Poland, Prague & Vienna Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Tom Coughlin
September 21 - October 1, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from New York with Add-Ons
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels:(or similar)
- ~ Sept 24 - 25: Hotel Arche, Czestochowa
- ~ Sept 25 - 27: Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz, Krakow
- ~ Sept 27 - 29: Vienna House, Prague
- ~ Sept 29 - Oct 1: Courtyard Messe, Vienna
- Transfers as per itinerary on a group basis
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local Christian guide(s)
- Certified ASL Interpreter throughout the Pilgrimage
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Meals not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of a personal nature.
Sat, Sept 21: Depart for Warsaw
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Warsaw. Your meals will be served on board.
Sun, Sept 22: Arrive Warsaw
Welcome to Warsaw, Poland! Upon arrival, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel. Following check-in at your hotel, your pilgrimage will officially begin with Mass. Following Mass, enjoy a delicious dinner and have the opportunity to explore the city of Warsaw before retiring for a restful overnight.
Mon, Sept 23: Warsaw
Your day will begin with breakfast followed by Mass at St. James Church, iconic for its tower and square base. This church is where Helena Kowalska prayed extensively upon entering Warsaw. Also, it is where she confessed all that burdened her soul, and asked for the advice of Rev. James Dabrowski which eventually resulted in the Saint entering the convent. Following this prayerful morning, your day of sightseeing begins. Your group will explore the Old Town, comprised of beautiful maze-like cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture that are symbols of Poland's successful rebuild following its destruction during World War II. Some of the sites will include the Market Square (the center of the city filled with restaurants, cafes and shops), the Barbican, defense-like structures that have been rebuilt following World War II, and the Warsaw Ghetto monument that commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 during World War II. You will also take in the Lazienski Park, a beautifully landscaped park, the Chopin Statue (a large bronze statue of musician, Frederic Chopin), and the Royal Castle (the official residence of the Polish monarchs). In the afternoon, visit the Stanislaw Kostka Church and view a special exhibit dedicated to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko. This priest was a great personality of the Catholic Church, and killed by communists in 1984. In 1987, St. John Paul II visited here to pray in front of Fr. Popieluzko's tomb. Your tour of Warsaw will conclude by returning to the hotel for a delicious meal, followed by an overnight at your hotel.
Tues, Sept 24: Warsaw - Niepokalanow - Swinice Warckie - Czestochowa
This morning, you will enjoy a full breakfast followed a by a transfer to Niepokalanow (approximately forty-five minutes). This Franciscan Monastery is in the community of Teresin, and was founded by martyr, St. Maximilian Kolbe. This remarkable saint was arrested by the Nazis and died in Auschwitz, giving his life for the life of another prisoner. Following your visit to this Holy Monastery, you will transfer to the village of Swinice Warckie. In Swinice Warckie, you will visit the church of St. Casimir. This historically rich parish is the site of baptism for St. Faustina (formally known as, Helena Kowalska). Little Helena received her first confession, and First Holy Communion, at this parish. Additionally, she and her family attended Sunday Mass and other services at this church. After visiting this simple, yet elegant church, you will continue your transfer to Czestochowa (approximately two and a half hours). Upon arrival in Czestochowa, you will check-in to your hotel, enjoy a magnificent dinner, and a restful overnight.
Wed, Sept 25: Czestochowa - Auschwitz - Wadowice - Krakow
Today, you will awake in the home of the grandest pilgrimage shrine of Poland since the 14th century! You will begin your day with breakfast and Mass at Jasna Gora Monastery. This hill-top monastery is home to the beloved icon of the Black Madonna. Additionally, St. John Paul II is said to have made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. Tradition tells us that this icon was painted by Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen, and later enshrined. While here, you will have the opportunity to venerate not only the Holy Icon, but also many other priceless treasures that are contained within. Following your prayerful visit to the Chapel of the Black Madonna, you will continue on to Auschwitz (approximately one hour). Auschwitz is notoriously known as a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Upon arriving at the former camp, you can feel the darkness and sorrow that overtakes the atmosphere as there were numerous unspeakable atrocities that occurred at this site. Additionally, while on this visit, you will have the opportunity to view the cell that imprisoned the Christ-like, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and visit the Martyrdom Museum. Continue on to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). While in the small city of Wadowice, you will have the opportunity to visit the church of where this beloved Saint was baptized, and attended Mass as a child. Following this historically captivating experience, continue onto Krakow. Enjoy dinner at the local restaurant before resting up for the next day of activities.
Thurs, Sept 26: Krakow - Divine Mercy - Lagiewniki - Wieliczka - Krakow
After breakfast, you will explore Krakow's Market Square as the sound of the silver trumpet from St. Mary's Tower fills the air. The captivating beauty of this square is largely due to the fact that it has remained unchanged for almost 700 years. It contains a number of buildings that hold important historic value such as, the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and the Burgher's houses. Following your time in this longstanding square, you will make your way to Wawel Hill, where you will visit the beautiful Cathedral, and Coronation Chapel. These are among the most important sites in Poland as the Cathedral has been the coronation site of the Polish monarchs and has held numerous pieces of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist and Modern art. Also at this site, you will have the opportunity to pray at the tomb of the patron saint of Poland, St. Stanislaus. Continue on to your excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. Through the mediation of St. Faustina, Christ passed on the message of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki. While here, you will have the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy that contains images of the Merciful Jesus, relics of St. Faustina, as well as, the Saint's convent chapel and her Tomb. Visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Divinity, which was visited by St. John Paul II in 2002. Following Mass, have to opportunity to pray by a relic of St. John Paul II. Continue to Wieliczka to visit Europe's oldest salt mine which has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Return to Krakow for your farewell dinner and last overnight.
Fri, Sept� 27: Krakow - St. John Paul II Centre - Prague
After breakfast, travel back to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. While there, we will pray by the relic of St. John Paul II. We will celebrate Mass, and then make our way to Prague. Along the way, we will make a stop to pick up a snack or lunch. Upon arrival in Prague, we will check-in to the Hotel. Dinner will also take place in the Hotel, and then return to your room for a restful nights sleep.
Sat, Sept 28: Prague
After breakfast, we make our way to the Church of Our Lady Victorious, home of the famous Child Jesus statue called the Infant Jesus of Prague. The statue, a 16th-century depiction of infant Jesus holding a globus cruciger, was donated to the Carmelite friars in 1628. Following Mass we will visit Old Town Prague . In Pragues Castle district visit St. Nicholas Church, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Loreto Church and Strahov Monastery. Continue by crossing the Medieval Charles Bridge that is adorned with many baroque statues. View the Astronomical Clock of Prague and walk on Wenceslas Square, one of the main city squares. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic center of Prague, a World Heritage Site. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Sun, Sept 29: Prague - Melk Abbey - Vienna
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer through the mountain of Austria to Melk, which is best known as the site of a massive baroque Benedictine monastery named Melk Abbey. Overlooking the Danube river. The Abbey, holds the tomb of Saint Coloman of Stockerau and the remains of several members of the House of Babenberg, Austria's first ruling dynasty. We will celebrate Mass here before continuing on and finally arriving in Vienna. You will be escorted to your transportation and transferred to your hotel. Free time before dinner and overnight.
Mon, Sept 30: Vienna
After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing of Vienna, home of Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Visit the spectacular St. Stephen's cathedral, the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. At St. Stephen's, we'll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapoch. You will tour the Cathedral and its catacombs. Those strong and brave may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Continue with a visit of the Schonbrunn Royal palace, a summer residence with 1,441 rooms including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young Marie Antoinette Louis. Schonbrunn Palace was put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in December 1996. We will continue our journey in Vienna and view the Belvedere palace well known by its beautiful gardens. Back in the city center, we go to Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner's Stadtbahn pavilions. Somewhere along the way we will have a little coffee break to enjoy the famous Vienna pastries such as Sacher cake. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
Tues, Oct 1: Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to Vienna Airport for return flights home.