Dear Friends, During my first pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2008, I experienced a profound calling to the “vocation of pilgrimage.” I had no idea how it would materialize or even what it really meant at the time; all I knew was that the Lord wanted me to minister to the community in this way. As my understanding deepened and the Lord’s timing became clear, I discerned a ministry called “Pilgrim’s Place, “ which is aimed at facilitating a deepening communion with Christ on the journey of discipleship as described by the Incarnation: “If anyone wishes to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Pilgrimage allows us to discover in new and profound ways an encounter with Jesus Christ; to seek a loving relationship with Him and with one another in the fellowship of the Body of Christ; to participate in on-going and ever-deepening conversion. Every Christian desires to find the light of Christ; our mission is to bring pilgrims on an “itinerary of conversion” to places that have been illuminated by the light of Christ throughout history.
According to St. Paul, pilgrimage is the calling of every Christian. We all become “strangers and sojourners” the moment we realize it is the Kingdom of God that we are seeking; not an earthly homeland but a “heavenly country.” (Hebrews 11: 13-16). On pilgrimage, we have the chance to participate in sacred liturgies unique to each pilgrimage site. We are given the task to practice detachment, patience, and self-abandonment; to leave fear behind and journey towards the unknown; and to grow in self-knowledge, humility and virtue.
In the words of Pope Benedict during his visit to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 2010, “To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art, or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where He has revealed Himself, where His grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.”
This Fall, Pilgrim’s Place will be traveling on a journey of “Italian Splendor.” It is in partnership with 206 Tours that makes this beautiful itinerary possible and will enable us to experience the trip of a lifetime! Whether you are coming from Memphis or will be joining us from another city of origin, we are already a family because of our communion in Christ through the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 10:17).
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions. It is through faith that we journey together!
"If you wish to be sure of the road you are traveling, close your eyes and walk in the dark."
-Saint John of the Cross-
Your Trip Includes: † Round-trip air to Poland (special round-trip fares from your local airport) † ALL AIRPORT TAXES & FUEL SURCHARGES! † 7 nights at centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
~ 2 nights: Radisson SAS, Warsaw
~ 1 night: Mercure Patria, Czestochowa
~ 1 night: Kasprowy, Zakopane
~ 3 nights: Radisson SAS, Krakow † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast & Dinner daily † Wine with dinners † Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach † 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 document
Day 1, May 7, 2013: USA - Warsaw
Make your way to your hometown airport where you will board your over-night flight(s) to Warsaw. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2, May 8, 2013: Warsaw
Upon arrival in Warsaw Airport you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by your tour escort and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Poland, you will be escorted to your transportation. We begin our pilgrimage with Mass at St. James Church, where St. Faustina went when she arrived in Warsaw. This evening enjoy welcome dinner and a show at a local restaurant.
Day 3, May 9, 2013: Warsaw
After breakfast, we visit all the landmarks of Warsaw: Old Town, Market Square, the Barbican, the Warsaw Ghetto monument, Lazienki Park, the Chopin statue, and the magnificently restored Royal Castle. We will visit and celebrate Mass at 39 Zytnia Street where Faustina entered the convent before returning to our hotel for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 4, May 10, 2013: Warsaw - Swinice Warckie - Niepokalanow - Czestochowa
After breakfast, we travel to Swince Warckie to visit the parish church St. Casimir where St. Faustina was baptized Helen Kowalska. We continue to Niepokalanow where we will see a Franciscan Monastery founded by St. Maximillian Kolbe. We arrive in Czestochowa, the home of the greatest pilgrimage shrine in Poland - Our Lady of Czestochowa. We enjoy dinner at our hotel before retiring for the evening.
Day 5, May 11, 2013: Czestochowa - Wadowice - Zakopane
We begin our day with Mass at Jasna Gora Monastery where the picture of the Black Madonna is located. We will have time to explore this most important places of religious worship. The tradition of pilgrimage to the monestary that goes back to the 14th-century and Pope John Paul II frequently visited throughout his life. We will have time to venerate the priceless treasures contained within, including the Miraculous Icon. We continue on to Zakopane, with a stop along the way in Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) and see the church he attended and was baptized as a child. We arrive in the resort village of Zakopane, this afternoon where we will take a cable car ride to the nearby mountaintop for extraordinary views. We arrive at our hotel in time for dinner.
Day 6, May 12, 2013: Zakopane - Krakow
This morning you will have an opportunity to enjoy a short walk on one of John Paul II's favorite walking trails in Zakopane. We visit the Hermitage of Brother Albert, founder of the Albertine Order, before walking to the colorful Krupowki Street for some last minute shopping in the local bazaar. We will stop at the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mine on our way to Krakow. We arrive in Krakow in time for dinner, after which you may enjoy a short stroll in the old city before retiring for the evening.
Day 7, May 13, 2013: Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow
After breakfast, we explore Krakow's Market Square and hear the silver trumpet of the bugler from St. Mary's Tower. The surroundings of the square have remained unchanged for almost 700 years and contain buildings of historic value such as the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall and the burgher's houses. Tour the Cathedral, Coronation Chapel and the Royal Chambers where a superb collection of Arras tapestries are on view. We visit the Cathedral where you can pray before the extraordinary Wit Stwosz altar. In the afternoon we visit to Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp, where unspeakable atrocities occurred. We will see the cell that imprisoned St. Maximillian Kolbe and the Martyrdom Museum recalling the horrors of the Holocaust. We return to our hotel for dinner.
Day 8, May 14, 2013: Krakow – Divine Mercy - Lagiewniki
After breakfast, we depart for our day's excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. It was here that the message of the Divine Mercy originated, which Christ Himself wished to pass on to our generation through the mediation of St. Faustina. The Sanctuary houses graceworking image of the Merciful Jesus and the relics of St. Faustina. As we visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy we will see St. Faustina's convent chapel and her Tomb. We visit the newly constructed Shrine of Divinity dedicated by Pope John Paul II on his last visit to Poland in 2002. We celebrate Mass at the Shrine before we visit the new center "Have no Fear" where we pray by the relic of Blessed Pope John Paul II. We have time to pray and reflect before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Day 9, May 15, 2013: Krakow - USA(OR OPTIONAL POST TOUR TO PRAGUE & VIENNA)
We leave Krakow for the return flights home to USA. Bid your new friends farewell as you reminisce about everything you have experienced during your trip!
OPTIONAL POST TOUR TO VIENNA & PRAGUE (May 15 - 19, 2013 ~ $1,094 per person)
Your Optional Post Tour to Vienna & Prague includes: † 4 nights at centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
~ 2 nights: Hotel Diplomat, Prague
~ 2 nights: Hotel Marriott, Vienna † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast and Dinner daily † Wine with dinners † Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach † Assistance of a professional local guide(s) † Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary † Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction † Mass daily & Spiritual activities
Day 9, May 15, 2013: Krakow – Prague
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy free morning for some shopping or personal explorations.
Depart to Krakow airport to board short flight to Prague. Overnight in Prague.
Day 10, May 16, 2013: Prague
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Guided tour of Prague including the Loretto Church and castle district . Visit St. Vitus’ Cathedral, Royal Castle, St George Basilica, walk the Royal Palace gardens. Mass in the Our Lady Victorious Church, where you can see the Infant Jesus of Prague. Continue visiting including Mala Strana, (Lesser Town), the famous Charles Bridge, which is the most unique gallery of sculptures and statues of saints, Old Town Square, which is one of the most beautiful and complete middle age market squares in the world, see the Astronomical Clock, Church of our Lady before Tyn and St. Wenceslas Square. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Prague.
Day 11, May 17, 2013: Prague - Kutna Hora – Mariazell - Vienna
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Depart Prague for Salzburg. En route stop for visiting in Kutna Hora. Enjoy visiting medieval silver mining town to the east of Prague. During the Middle Ages, the huge deposits of silver uncovered here led to Kutná Hora becoming the most important city in the Kingdom of Bohemia after Prague. Wealth and prosperity that flowed from the silver mines in Kutná Hora, led to rich architectural development. Beautiful churches such as St. Barbara's Cathedral (entrance fee included) , and elegant palaces like the Italian Court sprang up. On route we also visit nearby village of Sedlec, to see of the most interesting burial places in the world, Kostnice (Bone Church - entrance fee included). The chapel is decorated with 40,000 human bones. Next drive to Austria. Stop in Mariazell, the most important pilgrimage place in Austria. We will see the miraculous statue, which is housed in the Lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles, built directly over the place where Magnus established his monastic cell in 1157. We continue onto Vienna, Austria's capital for dinner and overnight.
Day 12, May 18, 2013: Vienna
After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing of Vienna, one of the most beauitufl cities! Home of Strauss and Mozart and of coulture like no other city in the world. We see the spectacular St. Stephen's cathedral, where we celebrate Mass, while there, we’ll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapocs, tour the Cathedral and its catacombs, and those strong and brave may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Visit of the Schonbrunn Royal palace, vew of the Belvedere palace well known by its beautiful gardens. While touring the Imperial Palace, view the private rooms of Emperor Francis Joseph and those of his wife, Empress Elisabeth, as well as the Treasuries with the magnificent crown jewels. 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 pasteries such as Sacher cake. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
Day 13, May 19, 2013: Vienna - USA
After breakfast we transfer to Vienna airport for the flight home. Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, the blessings of our pilgrimage are certain to strengthen us throughout our life.