The TRES DIAS Movement endeavors to bring Christians to a
closer, more personal walk with their Lord Jesus Christ and
encourage them to Christian leadership and Apostolic Action
in their environments.
TRES DIAS is based on the principles, the method, and the
teachings of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement initially
proposed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and their fellow
Christians. Each candidate goes through three phases of the
TRES DIAS movement: the pre-weekend, the three-day weekend1 and
the Fourth Day. TRES DIAS is a Christian ecumenical movement.
"The founders of the Cursillo movement saw a world of great need
around them. They knew that the answer to the needs of the
world had to be Christ and His Grace; but...they saw Christians
who did not live for Christ, and they saw a church that
was...ineffective and without life. They developed the Cursillo
to meet part of this problem: to provide any part of the church
which was ready to undertake the formation of Christian life
with all the people it needed -- people who would have the deep
dedication to Christ and to bringing all peoples to Him --
people who would undertake a regular program of formation in
Christianity, and who would make their Christian life conscious
and vital -- people who would understand how to be part of a
unified apostolic effort."²
The main teaching of TRES DIAS is God's unqualified love for
each of us through grace. It asks each member of the TRES DIAS
community to grow in their personal piety, to study God's Word
and other Christian writings and to express their love for
Christ in Christian Apostolic Action.
These three aspects of Christian growth are stressed in the
cloistered environment called, "the weekend." An invitation is
issued during the weekend for each Pescadore to join a small
group of his/her own choosing for continued support, prayer and
In order to ensure consistency and stability within the TRES
DIAS Movement, there must be certain essential aspects to which
all TRES DIAS organizations conform. These Essentials fall into
two categories: those which are quantitative and those which
are qualitative in nature. It is the intent of TRES DIAS to use
both of these categories as criteria for chartering local
It should therefore be the policy of local secretariats to
comply with these Essentials. Policies of local secretariats
which deviate from these Essentials must be reviewed on an
individual basis and are subject to the approval of TRES DIAS.
2.0 The Essentials of the Movement
1. TRES DIAS is a Christian movement.
The ultimate objective of the TRES DIAS Movement is to
strengthen and extend the Body of Christ. No TRES DIAS
organization shall change the teachings or practices of the TRES
DIAS Movement to accommodate the participation of non-
For the purpose of these Essentials, "Christian" is intended to
refer to those who are seeking a closer relationship with Jesus
Christ as their Lord and Savior.
2. TRES DIAS is a Christian ecumenical movement.
All TRES DIAS organizations shall actively seek the
participation of persons from all the Christian denominations in
All TRES DIAS organizations shall stress those things which the
Christian denominations have in common and respect those things
which are different.
All TRES DIAS organizations have the duty and the authority to
protect the TRES DIAS ecumenical structure.
3. TRES DIAS is a lay led movement.
TRES DIAS is a lay led movement; however, the active
participation of the clergy is both essential and to be
4. TRES DIAS is a non-profit movement.
TRES DIAS organizations should pursue prudent fiscal policies.
They shall avoid accumulating assets beyond what is required to
carry out their part in the TRES DIAS Movement.
5. The TRES DIAS Movement shall not assume the role of a
TRES DIAS is not a church-substitute; rather, it encourages
Christians to worship and serve in their home congregations, as
6. TRES DIAS is not a service organization.
The TRES DIAS movement encourages Pescadores to participate in
"worthy projects." TRES DIAS organizations shall limit their
activities to those related to carrying out the TRES DIAS
3.0 The Essentials of the TRES DIAS Method
1. The three sequential phases of an individual's involvement
shall be: The Pre-weekend phase, The Weekend phase and the
Fourth Day phase.
2. The objective of the Pre-weekend phase is to prepare
individuals for participation in the Weekend.
3. The purpose of the Weekend, in terms of the method, is to
prepare individuals for effective participation in the Fourth
3.1 The Essentials of the Pre-Weekend Phase
1. That the candidate be sponsored for participation in all
phases of the TRES DIAS Movement, rather than just the Weekend.
2. That candidates be sponsored by a member of a chartered
TRES DIAS community or a similar community approved by TRES
3. That candidates have a desire for a closer relationship
with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
4. That candidates be accepted from all Christian
5. That candidates be at least 21 years of age. However, if a
local secretariat, using its best judgment, finds a sound and
compelling reason (such as spouse of a pescadore, or military
personnel), it OCCASIONALLY, on a case by case basis, may accept
a candidate who is at least 18 years of age.
6. That candidates have not previously made a TRES DIAS
weekend or a similar experience recognized as equivalent by TRES
3.2 The Essentials of the Weekend Phase
1. That the weekend have the following characteristics:
A. It is a weekend of living in Christian community involving
a combination of carefully developed activities and teachings
which are meant to lead to a fuller personal commitment to
B. It embodies personal witness, but it is not a revival
C. It employs group dynamics, but it is neither sensitivity
training nor group therapy.
D. It employs theological instruction that encourages the
candidate to study his/her own Christian beliefs, but it is not
a course in doctrine.
E. It includes a period of silent introspection, but it is not
F. It is a renewal experience for Christians and is not
necessarily a conversion experience.
G. It asks for basic faith, openness and a seeking attitude on
the part of the candidate, but involves a great amount of
dedication, prayer and careful planning on the part of the team.
H. It is an encounter with the Holy Spirit. However, TRES
DIAS is not a "charismatic" movement.
I. The weekend is a tool of God, not an end in itself. The
weekend will not produce a permanent effect without Fourth Day
2. That the Spiritual Directors be qualified to teach and
counsel in spiritual matters.
3. That at least one of the Spiritual Directors on the Weekend
be ordained and be authorized to regularly celebrate Holy
Communion by his/her denomination.
For the purpose of these Essentials, "clergy" is intended to
refer to those persons qualified to serve as Spiritual
4. That men and women attend separate weekends. The Spiritual
Directors are exempted.
5. That team members represent a spectrum of Christian
6. That team members have previously made either a TRES DIAS
Weekend or a similar experience recognized by TRES DIAS.
7. That the Rector be a lay person and be responsible for all
aspects of the weekend, under the authority of the local
8. That the team meet prior to the weekend to: promote
community, receive instruction on the dynamics and critique all
9. That the TRES DIAS weekend be an intensive three-day program
lasting approximately 72 continuous hours.
10. That the team and candidates live in a cloistered
environment for the entire weekend.
11. That lay-talks not be given by clergy, and Spiritual
Director talks not be given by a lay person.
12. That the weekend begin in the evening with the following
Introduction given by the Rector
Start silent retreat to end after chapel the next morning
KNOW YOURSELF meditation, given by clergy
PRODIGAL SON meditation (or alternatively, on a women’s
weekend, the Hosea-Gomer account as recorded in Hosea 1-3,
or the account of the woman caught in adultery,
as recorded in John 8:1-11), given by clergy
13. That the first day of the weekend have the following
THE THREE GLANCES OF CHRIST meditation, given by clergy
The IDEALS rollo, given by a lay person
The GRACE rollo, given by clergy
THE CHURCH rollo, given by a lay person
THE HOLY SPIRIT rollo, given by clergy
The PIETY rollo, given by a lay person.
14. That the second day of the weekend have the following
THE FIGURE OF CHRIST meditation, given by clergy
The STUDY rollo, given by a lay person
The SACRED MOMENTS OF GRACE rollo, given by clergy, followed by Holy
The ACTION rollo, given by a lay person
The OBSTACLES TO GRACE rollo, given by clergy
The LEADERS rollo, given by a lay person.
15. That chapel visits by each table occur the afternoon of the
16. That the third day of the weekend have the following
CHRIST'S MESSAGE TO THE PESCADORES meditation, given by clergy
The ENVIRONMENTS rollo, given by a lay person
The LIFE IN GRACE rollo, given by clergy
The CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IN ACTION rollo, given by a lay
The REUNION GROUPS rollo, given by a lay person
The LIVING THE FOURTH DAY rollo, given by a lay person
The Apostolic Hour
17. That chapel visits by each table occur the morning of the
18. That table discussion follow each rollo except the FOURTH
19. That all rollos and meditations follow the dynamics and
outlines authorized by TRES DIAS.
20. That the team and candidates have the opportunity to
celebrate Holy Communion each full day of the weekend.
21. That a diversity of environments and viewpoints must be
attempted in planning the weekend itself and in forming the
22. That the freedom of self-determination of each candidate be
23. That the lay rollos be informal talks of a witnessing or
24. That a friendly creative Christian environment be developed
and fostered during the TRES DIAS weekend, as opposed to a
coercive or manipulative environment.
25. That the schedule allow time for informal personal contact
among the team and candidates.
26. That the Closing be as well prepared as other activities of
27. That the sponsoring secretariat encourage the community to
participate in the weekend through spiritual and service
3.3 The Essentials of the Fourth Day Phase
The Pre-weekend and Weekend phases are only a prelude to each
individual's Fourth Day.
1. Reunion Groups
A. That local secretariats encourage Pescadores to participate
in Reunion Groups.
B. That local secretariats utilize the form of the reunion
group known as "The Working Reunion Group," to carry out the
activities of the TRES DIAS Movement.
A. That local secretariats sponsor regularly scheduled
Secuelas; preferably at least once each month.
B. That each Secuela include an opportunity for Pescadores to
participate in the form of reunion group known as "The Floating
C. That each Secuela include a "Fourth Day Talk."
4.0 The Essentials of the Local Secretariat Organization
The function of the local secretariat is to conduct an effective
program in accordance with the TRES DIAS Method.
That each local secretariat have a document, approved by its
membership, describing its structure and operating procedures.
That the members of a local secretariat have completed a TRES
DIAS weekend or a similar experience recognized by TRES DIAS.
All Pescadores of the TRES DIAS Community whom the local
secretariat claims to represent must be eligible to serve as
voting members and officers of the secretariat.
That the local secretariat have a plan for the periodic election
of new members.
The local secretariat must be the sole sponsor of a TRES DIAS
weekend held in its community.
Each local secretariat must sponsor at least two TRES DIAS
weekends a year. For the purpose of chartering, this
requirement may be waived by TRES DIAS.
1. Although the three-days are referred to as "the weekend," the
three days of the "TRES DIAS Weekend" need not include Saturday
and/or Sunday. The "TRES DIAS Weekend" may be held on any three
consecutive days of the week.
2. Adapted from TRES DIAS, NOTES ON METHOD, STRUCTURE, AND
DYNAMIC: March 1974
The Essentials of Tres Dias
July, 1980, Poughkeepsie, New York
Copyright 2005 by Tres Dias, Inc.