Gold Coast via de Cristo

Sponsoring a Candidate

We sponsor because we were excited about our weekend and the wonderful community we have come to know.  We want to share that experience with others and encourage men and women to grow in Christ.  Below are some things you should know before you decide to sponsor.

Selecting a candidate for the weekend should not be taken lightly.  Keep in mind the purpose of Via De Cristo.

1. Identify those who will be salt, light and leaven for God.

2. Make sure the Candidate has already committed to faith and are looking to strengthen their relationship with Christ.

Via de Cristo continues as a lay movement because of its candidates and then the candidates returning to the Via de Cristo community and serving.  Serving can be done through being on a team, serving as community on the weekend and being part of the Ultreyas.

Guidelines for Sponsoring:

1. A new cursillista must wait one year from making a weekend before they can sponsor someone.

2. The Pre-Via de Cristo Chair needs commitment of both husband and wife if your candidate is married.  (Submit both applications together).  Be sure you know the level of commitment of both candidates – husband and wife have toward the weekend.  

3. You must be in a reunion group in order to sponsor a candidate.

4. You must know the applicant for at least one year prior to sponsoring them.

5. Submit the application at least three weeks prior to the weekend so that the Rector/Rectora has ample time to prepare what they need for the weekend.

6. If you are sponsoring and on the team, make sure you have a backup plan.  Have someone (spouse, reunion brother or sister) bring them to send off and assist the candidate’s family during their absence.  

7. A female can sponsor a male and a male can sponsor a female with a co-sponsor of the same sex.  Remember, you are responsible to get your candidate in reunion or reunion with them until they find a group.

8. Explain the weekend cost to your candidate.  Will the sponsor pay for the weekend or will the candidate.  The cost for the weekend is currently $95.00.

Who should attend and should not attend a Via de Cristo Weekend.

1)  Who should not attend:

a) Persons with a recent life crisis – the weekend is not designed to deal with things like recent divorces, alcohol, or drug problems.

b) Mentally or emotionally unstable persons – the weekend can be an emotionally draining time and we may be risking the Candidates emotional health.  

c) Those we think need a “conversion” experience.  Via de Cristo is designed for those who have already committed their lives to Christ, and are looking to deepen and strengthen that relationship.

2) Who should attend:

a) Real or potential leaders in their environments or churches

b) All Clergy

c) Christians with strength of character and maturity

d) Those who desire God’s love

e) Those who desire a deeper relationship with God.

What to share with a potential candidate when inviting them on a Via de Cristo Weekend

1) Explain Via de Cristo in such a way that they will become enthusiastic about attending.

2) The weekend is like a gift that is wrapped with a big bow; you don’t explain what is in the box, but let the person be surprised.

3) For some that don’t like surprises and need information in order to feel comfortable with giving up control of their lives for 3 days, here are some ways to share the experience with them:

a) Tell them you think they would enjoy a retreat and to be fed by the Holy Spirit.

b) It’s a retreat to plug into God and let go of the day to day distractions.

c) Share your own Via de Cristo experience with them.  How it is a series of talks by lay people, it is a series of talks by clergy, it is a closer walk with the Lord that is individual to you.

d) Explain how your relationship with Christ has grown since your weekend.



Always remember to talk to God about man before you talk to man about God!

Once you have made the decision to sponsor, here are the next steps:

Filling out the application:

1. Assist the Candidate in filling out the application.  The application can be found on this website under Applications.

2. Fill out the application in full (typing in the information on the form directly).  Applications are often submitting with missing information or illegible.  This delays the application process for everyone and could prevent the candidate from making the weekend.  

3. Special medical information may be needed. (hurt back, can’t sit for long periods of time, etc.)  Just add a note to the application when filling it out.

4. Ask your candidate if medication will be needed and communicate that clearly to the Pre-Via de Cristo Chair.

5. Print the application and have it signed by the applicant’s pastor, the applicant and the sponsor.

6. After obtaining all the information on the application, email it or take a readable picture to  You can also fax the form to 561-276-2769. (email is preferred). Having the form email speeds up the process.

7. Make sure you include any special diets (medical only) on the application.  Remember it is your responsibility to provide food if there a special diet requirement or if there are food allergies the kitchen needs to be informed about.  If the sponsor is not available to be in the kitchen, please have reunion brother/sister assist in preparing the special diet.  When leaving food in the kitchen, please make sure the containers are well marked so the cooks know what is to be done and who will be preparing the meal. You will be sent special instructions if there are special diets (medically needed only)

Once you submit the application, the Sponsor should receive an email from the Pre-Via de Cristo Chair that your candidate is confirmed.  


Once the candidate has been accepted:

1) The sponsor should be collecting Palanca letters for the candidate from family and friends.

2) Explain to the candidate what to pack and not to bring electronic devices.

3) Arrange transportation to the send-off.  Carry their luggage. Help them feel comfortable.  Remember that you, as the sponsor, are setting the example of being Jesus with skin on.

4) Deliver Palanca letters before serenade begins on Saturday.

5) Be present on the weekend.  Serve meals, prepare food, and pray in the Palanca Chapel.  

6) Attend closing ceremony, and provide transportation home for your candidate.

After the Weekend:

1) Get the new cursillista into a reunion group – the real purpose of the Via de Cristo weekend.

2) Get the candidate to the Team/Candidate post meeting after their weekend.

3) Bring your new cursillista to their Reunion Ultreya.

4) Remain active in your candidate’s spiritual growth.

5) The sponsor has an ongoing commitment to the candidate, until he or she is fully incorporated into his/her own Christian community.

How you sponsor your candidate is the guide they will use when they sponsor their own candidates in the future.  This will greatly affect the growth and strength of Via de Cristo in years to come.  It is a sacrificial service to Jesus, and our candidate, to take the time and effort to do all we can to sponsor them properly.