What Is Pilgrimage?
Pilgrimage is a three day spiritual retreat in which the main activity is learning about God’s love, and Christ’s will for us. It provides a foundation for both individual and community spiritual growth.
The weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. During the three days, fifteen talks are presented -- five by pastors, and the rest by lay people - all dealing with different aspects of living one's life in God's grace. The weekend includes chapel each day, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer.
Pilgrimage is a wonderful expression of God’s love, full of singing, learning, laughter, surprises, new friendships - all reflected in God's people.
What is the Purpose of Presbyterian Pilgrimage?
The purpose of Presbyterian Pilgrimage is to help the people who attend our weekend retreats better understand God’s love for them and to begin to understand and appropriate Jesus’ will for their lives.
Reformation and renewal in Christ are indispensable to our participation in the unfolding and expansion of God's Kingdom. Presbyterian Pilgrimage is a vital and exciting resource for renewal, and Presbyterian men and women are encouraged to participate. Presbyterians who have attended another denominations' Pilgrimage, e.g.: Walk to Emmaus, Via de Cristo or Tres Dia are also welcome as members of the staffs for these weekends.
Where Did Pilgrimage (also known as "Cursillo") Come From?
The Pilgrimage idea and method were born in Spain in the 1940s out of a desire to awaken in laymen the deep meaning and power of the faith they professed, and to remind them of what is fundamental in being a Christian. The weekends were called "Cursillos de Christiandad," or "Short Courses in Christianity." Among Catholics, Cursillo spread quickly to South, Central and North America. It was adapted and adopted by Protestants in this country beginning in the 1970s. The first Protestant Cursillos in the United States were held by Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians.
- The first official Cursillo weekend was held in 1949 on Majorca in Spain to help prepare leaders for a spiritual pilgrimage.
- The first US weekend was held in Waco in 1957 by Spanish military personnel training in Texas.
Since coming to the U.S., Cursillo has found expression in several denominations and nondenominational groups.
- Episcopal Cursillo and Walk to Emmaus groups helped Presbyterian Cursillo groups begin in Charleston, SC in Virginia.
- 1.5 million have now gone through a Cursillo or Pilgrimage weekend in the US and 8 to 10 Million worldwide.
Is Pilgrimage within the Teaching of the Church?
Yes, Presbyterian Pilgrimage is faithful to the teaching of scripture and to the reformed doctrine of the Presbyterian church. Five of the weekend talks are given by Presbyterian clergy. The rest of the talk-givers must follow tightly composed outlines that adhere to reformed theology. The Presbyterian Pilgrimage operation manual was written by Rev. Fred Keith as part of his doctoral thesis at Columbia Theological Seminary.
The Pilgrimage movement began in Charleston, SC and has been growing ever since! Additional communities are now active in AL, FL, LA, MS, AR, TX and NE. Those communities aim to spread the Presbyterian Cursillo/Pilgrimage opportunity throughout the denomination. Georgia Presbyterian Pilgrims seek participants from all Presbyterian churches and is open to friends and family from outside the denomination.
Would you Like to Sign Up to Attend?
You can Register Online (CLICK HERE), Download a Registration Brochure (CLICK HERE), or fill out a printed brochure if you have receivd one from a friend, or seen them on display at your church. The cost is $100 for this 3 day weekend of faith renewal.
What Happens After the Weekend?
The weekend is only a beginning. What you learn and share during the weekend will hopefully be taken back and put into practice in your local congregation and community. You will be supported by many others who have attended a weekend before or with you. Small groups of people who have attended a weekend meet regularly to affirm one another and to share the Christian life of Grace. These activities inspire, challenge, and encourage Christian action in homes, churches and communities.
For even more information, please visit http://www.pilgrimagecursillo.org/