DeColores Ministries is founded in the Cursillo (cur-see-yo) method and closely adheres to the Cursillo essence and purpose. DeColores Ministries accepts all Christians regardless of their denominational affiliation to participate in the movement.
Cursillo (meaning short course) began in 1949 when Bishop Juan Hervas and a group of dedicated laymen were seeking a way to renew the diocese of Majorca, (my-yor-ka) Spain. They developed a spiritual renewal method consisting of a weekend retreat and several forms of follow-up. This method remains essentially unchanged.
Cursillo was introduced to the United States by two Spanish Air Force Pilots who were attending training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The first Cursillo weekend in the United States was held in Texas in 1957. During the next four years, Spanish language weekends were held throughout Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, New York city and in Lorain, Ohio.
The first English language Cursillo was held in San Angelo, Texas in 1961. That same year, the movement spread to California, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Washington state.
In December of 1964, Cursillo #13 was held in Muskegon. Catholics, desiring to share this unique experience with their non-Catholic friends and clergy, began sponsoring those of varied faiths to weekends. This began on a very small scale and at a slow pace, but by the mid 70's, hundreds of men and women, lay people and clergy from virtually all major denominations, had made a Cursillo. Struggling with the fact that the Cursillo in the Muskegon area was no longer fulfilling its original purpose to the Catholic diocese, but at the same time believing in the interfaith experience that had evolved, DeColores En Cristo was born. DeColores Ministries took root from that.
There are other denominational Cursillos... Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, etc. And other similar movements such as Tres Dias and Emmaeus walk, as well as Cursillos in other countries.
DeColores means “of colors” in Spanish and is meant to reflect the many colors of Christ. DeColores was born in the spirit of interfaith communion of the love feast... the agape. It is important to realize that the DeColores movement was born of love and not law.
The first DeColores was held in Muskegon in 1980. In 1985, it officially expanded to Grand Rapids, with that secretariat being the first offspring. Since then, DeColores communities have sprung up in southwest Michigan, Detroit, and Northern Michigan. In addition, there have been DeColores weekends held inside the Muskegon Correctional Facility, Camp Geneva in Holland, and other similar facilities. The WestShore DeColores Secretariat was formed in 1997 and held its first weekend in March of 1998.
DeColores also has a National Secretariat, headquartered in Grand Rapids, which tries to facilitate communication between all the different DeColores communities, and has been very helpful in getting the new secretariats started.
God has blessed us with dedicated leadership, both laity and clergy, Protestant and Catholic. With requests from people across the country desiring this interfaith experience, it is sure to continue to grow. DeColores was founded in the Cursillo method, but there have been some changes and refinements since that first weekend in 1949 to accommodate this interfaith experience. For example, the Catholic Cursillo is centered around Catholic traditions and teachings, while DeColores Ministries is centered around ecumenical teachings and practices. However, both focus on the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.