Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
In the Footsteps of St. John Paul II & St. Faustina (divine mercy)
August 26 - September 3, 2018
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 2 nights | August 27 - 29: Sheraton Warsaw Hotel, Warsaw
- ~ 1 night | August 29 - 30: Arche Hotel Czestochowa, Czestochowa
- ~ 4 nights | August 30 - September 3: Radisson Blu, Krakow
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
Day 1 | August 26: 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.
Day 2 | August 27: 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 and 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.
Day 3 | August 28: 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. Visit Lazienki Park, a beautifully landscaped park with the Chopin Statue (a large bronze statue of musician, Frederic Chopin) and the Palace on the Water (exterior view). Proceed to 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. Free time for lunch. The remainder of the day is free to be exploring city on your own. Return to the hotel on time for dinner with your group. Overnight in Warsaw.
Day 4 | August 29: Warsaw - Niepokalanow - Swinice Warckie - Czestochowa
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast followed by a transfer to Niepokalanow. Visit Niepokalanow Sanctuary and the Franciscan Monastery in the community of Teresin that 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, transfer to the village of Swinice Warckie. In Swinice Warckie, 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, we will continue to Czestochowa. Upon arrival in Czestochowa, you will check-in to your hotel, and enjoy a magnificent dinner, followed by a restful overnight.
Day 5 | August 30: Czestochowa - 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 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 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.
Day 6 | August 31: Krakow - Zakopane - Krakow
After breakfast, we will drive through the mountains to the breathtaking, yet small and remote, village of Zakopane. After Mass weather permitting we will take a cable car ride to the nearby mountain top. At the top, you will truly experience God's magnificent Glory when you look out at the magnificent panoramic view. Following the many photos captured atop the mountain, we will head to the Jaszczorowka Chapel. This architecturally distinct chapel was visited many times by the young, Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). As a young boy, Karol Wojtyla often used the walking paths surrounding the Jaszczorowka Chapel for prayer and reflection. After you experience this beautiful site that assisted in St. John Paul II's Holy journey, you will continue your tour to the colorful, Krupowki Street. While on this street, you will have the opportunity to do some shopping at the local bazaar before returning to Krakow. Enjoy a beautiful dinner and an optional stroll through the old city before retiring for the evening.
Day 7 | September 1: Krakow - Auschwitz - Lagiewniki - Krakow
This morning after breakfast we will depart for Oswiecim. Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, 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. Depart for 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. After this reflective day, return to your hotel in Krakow for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 8 | September 2: Krakow - Wieliczka - Krakow
After breakfast you will depart for Wieliczka. Visit Europe's oldest salt mine, known for its beautiful and unique underground constructions made of salt, including Biblical icons and a statue of Pope St. John Paul II carved from salt. The mine's attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The place has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After visit you will make your way back to Krakow. 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. Walk to 19 Kanonicza street where you will see the famous "Pope's window" at the Archdiocesan Museum. Return to your hotel for your farewell diner and overnight.
Day 9 | September 3: Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to the Krakow airport for return flights home.