“But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7, 11-12
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CURSILLOThe first Cursillo communities developed in the Roman Catholic Church in Mallorca, Spain, in the late 1940s. Under the leadership of their bishop, several laymen began to formulate a way to draw active laymen into the work of "Christianizing" the everyday life settings where they lived. Eventually, the Cursillo Method found interested parties in the United States. The first Cursillo Weekend in the United States was held in Waco, Texas, in 1957. At first, these were still held in the Spanish language, and were available only to Roman Catholics. The first English speaking Weekend was in 1961 in San Angelo, Texas. In time, a few Episcopalians were invited to participate in the Weekends. The first official Weekend in the Episcopal Church was conducted with help from Roman Catholic sponsors in the Diocese of Iowa in 1970. Soon, Weekends were being held in various parts of the country. The first Episcopal Cursillo Ministry Seminar was held in 1975 in the Diocese of Dallas. What is now known as the Episcopal Cursillo Ministry Committee was formed in Atlanta in 1979. Through the years, the Episcopal Cursillo Ministry has remained in communication with the Catholic Church and other Fourth Day Ministries, but it functions independently as an Episcopal Ministry and sets its own course.A common aspect of the history of Cursillo was the fascination with the Cursillo Weekends. For this reason, in many places the Cursillo name was associated only with such weekend experiences. However, deeper study reveals that the Cursillo Method introduced at the Weekend involves much more than just "putting on weekends." This understanding promotes development of the Ministry, results in better appreciation for what Cursillo truly is, and offers a sharper, clearer understanding of how to apply the Cursillo Method -- philosophically and practically. Today, an expanded view of Cursillo as a lifelong ministry beyond just Weekends is proceeding. This is characterized by a return to the roots of the Ministry, and a more comprehensive attempt to define its purpose in simple, cohesive terms. In recent years, the Cursillo Ministry has also come to reflect the changes within the Episcopal Church and sought to support the needs of dioceses throughout the Church. While still encouraging the Cursillo Method, the Ministry now supports both traditional and revised formats for Weekends. Thus, the Cursillo Ministry is continuing to emerge as a mature instrument in the hands of committed lay Christians and clergy to empower the "ministry of the laity” as part of the Jesus Movement.