Other 4th Day Movements:

History of the 4th Day Movement:

FaithWalk was derived from Cursillo de Christianidad, a “short course in Christianity,” which has been an active tool of church renewals since its beginnings in Spain in 1949.

Cursillo had its beginnings amid the turmoil and destruction of civil warfare and the Second World War, which left Spain with empty churches and a sense of aimlessness and diminished dreams. Late in the 1940’s, a sense of revival was stirring within the Roman Catholic Church. Small groups of friends in various Catholic action groups began to share their faith regularly.

Pilgrimages were organized whereby men and women could rededicate their lives toward Christian ideals. Bishop Juan Hervas, who was active in action groups and renewal activities with the men on the Island of Majorca, and Eduardo Bonin, who was involved with organizing pilgrimages, met through these sharing groups. They began to see how the church could benefit and the lives of people could be changed through piety, study, action and sharing their lives in Christ.

With a broadening vision of what these small sharing groups (reunion groups) could accomplish, weekly meetings produced periodic retreats where the reality of living a Christian life was intensely taught and experienced through support by reunion groups. In 1947 these retreats became known as Cursillo de Christiandad, which means “short course in Christianity.” Originally the retreats grew out of the reunion groups!

There were few men in the Church after the tragedy of war in Spain. One of the prime objectives in the early years was to revitalize the church by bringing men back into the activities of the church.

The Cursillo movement was confined to Spanish speaking countries until the late 1950’s when a group of men from the Spanish Air Force, who were in training in Texas and were in a Reunion Group, conducted the first Cursillo in the United States. Among the Spanish-speaking people the movement began to spread across the United States. The first English speaking Cursillo was held in the early 1960’s.

Protestants who attended the weekends, saw the need to make the experience available to other Protestants. This led to the development of the ecumenical Tres Dias. The first Tres Dias weekend was held in Newburgh, New York, November 2-5, 1972. Dave McManigal was its rector. He was a Protestant who had attended a Roman Catholic Cursillo and was led to be instrumental in forming Tres Dias. That weekend, then as now, was open to all Christian traditions. In 1985 Tres Dias became International when communities were chartered in Korea, Germany and Russia. The “International Tres Dias” is located in Poughkeepsie, NY. There are more than fifty local secretariats around the world and hundreds here in the United States. Tens of thousands of people have participated in their Tres Dias weekend.

Due to the open-mindedness shown by Catholic cursillistas from the South of the United States, more and more Protestant candidates participated in Cursillo weekends. In 1977, some members of the Upper Room (the group responsible for the revival within the United Methodist Church participated in a Cursillo in Miami. The following year, the Upper Room set up its own Cursillo in Nashville, Tennessee.

With the impulse of the Upper Room, the Methodist Cursillo movement grew extensively. Although connected to The United Methodist Church, it became largely accessible to Christians from different denominations.

In 1981, due to a mutual agreement between the Methodist Church and the National Secretariat of Catholic Cursillo of the United States, it was decided to separate the Movements and the ecumenical Methodist Cursillo changed its name to Walk to Emmaus. However, as can be seen on the web, the name Methodist Cursillo still prevails in some area (such as Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi).

Besides this ecumenical aspect, Walk to Emmaus and the original Cursillos de Cristiandad are much alike. As can be seen by this description excerpted from the Upper Room website:

“The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by laymen and Pastors on the themes of God’s grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Communion. The “Emmaus community,” made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the 72-hour experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. The Emmaus Walk typically begins Thursday evening and concludes Sunday evening. Men and women attend separate weekends.

During and after the three days, Emmaus leaders encourage participants to meet regularly in small groups. The members of the small groups challenge and support one another in faithful living. Participants seek to Christianize their environments of family, job, and community through the ministry of their congregations. The three-day Emmaus experience and follow-up groups strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ and as active members of the body of Christ in mission to the world.”

Walk to Emmaus has spread widely. It is estimated that over half a million persons have experienced a Walk to Emmaus weekend and today the Movement counts more than 300 communities distributed all over the United States as well as in Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Although Tres Dias and Walk to Emmaus are the largest protestant arms of the Cursillo movement the movement actually finds itself under more than fifty different names, in every corner of the United states and unbelievably in countries all over the world. (See time line below – this does not include every name but it does include every name we could find to date)

Cursillo History

1947 Cursillo – Spain
1951 Cursillo – Columbia
1957 Cursillo – Waco, Texas
1960 Cursillo – Austria
1961 Cursillo – San Antonio, Texas (1st English Speaking)
1961 Cursillo – Germany
1963 Cursillo – Ontario, Canada
1964 Cursillo – Columbus, Ohio
1965 Mouvement de Cursilos (Francophones)
1965 TEC – Teens Encounter Christ – Lansing, Michigan
1967 REC – Residents Encounter Christ
1967 Challenge Youth Cursillo
1970 First Episcopal Cursillo – Iowa
1972 Vocare – Episcopal Youth Weekend
1972 Via de Cristo (Lutheran)
1972 First Tres Dias in New York
1972 Tres Dias – Korea & Germany
1974 HEC – Handicapped Encounter Christ
1974 First Minnesota Cursillo
1975 Kairos
1975 Kairos Outside
1975 Kairos Torch
1975 Kairos Horizon
1975 First Koinonia – Buffalo, New York
1975 Happening – Episcopal Youth Weekend – Dallas, TX
1976 First Vida Nueva –Youth Catholic(1985 became Youth Tres Dias)
1977 Methodist Cursillo (Walk to Emmaus Model) – Peoria, IL
1980 De Colores en Christo – Muskegan, Michigan – Prison Ministry
1980 Moravian Cursillo
1981 Walk To Emmaus formed
1984 Presbyterian Cursillo
1984 First Chrysalis – High School Age
1984 First Walk to Emmaus – Australia
1986 Diaspora
1986 Via de Christo
1986 First Cum Cristo – Columbus, Ohio
1987 Heart of America Camino
1987 Journey Through Faith
1987 Journey – College Age (Walk to Emmaus)
1988 First Walk to Emmaus – Brazil
1989 Discipleship Walk – Indiana
1989 De Colores Ministries
1989 First Walk to Emmaus – Mexico
1990 First Walk to Emmaus – South Africa and Puerto Rico
1990 Epiphany – Youth Prison
1990 First Chrysalis – Australia and Mexico
1991 Presbyterian Pilgrimage
1992 First Great Banquet
1993 First Canku Wakan (For those of Native American Heritage)
1994 Cursillo – Switzerland
1996 Celebration – Youth (Presbyterian Pilgrimage)
1996 First Awakening – Youth (Great Banquet)
1997 First Kairos – United Kingdom
1997 First KERYX – Michigan
1997 First Unidos en Cristo
2003 FaithWalk – Bartlett, TN

May the Lord continue to add to the number of names of the Cursillo movement until the entire world knows about His Grace and the many colors of His love.