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The VIA de CRISTO movement originated as “Cursillo®” in the late 1940’s in the Spanish Catholic church and moved to the United States in the late 1950’s. It began in the Lutheran church when lay people and clergy attended a Catholic Cursillo in 1971 in both Iowa and Florida.


The first Lutheran sponsored weekends were held in 1972 in Iowa and Florida and have now been held in over 25 states and some foreign countries. Via de Cristo is the Lutheran expression of this method which is currently being used in many denominations including: Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches.

In January of 1980, the first set of Lutheran-sponsored Cursillo weekends were held in Minnesota. The Minnesota Episcopal Cursillo Community supported and helped establish Cursillo in the Lutheran Community in Minnesota.

In 1986, the National Lutheran Secretariat, representing all existing Lutheran Cursillo communities, voted to become ecumenical and changed our name to Via de Cristo, meaning “Way of Christ.”

In May 2016, the Northern Plains Via de Cristo of North Dakota was established as an outgrowth of the Minnesota Via de Cristo movement.

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