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 is looking to strengthen his or her relationship with Christ.

Via de Cristo continues as a lay movement because of its dedication to candidates and those candidates in turn,
becoming a part of the Via de Cristo community to grow and to serve together. Serving on a team, serving as community on the weekend,
and being part of the Ultreyas are all ways of serving in the Via de Cristo community.


5. 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 for establishing your candidate in a Reunion Group or to reunion with them until they find a group.

6. Explain the weekend cost to your candidate and determine who will cover the cost of the weekend.

7. If the Candidate is married, it is preferred that the husband attend prior to the wife attending. Exceptions can be made with the approval of the candidate’s pastor, the Spiritual Director, and the Lay Director.


Who should not attend

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

1. Anyone who has suffered a recent life crisis. The Via de Cristo weekend is not designed to cope with situations such as recent divorces or drug and alcohol problems.

2. Mentally or emotionally unstable people. The weekend can be an emotionally draining time, and we may be risking the Candidate’s emotional health.

3. 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.

Who should attend

People who would be great candidates for a Via de Cristo Weekend include:

1. Leaders or potential leaders in their environments or churches

2. Clergy

3. Christians with strength of character and maturity

4. Those who desire to deepen their understanding of God’s love

5. Those who desire to deepen their 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 the Candidate 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 as the gift is unwrapped the receiver is pleasantly 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 where they will be fed by the Holy Spirit.

b) Tell them that it’s a retreat where they can plug into God and unplug from day to day distractions.

c) Share your own Via de Cristo experience with them, explaining how the series of talks by lay people and clergy and the overall experience inspired a closer walk with the Lord and a sense of belonging in the local Christan community.

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

Without giving the surprises away, be as open as you can about the weekend, avoiding a spirit of secretiveness which can be counterproductive.

Above all, trust the Holy Spirit!

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:

Fill out an 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 [email protected]. 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.
You must answer that email yes or no or your Candidate will not recieve an invitation.

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.