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Cursillo-related Movements > for special groups >Canku Wakan
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Canku Wakan

Canku Wakan (Lakota word meaning the Holy Way or the Sacred Road) is a Native American adaptation of the Cursillo Movement.  Any man or women of Native American Heritage and in good standing with the Catholic Church can participate. 

This Inculturated All-Native Cursillo started at the Sioux Spiritual Center, in the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, in January of 1993.  The Cursillo format is used but it has been adapted to fit the Lakota culture and spirituality.

The Cursillo format is used... During the weekend, sixteen men and women meet from Thursday until Sunday evening with a team of Two priests, a Lakota Deacon and twelve to thirteen Lakota Lay leaders. Fifteen talks are given by the team The activities for the three days are filled with laughter, recreation, songs, discussion, prayer and moments of reflection and silence.  Returning home from the Canku Wakan experience, participants are invited to join all those who have already made the Cursillo or Canku Wakan by attending monthly gatherings to share and to support one another to work to build the kingdom of God in the parish, town or reservation

However during the weekend, in addition for the celebration of the Eucharist and for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, there is also time allowed for the Pipe ceremony, the Talking Circle, and the Inipi (Sweat Lodge Ceremony). It is a rewarding time to become reacquainted with the basics of the Lakota and Catholic traditions by living and sharing for a short period of time as one family in Christ. During one of the earliest of these events, several candidates made tearful statements about their spiritual lives. As one said, “I didn’t realize I could practice both my Catholic faith along with my Lakota Spirituality. I am grateful to all of you for opening my eyes.”

Information taken from "The Sioux Spiritual Center: The Canku Wakan" (website  maintained by  Rev. Raymond Bucko, S.J.,  at Creighton
University.  E-Mail:  and from the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus