History of Cursillo

The Cursillo Movement


...In History


Cursillo originated in 1949 in Majorca Spain, after several years of planning had been interrupted by World War II. Cursillo spread rapidly throughout Spain and then to Austria, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. From Europe, it was taken to Colombia and spread to other South and Central American countries. 

a time line

  • 1949-Cursillo begins in Majorca, Spain
  • 1957-Cursillo comes to the United States, because of the initiative of two Spanish air cadets training in Texas.
  • 1962-Stockton, California is the site of the first Cursillo Weekend in California.  
  • 1962-The first English language Cursillo Weekend in California is held in San Francisco.
  • 1972-Episcopal Cursillo begins in Los Angeles
  • 1976-San Diego holds its first Episcopal Cursillo Weekend, at Palomar College in San Marcos, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese and the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.
  • 1985-Camp Stephens in Julian, CA becomes the regular venue for weekend.
  • 2018-Weekend venue moves to Pine Valley Bible Conference Center in Pine Valley, CA

Our first Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Woltersdorff “made” his Cursillo Weekend on the first weekend held in San Diego.  Many past bishops and our current Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, have been whole-hearted supporters of the Cursillo movement.

In various places around the country, Cursillo Weekends are held under the sponsorship of the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches. Other denominations have adopted similar programs, such as the Methodists’ “Walk to Emmaus.” The “Kairos” prison ministry is also based on the Cursillo model.

Cursillo is patterned on Jesus' own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo.) He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Cursillo Three-Day Weekend.) He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (post-Cursillo or the Fourth Day.)