What is the Purpose behind a Fourth Day Group?

The first "Fourth Day Group" had NOBODY who had attended a Cursillo retreat weekend! 

The Group gave birth to the weekend; the weekend did not give birth to the small groups.

               The purpose of Cursillo is simple:  to encourage people to LIVE a Christian life rather than merely talk about it.  Intentions are not enough, we need help to remain on the path God intends for us.

              The word which has been translated into English as "church" was orignally the Greek word ekklesia-- which means "assembly."  It is only be gathering with others that one becomes and remains a Christian; you have to be part of the assembly-- the gathering.

              In keeping with that original premise, the Cursillo movement tries to demonstrate and teach that one needs regularly to gather with other Christians for common purposes.  There are three aspects of a useful Christian gathering:  prayer, study/learning, and common action (PSA-- good and simple for memory purposes).

              Most people think that the heart of "Cursillo" is the three-day retreat weekend.  It is not! When one has attended a three day retreat, one goes back home to normal daily life.  The fourth day is the day back at home.  The fourth day is the day with the usual responsibilities and pressures.  The fourth day is filled with the temptations and inertia of daily life.  The fourth day is filled with challenges and difficulties!  Retreat life is easy, the fourth day is hard-- and every succeeding day of our lives is the fourth day of our life.

              If the assembly of faithful people is to help us, it has to meet on the fourth day.  It has to be both a challenge and a support throughout the rest of our lives.  A retreat weekend can be a good experience.  It can demonstrate and help us practice the value of small supportive groups which pray, study and act together.  However, the retreat ends.  Where will we find such a supportive group in all the fourth days of our lives?Many such groups exist.

              It is also possible to create such a group!  Three people is enough to form a group.  When a group exists, others can be invited.  The membership and participation can be fluid.  ANY group which prays, studies, and acts is a "fourth day group."  There is NO need to have attended a Cursillo retreat weekend in order to be a part of a Christian group which prays, studies, and acts together!  In fact, at the beginning of the Cursillo movement there was a small group of me who met for several years for prayer, study, and action.  Then, they decided to conduct a weekend retreat to encourage others to form similar groups.  So, the first "Fourth Day Group" had NOBODY who had attended a Cursillo retreat weekend!  The Group gave birth to the weekend; the weekend did not give birth to the small groups.