For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

– Matthew 18:20

History of Emmaus

The Walk to Emmaus comes out of the Cursillo tradition. The Spanish word “Cursillo” means a “short course”. The Walk to Emmaus weekend is a short course in Christianity and is a three day immersion in God’s Love and Grace.

Cursillo had its origin in Spain on an island off Majorca (may-or-ca). After WWII, The Roman Catholic Bishop saw the deterioration of the Christian faith in his diocese, so along with laymen, he developed the program to rise up leaders among men of his diocese. The first Cursillos were very penitential in nature. In fact, the team and candidates fasted for the full 72 hours! That was over 70 years ago.

Cursillo came to America in 1957, when a group of Spanish airmen came to Texas for flight training. In Texas they met a Spanish priest who was also a Cursillista. They held the first Cursillos along the border and only in Spanish. It spread to other Spanish speaking communities before being translated into English. Cursillo spread across the U.S. and began sponsoring women, and then other denominations adopted the program and made it ecumenical. In 1977, the Upper Room, an agency of the United Methodist Church, became interested in Cursillo and sponsored two United Methodist models of Cursillo in Peoria, IL. In 1981, in mutual agreement with the National Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Cursillo, the Upper Room Cursillo became the Walk to Emmaus.

32 years of community

The Steering Committee for the Quad Cities Walk to Emmaus first met in the spring of 1990. The first walks were held at the Villa De Chantal Convent in Rock Island, IL in April and May of 1991. Walk #1 sponsored 13 men and Walk #2 sponsored 17 women. God is indeed at work in our lives. Let us continue to serve Him and to love Him and each other.

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