December 2023 Update

Dorothy Lowrie

Dear Cursillo Community of SW Florida,

I trust this message finds you well and filled with the joy of the Cursillo spirit. As the Lay Director, I am delighted to share some exciting updates regarding our journey together in 2023.

Success in Rebuilding the Cursillo Ministry:
The year 2023 was a resounding success in rebuilding the foundations of the Cursillo Ministry. We have worked tirelessly to restore and strengthen our community, and we are now building on the momentum gained during the past year.

Reunions in the North and South:
We held two reunions, one in the north and one in the south, bringing our community together to celebrate our shared commitment to the Cursillo movement. Bishop Scharf graced both gatherings, sharing his inspiring vision for the future of our ministry.

Three Weekends with 44 Pilgrims:
In the spirit of renewal and transformation, we conducted three weekends with a total of 44 pilgrims. These weekends were filled with spiritual growth, fellowship, and a deepening sense of community.

Excitement within the Secretariat:
The Secretariat is enthusiastic about the journey ahead and is looking forward to collaborative efforts that will continue to strengthen our community. Together, we can achieve great things for the glory of God and the flourishing of the Cursillo Ministry.

Pilgrim and Team Applications:
As we embark on this exciting phase of our journey, we invite you to explore opportunities to participate further. Pilgrim and team applications are now open, and we encourage everyone to visit our website for more information and to submit applications.

Please check our website regularly for updates and announcements. Your active participation and support are vital to the success of the Cursillo Ministry in SW Florida.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Cursillo movement. Let us continue to walk together on this transformative journey, spreading the love and grace of Christ.


Dorothy Lowrie
Lay Director, Cursillo of SW Florida

A Message from Susan O’Carroll #149

Susan O’Carroll

Dear Cursillo Community!

Many blessings to you all. My name is Susan O’Carroll, I attended Cursillo weekend #98, in September of 2001 in the Diocese of Southwest Florida and I sat at the table of St. Mary. I worship at Holy Innocents’ in Valrico.  I am looking forward to serving as the next Rectora for Weekend #149, Come to the Table, February 29 – March 3rd at DaySpring.

I have been a part of this diocese for over twenty-five years, called to serve in youth and children’s ministries (diocesan and parish), Cursillo, parish leadership and as a clergy spouse. The theme for the weekend is Come to the Table with the verse, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”  Matthew 18:20(ESV) When I was praying about the theme for this weekend, I heard the Lord speak to my heart, gather my people at my table. James 4:8a says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” As I sat in prayer, I was reminded of the years of ministry around our dining room table and fellowship with family and friends both old and new. Many of these conversations were about Jesus and I could see the parallel to the Lord’s Table and as we gathered not just on Sundays, but in the mission field, at shut-ins’ homes and at the bedsides in hospitals. The sizes of those groups varied; however, Jesus was present in all of them. Then one Sunday before service I was looking at the index in Wonder Love and Praise and found Hymn 763, “As we Gather at Your Table”, as I read the words, they were a reminder to prepare our hearts and a call to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I encourage you to join me in prayer and discernment for the Cursillo movement in our diocese and for weekend #149. This is a time of great excitement as we rebuild this ministry of support, and renewal for leadership. Please pray with me to see where God is calling you to serve; as part of leadership, team, or working with your priest to sponsor a pilgrim or energizing your parish Cursillo Community.

Applications can be found on the website along with Ultreya and the Reunion Gathering in November, or you can email me at

In Christ,

Susan O’Carroll

Rectora #149

Cursillo Reunion for Southwest Florida – Naples Location

Join Us SW Florida – In Naples at Trinity By The Cove

The SW Florida Secretariat for an exciting day of food, fellowship and music on Saturday, November 4th from 11 am to 2 pm. Cursillo Musicians! Bring your instruments, your voices, and your enthusiasm. Enjoy the beautiful church, the waterfront setting and the joy that will come from attending.

  • Rekindle Friendships
  • Welcome the New Cursillistas
  • English and Spanish Speakers
  • Hear from upcoming Cursillo Weekend #149 Rectora Susan O’Carroll

Sign Up Below So We Have a Head Count

Fill out my online form.

Bishop Dabney Smith Receives Retirement Gift from the Cursillo Community

On behalf of the Cursillo Community the Secretariat Commissioned a painting for Bishop Smith upon his retirement.
Below is a picture of the painting and a copy of his letter to the community.
Dorothy Lowrie
Lay Director

Letter of Appreciation from Bishop Dabney T. Smith

My dear friends in the Cursillo Community of the Diocese of Southwest Florida,

I write to express both my affection for you, and my gratitude to you, for your loving gift of artwork to me upon my retirement from the diocese. The piece of art, beautifully and lovingly crafted by Jan Spangler is a unique expression of our souls ascending desire for Heaven. In the midst of the faithful seems to be a priest, or maybe a bishop, praying for their ascending journeys. The artwork captures, I think, Cursillo’s constantly focused work of assisting individual Christians in their allegiance to Christ in this life and the life to come. Thank you Jan; and thank you Cursillista’s.

I greatly support what Dorothy Lowrie wrote on the Cursillo webpage. “We are all about living a Christ-centered life and would like to help you on your journey.” That journey continues for the spiritually mature Christian’s and the Babe-chicks. I know as the recently retired bishop how much positive influence Cursillo has had on so many of our congregations and the diocese. I pray that this influence steadily continues. I thank all of you.

God bless each of you and all of you. De Colores!

The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith
The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida (Resigned)

Weekends #145 and 146 cancelled

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Secretariat met on January 8, 2022. We had planned to move forward with the weekends in 2022.

However, after the Bishop’s letter of January 6 and consultation with the Canon to the Ordinary and three Spiritual Directors, the Cursillo Secretariat has voted to cancel Weekends #145 and #146. We will re-evaluate in six months how to move forward.

The reason for these changes is to keep the community safe and to assure new Pilgrims benefit from the full Cursillo experience we have shared. Father Ryan said, “We need to have patience during this time. Patience is one of the Fruits of the Spirit.”

We will work with the parish reps as we move forward. There are new innovative ways of communications that we are working on to bring the community together. Please keep the ministry in your prayers.

In His Service,
Dorothy Lowrie
Lay Director

Message from Rectora Marta Meloy – Cursillo #144

Greetings to all my Brother and Sisters!

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Th 5: 16-18

Thank you Lord for the loving Body of Christ!

Thank you for all of the prayer, Palanca, Vigil sign-ups, and placemat coloring completed as love offerings for Cursillo # 144! This glorious weekend couldn’t happen without your willingness to serve! Cursillo # 144 is just 9 days away and the excitement of the weekend is raising daily! Our God is pouring out blessing upon blessing as final preparations are being completed! My heart delights seeing the names of pilgrims attending and waiting to see those names yet to come! We still have openings to fill so prayerfully consider the blessing of Sponsorship, it is not too late to submit applications!

I can’t wait to see you at the Serenade on Saturday Feb 22nd at 7:00 as you raise a new song to the Lord in praise, rejoicing in the love of Christ and then again at the Clausura at 4:00 on Sunday Feb 23rd celebrating our newest Cursillistas!

“FREELY you have received, FREELY give.”
All glory, honor and praise is Yours, Almighty God as your will is done in all things.

Peace and love in Christ,
Marta Meloy
Rectora # 144

Palanca for Cursillo #144


Cursillo #144       Update

From John Genter, Set-Up Chair

The weekend fast approaches, and we praise God for all the enthusiasm and many hands that make this possible! However, we do continue to need your prayers, Palanca and assistance.

Palanca needs include bottled water, both small and large bottles, a variety of soda (regular and diet), candy (with and without sugar), and “Green Palanca” additional money to cover a variety of expenses that may arise. This all can be delivered by Sponsors when luggage is dropped off at the cabins, and we thank you and praise God for your continued love, offerings and sacrifices.        

A reminder to Sponsors: Please be sure to feed and then deliver your Pilgrims (after enjoying a meal together) to DaySpring between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday February 20th. Look for the set-up people in yellow vests who will direct you to the Program Center. There the Pilgrims will be welcomed and escorted to registration. Please proceed to the cabins behind the program center to drop off Palanca and luggage. Set-Up in yellow vests will be there to unload. Then stop by St. Thomas Chapel for prayer time with Dolores and Bill Overton (Friends of Team) before you leave.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Saturday Night Serenade on February 22nd. This is a special gift! Arrive between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. and park in the soccer field past the Bishop’s office on your left as you drive into Day Spring. Set Up in yellow vests will direct parking. Golf carts will be available for transportation to the Program Center. The Serenade is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and finish at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday February 23rd please drive up to the Luke Cabin to pick up your Pilgrim’s luggage upon arriving. Then return and park in the soccer field and walk up to the Program Center. Golf carts will be available for transportation. Please be seated for the Clausura no later than 3:30 p.m. for fellowship, singing and the arrival of our new Cursillistas at 4:00 p.m.

The Fourth Day is scheduled for Saturday, Saturday, March 21st. Location and time to follow. Make a date with your new Cursillista to attend! It’s a day of deeper understanding, and a mini spiritual retreat for all. Look for information on the website, and your new Cursillista will have the flyer in hand.