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Cursillo-related Movements > for special groups > Residents Encounter Christ
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Residents Encounter Christ

R.E.C. (Residents Encounter Christ) is an inter denominational Christian ministry to prisoners. It is a variation of Cursillo, modified for the prison environment.  Although Roman Catholic in its roots, REC is ecumenical in its scope. The word encounter is exactly what happens during the 3-day R.E.C. experience. A team of about 30 Christian men and women from different denominational backgrounds, both lay and clergy, enter the prison to share 3 days of Christian community.  After the initial R.E.C. is held at a prison, monthly follow-ups are made to encourage and support the residents in their spiritual growth and Christian community.

REC in the United States

  • The REC program began in the late 1960s in a county jail in Lawrence, Mass., where three Franciscan priests offered a retreat for inmates.

  • In the Albany Diocese,  the first REC weekend was held at Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, in the early 1980s.

  • In Springfield, Massachusetts, a volunteer ecumenical group conduct 6 weekends per year at each of 2 facilities  since 1982,  and more than 2000 men and women have participated in REC's programs.

  • The first R.E.C. weekend in Kentucky took place at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) in Pee Wee Valley in August of 1986. 

  • REC started at Boonville (Men's) Correctional Center in Boonville, Missouri, in 1987.

REC in Nicaragua

  • The first REC outside of the United States was held July 4-6 at La Esparanza Women's Prison, Managua, Nicaragua. The team consisted of over 30 people from the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. All of the team members were either part of Cursillo or Emmaus communities. Three youths from Chrysalis also participated. Many of the residents in the prison were just about their age. Of 107 women residing at La Esparanza Prison, 96 participated in the REC (the entire three days).
For more information, see  Residents Encounter Christ websites