother are central features in the Catholic Cursillo. They are at the heart of the weekend. Someone not disposed to receiving Their gifts might well have a frustrating weekend.
CANIDATE PREPARATION Candidate preparation is essential to a successful Cursillo experience. When potential candidates understand the reason for the Cursillo, they will naturally become enthusiastic about it. They will view the Cursillo Movement as a way to attain their desires to become more of a person, to increase in holiness, to search for the Truth, to make a difference. Toward this end, the sponsor should be familiar with the essential components of the Cursillo, especially the LEADERS MANUAL, be a living example of the message and method of the Cursillo, and should take pains to provide the candidate with as much information as possible about the Cursillo in all of its phases—PreCursillo, the Threes Day Weekend, and the Post Cursillo.
MARRIED COUPLES Married couples should be approached both at the same time and be asked to make the weekend in the same time frame. Husbands usually make the weekend before their wives. And the woman’s weekend usually follows the men’s weekend by a week. Husbands are always urged to share the experience of the weekend with their wives. The Holy Spirit will make sure that the weekend will be something special for that individual. Trust in Him. The weekend is EXPERIENCED. The grace of the Holy Spirit forms the weekend; teams and sponsors are only His instruments.
GROUPING AND ULTREYAS The backbone of the Cursillo Movement, its defining feature, its essential strategy in transforming and Christianizing environments, is locked in vital and active Group Reunions and Ultreyas. No Cursillista is any good without them. The candidate must be exposed in some way to them, either in discussion or by bringing the candidate to one or both of them. And as part of the process of selection, provision for the candidate must be made for a Grouping and/or Ultreya community after the three-day weekend. Co-sponsoring candidates from the same parish is one of several ways to create a Cursillo community after the weekend. Involve the parish Rep or area Rep for the Cursillo. Take responsibility for the soul you are committing the Cursillo community. You and God are initially in charge here—you must carry out your duty, even as you expect God to fulfill His.
COMMITMENT The potential candidate “must be able to understand the message [of the weekend] and to commit themselves.” The candidate “must be able to be leaven of the Gospel within their environments.” The candidate “must be able to discover their individual charisms and place them at the service of the [Cursillo] community.” The candidate must be able and willing to participate in the Post Cursillo: Grouping and Ultreyas.
SPONSOR DUTY The sponsor is responsible for the perseverance of the candidate until that individual is fully incorporated into the Cursillo community. The sponsor is also responsible for placing the candidate in a Group and Ultreya community. In addition, the sponsor should assist the candidate’s family, if needed, during the weekend, and enlist the aid of his or her Group to help in any other way. Sponsor only one candidate at a time; multiple sponsorships should be left to a Group or Ultreya community. Just one motto applies to each and every sponsor: “Make a friend, be a friend, bring that friend to Christ.”