What is Palanca?

Palanca is a Spanish word that means, "Lever." Just as a lever enables a person to move something, which is beyond normal strength, Palanca empowers the accomplishment of things, which would not be possible without the Grace of God.

Palanca has always been an essential part of Cursillo and should be practiced in its entirety. Palanca gives witness to the solidarity of the members of the Church. It is especially important during the Pre Cursillo, the spiritual preparation for the Cursillo, therefore, both the team and the outside community should include a Palanca campaign.

Palanca is the actual prayers, sacrifices, and works of mercy. A note on a piece of paper or a greeting card does not constitute Palanca. A Palanca letter is one that is sent to the candidates and team, informing them of the prayers and sacrifices that one is offering to God on their behalf. A letter may be sent explaining what type of Palanca is being offered, but the letter is NOT the Palanca. The actual Palanca is the action – intercessory prayer, sacrifice, or works of mercy and it can be done without writing a letter." (Leaders' Manual, copyright 2006)

What are the different types of Palanca? 

PERSONAL PALANCA: This is Palanca performed on behalf of individual candidates and team members. It is most frequently demonstrated in personal notes that are not meant for anyone but the recipient.


  • Write a brief note of encouragement
  • Reassurance that God will meet the candidate right where he/she is
  • Add an encouraging scripture
  • Let them know you are praying for them (and do it!).

GENERAL PALANCA: This is Palanca performed on the weekend in general. It is most frequently demonstrated in notes, letters or posters that are addressed to the team and candidates. The letter should be addressed to the team and candidates on a particular weekend. It should include the actual Palanca that you will be providing to the weekend - such as:


  • A gift of prayer- Let them know that you will be praying for them. Perhaps you will pray for the weekend every time you have to stop at a red light or something like that. They should know it. (And you should be sure to honor your commitment).
  • A gift of sacrifice- Perhaps you made something that you are giving to the weekend. Let them know the spiritual significance of the item.
  • Try to include an encouraging scripture. Using the theme scripture of the weekend helps to promote the unity of the weekend.
  • The letter shouldn't be too long.
  • Posters with brief notes signed by individuals in your Group Reunion or Ultreya are an excellent form of General Palanca.

SERVICE PALANCA: This Palanca is service performed before or during the weekend, often behind the scenes and without specific recognition. (The exact definition and how it may differ from general Palanca is somewhat vague; often determined individually by the user of the term. It is most frequently considered to be physical effort). For instance: Attending Team Meetings or Working the weekend.

In general, please send all Palanca to Judy Wolff: (Ph. 815-438-4252)