By Brithney Rivera
Cars honking, city contamination and loud sidewalk conversations make it quite difficult to obtain peace when praying to God. Every June, The Ultreya de Campo, organized by El Cursillo de Cristiandad, offers an opportunity to step away from the city hustle and travel to the countryside to enjoy a day praying with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
At this year’s Ultreya de Campo, hundreds of people from parishes in Brooklyn and Queens united at Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and spent the day together from very early in the morning to late in the afternoon. Family and friends were invited to enjoy the grace of God while simultaneously spending time with nature and reflecting on ones faith.
El Cursillo de Cristiandad is a course in which you encounter God. The word Ultreya means to move forward and is used to describe going beyond the Cursillo. The environment was very comfortable and relaxing. It felt as if everyone knew one another by saying the Cursillo’s famous phrase, “¡De Colores!” It truly felt as if we were one big family.
This year my family decided to travel to the Ultreya with my older sister who has special needs. Due to her special needs, it made our journey a little more intense, but in the end it was all worth it.
My family woke up at 5 a.m. and prepared to leave for our church in our car. Waking up extra early, we had to ensure that my sister had everything she needed to be comfortable throughout the whole day. We departed with our church at around 6:30 a.m. and arrived at the location at around 8 a.m. We pushed my sister in her wheelchair on the curvy roads of the mountainside and found a comfortable spot in the shade where she could relax.
We traveled uphill to Mass that was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann. After Mass, we spent time with our church and even shared our meals with the parish that sat next to us. We sang songs celebrating the presence of the Lord and told stories of our lives. My older sister spent the day relaxing and with a huge grin on her face, as well as my younger sister who happily drew in her sketchbook.
United In Prayer
I’d have to say my favorite part of the trip was when all the different parishes gathered around the Virgin Mary statue and prayed the rosary together. With hundreds of people gathered around praying, the sounds bounced off the mountain and into the heavens. It felt as if angels were singing, since there were so many people and so many different voices that united in this moment to pray to our Lord.
The Ultreya de Campo was the perfect way to escape the city’s cluttered environment and enjoy life with nature for a day. The event was amazing and I can’t wait to see where next year’s Ultreya de Campo will take place.
Rivera is a parishioner at All Saints Church in Williamsburg. She attends Brooklyn Technical H.S. This past Easter, she won third place in The Tablet’s annual ‘Christ Is Risen’ art contest.