LETTER #1

An outside glance of an International World Youth Day would spark a bystander’s curiosity as massive crowds of young people flood the city streets. Some might cringe at the thought of these words, wondering what delinquency is in store, but to witness this gathering would end these fears.

The happenstance observer would witness not angst and malice, but smiles and joy, singing and dancing young people, culture upon culture and nation upon nation, proudly holding their flags high (or wearing them), greeting one another in peace, trading their tokens, humbly realizing how small they are in a world of people, and strengthened to witness so many who share their convictions. How did it all begin?

On Palm Sunday, 15 April 1984 at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of Holy Father John Paul II for an International Jubilee of Youth in St. Peter’s Square. Looking out to the crowds who answered his invitation he said, “What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today’s youth had lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?” It was at this gathering that Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth what is now known as the Cross of World Youth Day, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity.

The following Palm Sunday, 31 March 1985, on the Second International Youth Day Meeting, on the occasion of the International Youth Day Year, Pope John Paul again took the opportunity to welcome young people of the world to Rome. The Holy Father also addressed an Apostolic Letter to the youth of the world. Later, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of World Youth Day on the 20 December 1985, and the first official WYD was held on Palm Sunday, the 23 of March 1986.

The following year brought about a new tradition when the second event and first international WYD took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every Palm Sunday has since been designated as a World Youth Day, alternately celebrated at the diocesan and international levels. There have been 12 International World Youth Day celebrations, where the youth continue to answer the invitation of the Holy Father in staggering numbers, and carry home the message received there to be Christ’s light to the world. While these events are organized by the clergy and laity of the Catholic Church, youth of all faiths are invited to attend and encounter Christ, making this gathering truly universal.

We as the Polish community and the Church in Poland are extremely thrilled and joyful that another WYD will take place a second time in Poland. The first was held in the national shrine of the
Black Madonna in Czestochowa in August 1991. The spiritual capital of our nation greeted youth from all over the world with the leadership of Pope John Paul II, the greatest Polish individual within our history and times, blessed and soon a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

For the second time the WYD – according to the will of Pope Francis – will take place in Poland in 2016. Many of us remember that Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was the archbishop of Cracow before he had been elected as the Pope, choosing the name John Paul II. We can be sure that our Polish Pope will be looking down at us from heaven, delighted with young people coming from all over the world to pray and spend time together.

Plans for a trip to Cracow for WYD 2016 are already underway. The Diocese of Hamilton and the Congregation of the Resurrection, whose priests are ministering at CR’s parishes, would like to send to Poland about 150 young people as representatives. The goal is to get the youth from our diocese to join thousands of others for an unforgettable week of celebrations, sacraments, catechesis, and encounters with Pope Francis.

We do our very best to create a safe experience for those interested between the ages of 18 to 35. The pilgrimage would take approximately two weeks (from July 19 till August 3rd 2016). The first week would include a stay in the mountain region of southern Poland. This would give the youth from CR’s parishes in Canada a chance to participate in the Days of Diocese and to make connections with other youth from CR parishes in Poland and to get a unique CR experience.

During the second week we would participate in the international program of WYD in Cracow. On the 1st and 2nd of August we would visit Auschwitz, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (south of the monastery there is the famous imitation of Calvary paths with chapels and shrines that all resemble the topography of Jerusalem), Wadowice (birthplace of Pope John Paul II), salt mine at Wieliczka (over 700 hundred years old; there are three chapels and an entire cathedral that have been carved out of rock salt by the miners), and the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (St. Sister Faustina). The total cost of the entire pilgrimage trip to Poland is $2,400.00. After the 3rd of August, there is a chance to prolong your stay in Poland to join family and friends and return at a later date.

In Toronto, the last International WYD in which Saint John Paul II was present he told the 800,000 gathered with him at the vigil, “When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.”

Saint John Paul II left a legacy for the youth in his institution of World Youth Day, which Pope Benedict the XVI and Pope Francis have faithfully continued, carrying on the hope of their predecessor for the youth of the world, inviting them and commissioning them as Christ’s disciples to be faithful living witnesses.

LETTER #2

 I am overjoyed!  The World­­­ Youth Day Krakow Poland 2016 is coming soon!

Deep in my heart I feel a great explosion of enthusiasm, which has left a profound impression on my whole life.

I left my homeland of Poland after seven years of pastoral work, and came to Canada to minister as a Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Hamilton. My first assignment was at St. Stanislaus Parish in that city.  As you might expect, the first year was a real challenge for me.  Everything was new – including culture, customs, and traditions. However, the most stressful experience was that of learning English.  I longed for my country and my family. If you can imagine there was no Skype, Facebook or internet at that time like there is today, which is why I was looking forward to my first summer holiday in Poland with great anticipation.

In August 1991 I returned to Poland and stayed with my brother in Silesia. While watching television, I viewed some programs about the approaching World Youth Day in Czestochowa (Poland), where the sanctuary of the Black Madonna is located.  At that time I felt a spiritual struggle.  My conscience was bothering me that I had such little interest in the World Youth Day (WYD).  I was aware that this event was instituted by Pope John Paul II and that it had already taken place in various parts of the world, but I did not watch any broadcasts nor read the messages by the Holy Father from these events.

My conscience continued to bother me, only this time it was stronger. In a couple of days, the Holy Father was to arrive in Poland and here I was watching TV, having coffee, talking with my family and nothing else was occurring in my heart.  How shameful of me.  I knew that God bestowed a special grace upon me which was not granted to other people.

It was by the Grace of God, in September 1977, that I entered the Seminary of the Congregation of the Resurrection in Cracow, where I was to begin my studies for the priesthood. At that time, the Archbishop of Cracow was Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who later became Pope John Paul II.  He was loved dearly by the whole archdiocese.  Large crowds, especially students and young people, attended Masses celebrated by the shepherd of this royal city and listened attentively to his homilies.

I would like to share with you my three personal meetings with this great Shepard of Cracow that impacted my whole life. The first one occurred on the Solemnity of the Resurrection in 1978, which is also the solemn feast of our religious congregation. Cardinal Wojtyła was celebrating the Eucharist in our Seminary Chapel. At the end of the Eucharist he joined priests and seminarians for a meal.  Before his departure he was entertained by our musical group. I played a base guitar, and at that time I never imagined that I would be performing for the future Pope and Saint.  Until today, I regret that I never had a photo taken with him.  I believe my mind, eyes and ears were kept from recognizing a holy man just like the two disciplines, who did not recognize the Lord on the road to Emmaus.

My second meeting with this great man was associated with the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross in the sanctuary of the Cistercian Fathers in Nowa Huta. As a seminarian, I participated in a number of Masses celebrated by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. What made a deep impression on me was his close contact with the altar servers. Before each Mass, with joy on his face, he greeted all the servers, exchanged a few words with them, and blessed them. And so it had been for every Mass until one particular Sunday. At the celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross, in September 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla arrives at the church, but this time things seemed different. The Catholic Church was in mourning after the shocking death of Pope John Paul I, who led the Holy See for only 33 days. Standing in the sacristy I saw him entering, his face radically transformed as he looked serious and thoughtful. One of the priests unwisely said aloud: “Welcome to the future Pope.” The Cardinal told the priest “to be serious” and he immediately went to the altar to preside at the Mass without greeting the altar servers in his usual manner. Perhaps he had a foreshadowing of what was coming as this was one of the last Masses he would celebrate in his beloved Archdiocese of Cracow. One week later he was on his way to the Vatican for the conclave and the election of a new Pope.

And what of the third faithful meeting? On October 16th the Archbishop of Cracow, Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope. He took the name John Paul II. The world was in shock, and so was I. A year later the Holy Father arrived in Poland for the first time. All of Poland, which was under the communist rule, was overjoyed. Every Polish Catholic asked – ‘what hope can you offer us, our compatriot John Paul II?’ In his Papal visit, a Mass was scheduled at the Shrine of the Holy Cross in Nowa Huta – the same church where he prayed before his departure for Rome one year earlier.

Interestingly enough, I was also back on that same site but this time, as a volunteer. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the meeting with the Holy Father. It was difficult to control the crowds. I saw the John Paul II’s car coming. The Holy Father got out of the Pope mobile and approached the door that lead to the monastery. At a certain point – and to this day I do not know how this happened – John Paul II came up to me, embraced me, and said, “My son.” At that moment I was the happiest man in the world. Because of this unexpected and unusual meeting with the Holy Father I could not sleep all night. But, there I have more to this story. A few days later, my classmate presented me with two pictures and said: “These photos were published in the British newspapers.” I opened the envelope to see photos of the Pope with the Cardinal of Cracow on his left and me on his right! I felt like I was on Mount Tabor and recounted the thoughts of St. Peter: “It is good for us to be here Lord. Let us make three tents”… To this day, those two pictures are on the wall of my office.

Recalling all of these events and memories I thought about the upcoming World Youth Day in Czestochowa. I said to myself; what am I still doing?  Why am I just sitting in front of the TV waiting for the arrival of the Pope? I should to go to Czestochowa to welcome him. After all, I am only one hour away by train. I feel like I have been acting like the prodigal son who realized his sinfulness, and I decided to repeat after him: “I will get up and go to my father” -Lk 15 18. And so it happened. I went to the national shrine of Poland – the Black Madonna. What I experienced during World Youth Day in Czestochowa cannot be described. It was a great manifestation of a younger generation living with faith in Jesus Christ. Do you still remember our World Youth Day in Toronto 2002? It was a wonderful atmosphere of prayer shared with the Holy Father. Young people singing and dancing, smiles and joy wherever you looked. Various cultures and nations all united. Young people proudly holding their flags high (or wearing them), greeting one another in peace, trading gifts, humbly realizing how small their existance is in our big world.  It was an experience of growth to witness so many who share in their convictions. How did it all begin?

On Palm Sunday, April 15, 1984, at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II for an International Jubilee of Youth in St. Peter’s Square. Looking out to the crowds who answered his invitation, he said, “What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today’s youth had lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?” It was at this gathering that Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth what is now known as the Cross of World Youth Day, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity.

The following Palm Sunday, March 31, 1985 at the Second International Youth Day Meeting, on the occasion of the International Youth Day Year, Pope John Paul again took the opportunity to welcome young people of the world to Rome. The Holy Father also addressed an Apostolic Letter to the youth of the world. Later, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of World Youth Day on December 20, 1985, and the first official WYD was held on Palm Sunday, the 23rd of March 1986.

The following year brought about a new tradition when the second event and first international WYD took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every Palm Sunday has since been designated as a World Youth Day, alternately celebrated at the diocesan and international levels. So far there have been 12 International World Youth Day celebrations, where the youth continue to answer the invitation of the Holy Father in staggering numbers, and carry home the message received there to be Christ’s light to the world. While these events are organized by the clergy and laity of the Catholic Church, youth of all faiths are invited to attend and encounter Christ, making this gathering truly universal.

As the pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Brantford which serves the Polish community I feel extremely thrilled and joyful that another WYD will take place in Poland once again (for the second time). The first was held at the national shrine of the Black Madonna in Czestochowa in August 1991.

For the second time the WYD – according to the will of Pope Francis – will take place in Poland in 2016. Many of us remember that Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was the Archbishop of Cracow before he had been elected as the Pope, choosing the name John Paul II. We can be sure that Saint John Paul II will be looking down on us from heaven, delighted with young people coming from all over the world to pray and spend time together.

Plans for a pilgrimage to Cracow for WYD 2016 are already underway. The Diocese of Hamilton and the Congregation of the Resurrection would like to bring 200 young Canadians to Poland. The goal is to get the youth from our diocese to join thousands of others for an unforgettable week of celebrations, sacraments, catechesis, and encounters with Pope Francis. We do our very best to create a safe experience for those interested between the ages of 18 to 35. The pilgrimage would take approximately two weeks (from July 19 till August 3rd, 2016). The international program of WYD 2016 in Cracow ends on July 31. We will also visit a number of tourist destinations located around Cracow. The total cost of the entire pilgrimage to Poland is $2,400.00.

If you see yourself going on this epic journey and would like to get more information and registration forms please contact David Dayler at the Discipleship & Parish Life Office at 905-528-7988, x 2226, dayler@hamiltondiocese.com or visit our website at www.hamiltondiocese.com/wyd Initial registration and a deposit of $ 100.00 is due by Jan. 31, 2015.

At the last International WYD in Toronto Pope John Paul II told the 800,000 gathered with him at the vigil, “When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.”

Saint John Paul II left a legacy for the youth in his institution of World Youth Day, which Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have faithfully continued, carrying on the hope of their predecessor for the youth of the world, inviting them and commissioning them as Christ’s disciples to be God’s faithful living witnesses.

I am overjoyed! The World Youth Day Cracow Poland 2016 is coming soon!     

Fr. Adam Wroblewicz, C.R.

Pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Brantford

LETTER #3

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July 3, 2016

          Poland enjoys unique blessings from God, because it will host World Youth Day for the second time – this time this event will be in Krakow. In August of 1991, Saint Pope John Paul II, invited young people from around the world to Czestochowa, the national shrine of Black Madonna, to meet, celebrate, worship and pray together as one large family of God.

That time I was spending my first summer vacation in Poland since I started ministering in Canada, and was able to participate in WYD. Inspired by the great manifestation of faith of young Disciples of Jesus, I decided to encourage and help young people from the Diocese of Hamilton as much as possible to attend the next WYD. As pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Kitchener, I organized groups of young people to participate in three World Youth Days: Rome (2000), Toronto (2002) and Cologne (2005).

Due to my pastoral work with the local parish community, I did not take part in the next World Youth Days. But when the Holy Father, Pope Francis announced that he has chosen Krakow as a place for WYD in 2016, my “great fondness” for WYD was revived again. My heart was rising more and more with an intense question – is it not appropriate to go to Krakow for this great celebration of youth under the guidance of Pope Francis, to the royal city of Krakow where I studied philosophy and theology for six years and was ordained a priest?

Struggling with these thoughts and of upcoming information that the Diocese of Hamilton is going to appoint the committee for WYD, one day I contacted the Chancery Office and offered my assistance. Because I already participated in four World Youth Days, and have some experience in these events, my proposal was accepted with great joy. The new committee formed: Dave Dayler – Director of Discipleship and Parish Life Office, Fr. Wojciech Kuzma – Vocation Director of the Diocese of Hamilton and three Resurrectionists: Fr. Toby Collins – Vocation Director of the Congregation of the Resurrection, Fr. Michał Kruszewski – associate pastor of St. Louis Parish in Waterloo, and I, the pastor of St. Joseph Church in Brantford. As Provincial Councillor of Ontario-Kentucky Province, I was delegated as its representative for World Youth Day Krakow 2016. Over nearly three years, the diocesan committee held a series of meetings, to provide the best and safest way to prepare our group for WYD.

The diocesan contingent is ready to leave and has 84 pilgrims:  Dave Dayler (the Chancery Office representative), five priests (Fr. Piotr Jurzyk appointed as the fifth priest), one seminarian (Raphael Ma CR), Sister Mary de Porres (MD), several chaperones and of course, the amazing youth who are so excited to hit the road!

From St. Joseph’s Parish in Brantford we have 13 participants and we constitute the largest group of all the parishes in the Diocese of Hamilton. Departure from Toronto will take place on Wednesday, July 20th. The next day on July 21st, during lunchtime, we will land at the Fryderyk Chopin International Airport in Warsaw. From there we will be traveling by two coach buses. One coach will be with the youth derived from diocesan parishes to Wroclaw. There, the youth will participate in the Diocesan Days in the Archdiocese of Wroclaw. The second bus, consisting of mostly Polish youth coming from the parishes ministered by the Resurrectionists, will go to Mszana Górna, belonging to the territory of the Archdiocese of Krakow. During the Days of Diocese in Wroclaw young people will celebrate the Masses, liturgical celebrations, listen to catechesis, conferences and religious concerts. Youth staying in Mszana Górna will use a bus to follow the trail connected with the life of the Great Polish Pope Saint John Paul II.  From there, we will visit churches and communities under the care of the Polish Resurrectionists. We will also admire the nearby places and beautiful landscapes of Polish soil.

On Monday July 26th, both groups will return to Krakow to attend the second week of World Youth Day, celebrated at an international level. Our place of residence for 10 days will be the Major Seminary of Polish Province Resurrectionists Fathers due to its prime location and its warm hospitality. The WYD program is extremely rich in numerous celebrations and presented in different languages, including – the Opening Mass of World Youth Day celebrated by the Cardinal of Krakow, Stanislaw Dziwisz, the welcoming ceremony of the arrival of the Holy Father, The Way of the Cross through the streets of Krakow, Saturday Night Vigil and Adoration and a Celebration of the Eucharist in which the Pope will preside at the end of World Youth Day on Sunday July 31st.

On August 1st the groups will visit the concentration camp in Auschwitz, to show young people the tragedy of World War II and the martyrdom of the Polish people and other nationalities. On the way back, following the trail of John Paul II, will visit Wadowice which is his place of birth. On the way, we will also visit the Marian shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. The next day, August 2nd, in the morning time we will travel to the Salt Mine in Wieliczka, and in the afternoon, celebrating the Extra Ordinary Jubilee Year, we will be praying in Lagiewniki, the World Centre of Divine Mercy – the place of Saint Faustina and visit the Museum of St. John Paul II. On August 3rd, the majority of the group will return to Canada. Some of the youth, as well as myself, will remain in the country to visit their families in Poland and spend the summer holidays.

I want to emphasize a large financial contribution of the Diocese of Hamilton and the Congregation of the Resurrection, who in various ways helped young people in their participation of World Youth Day in Krakow 2016. In particular, I express my gratitude to our local sponsors who supported our young people and went above and beyond with their generous donations; St. Joseph’s Catholic Womens’League, the owners of Super Sausage; Ted and Renata Zamroziewicz, the owners of Uniqpol; Ryszard and Zaneta Kowal, and the owners of D&J Sausage Factory; Tomasz Chudyk and Boguslaw Pelczar. There is still the possibility of sponsorship of our youth traveling to WYD. Those who are able to support this cause, please contact me personally. Dear benefactors and sponsors, we will remember you and ask for God’s blessing for you in our daily prayers and Masses celebrated for your intentions.

I am very pleased with our youth that despite many other attractions, the possibility of working in the summer, and considerable travel expenses, they decided to take part in the WYD Krakow 2016. They are demonstrating their faithful relationship with the Church of Christ and will enrich their knowledge about the legacy of the Great Pope Saint John Paul II. I pray that these small grains thrown into the hearts and souls of these young followers of Christ will profit to continually build a civilization of love.           Fr. Adam Wroblewicz C.R.

02

 

“God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man
and woman”.
We entrust to you in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world
today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father,
grant that we may bear witness to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt,
hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love
that you have enkindled within us
become a fire that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Saint Faustina, pray for us.

LETTER #4

W.Y.D Itinerary. July 13, 2016

World Youth Day – Krakow, Poland
Dates: July 20th – August 3rd 2016
Mszana Gorna (Upper Mszana) Coach Bus Day to Day Itinerary
***certain attractions are subjected to change due to weather – we will be flexible!***

Wednesday July 20th, 2016
Departure from Toronto to Warsaw.

Thursday July 21st, 2016
Arrival to Warsaw. *Do not exchange currency at the airport – we will make a stop to exchange currency and purchase SIM cards*
The coach bus will pick us up from the airport and drive us to Mszana Gorna (Upper Mszana). There will be stops made for washroom and snack breaks.
Once we arrive in Mszana Gorna (Upper Mszana) we will celebrate the Holy Eucharist together.
Then we will be organized into our host families and meet them. Dinner will be served and provided by each host family in each individual household.

Friday July 22nd, 2016
Wake Up Call : 5:00 AM !! Our host families will provide us with breakfast, at approximately 5:30 AM.
Be at the bus by 6:15AM so we can depart promptly at 6:30 AM. We will be travelling for 2 hours on the bus (you can sleep, then!). We plan to arrive at the Belianska Cave. *It will take us a half an hour to walk over to the cave*. We plan to start our tour at 9:00 AM. The tour should last one hour long.
Information about the Belianska Cave:
The Belianska Caves are the most visited show caves in Slovakia. They have bizarre rocky shapes and are known for the rich occurrence of calcite fills. The cave has been a natural attraction for 125 years.
Then we will leave Slovakia at around 10:45 AM. We will be heading to Zakopane which is the Capital of the Polish Mountains. We plan to arrive at around 11:20 AM. From there we will be taking horse buggies for approximately 10 KM up the mountain which our destination will be the

Morskie Oko (Sea Eye).
Information about the Morskie Oko (Sea Eye):
The Sea Eye is the largest and fourth deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains It is located deep within the Tatra National Park in Poland.

 

We will walk around the whole Morskie Oko. It will take around an hour and fifteen minutes. Then, we will eat at the restaurant located across the lake.  We will take approximately an hour to eat and finish up. After that, we will hike down around 10 KM which will take over an hour. Remember that we will be walking down instead of hiking up so depending on our speed it may take a shorter amount of time – and great exercise for jet leg!
Once we reach the bottom, we will take our coach bus back to Mszana and have evening Eucharist. After the Eucharist we will be served dinner at our host families.

Saturday July 23rd, 2016
Wake up call: 5:00 AM, AGAIN !!! Our host families will be providing us with breakfast at 5:30 AM. Please meet at the bus by 6:15 AM! ***Please bring a warmer jacket and comfortable shoes… it may get chilly!*** This time we will be travelling 3 hours – which then you’ll have time to sleep! We are once again travelling to Slovakia to the Demianowska Jaskina Wolnosci (Demianowska Cave of Liberty). We plan to arrive at around 9:15 and walk 15 minutes to the cave, itself.
Information about the Demianowska Cave of Liberty:
The Demianowska Cave of Liberty is located in the northern part of Low Tatras in Liptov region within Demanovska Valley. It is one of the most visited caves in Slovakia. During the tour you will be able to witness the beauty of the rich stalactite and stalagmite decorations and be informed about the history of the remarkable cave. It is enriched by the biggest underground space accessible for public with underground river beds and soft dead-white sinter. You will be able to witness the unique cave water lilies, lake sponge shapes, cave pearls and plenty of other forms of sinter decorations!
The tour will last for an hour and a half. Then, we will return to the tour bus at around 11:50 and go out for lunch to a local restaurant in Liptovsky Mikulas.

After lunch we will visit The Village of Podbiel in Slovakia. The bus ride to from the Cave of Liberty to Podbiel will take approximately an hour and a half by coach bus.
Information about The Village of Podbiel:
This is a beautiful and tourist village of Slovakia. Podbiel is known for its beautiful set of tradition wooden cottages, which have been declared a folk architecture preservation area! Its first historical record was mentioned in 1564.
http://podbiel.sk/index.php/en/
This will be our last attraction of the day. Once we are finished in Podbiel, we will be returning back to Mszana. The bus ride will be approximately 1 hour.
Once we return to Mszana, we will celebrate daily Eucharist and then have dinner with our host families.

 

Sunday July 24th, 2016

Wake up call: 7:00 AM !!! (Finally, sleeping in!)
At 8:00 AM we will be celebrating Sunday Eucharist with the locals in their parish bilingually (POLISH AND ENGLISH). The Mass will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.
After the Mass, we will be having breakfast with our host families.

After we eat breakfast, please meet at the coach bus at 10:00 AM THE LATEST. We will travel for around an hour to Splyw Dunajcem (Dunajec River).
Information about the Dunajec River:
The Dunajec River is undoubtedly on of the biggest tourist attractions in the international rank of the mountains. We will be sitting on rafts guided by special flisak (raftman) and floating down the river. We will appreciate the beauty of the Pieninski National Park in an unusual and fascinating way. The river tour has many limestones that are several hundred meters that are simply stunning.
Once we arrive at the destination we will taking a raft tour down the river. The tour will last around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
We will be finished at the Dunajec by approximately 2:30 PM. Then, we will eat lunch at a local restaurant and we will return back to Mszana. It will take around an hour to get back (at approximately 5:00 PM). We will have one hour of spare time to rest and then at 6:00 PM we will meet at the local parish (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). From there, we will be taken by JEEPS to Polana Stasiowka.
Information about Polana Stasiowka:
Polana Stasiowka is a field in the mountain region with exquisite views of the mountains.
Once we arrive in groups to Polana Stasiowka, we will have access to a small hut and beside the hut there will be a bonfire. When the bonfire is happening, we will also be admiring the beautiful views of the mountains as we will have the whole field to ourselves. Dinner will be provided at the bonfire.
Once we are finished with the bonfire, the JEEPS will take us back to Mszana for the night.

Monday July 25, 2016
Wake up call: 7:00 AM !!!!
Daily Eucharist will be celebrated at 8:00 AM at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Mszana.
After Mass is finished, we will eat breakfast with our host families.
Then, we will have spare time to pack up and gather all of our belongings to depart from Mszana.
Please meet at the coach bus by 10:30 AM PROMPTLY so we can pack in WITH ALL OF YOUR BELONGINGS.
Once we pack in, we will be leaving for The Community of the Risen Christ “Galilea” in Stryszawa. It will take approximately 1 hour to arrive to Stryszawa from Mszana.
Information about: Stryszawa
This is a Catholic, prayer and evangelization community that now has around 2400 members in different locations in Poland and Europe. The aim of the Community is the new evangelization, which means giving people the hope and springing from the personal meeting with the Risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will tour the area and get to meet the community in Wzgorze Milosierdzia. At around noon time, we will be eating lunch in the Wygorze Milosierdzia.  Then we will walk over to the Resurrectionist Sisters’ Chapel. From there, we will have free time.
Those who are interested in further hiking are invited to admire the beautiful landscapes and will have the opportunity to go to the Jalowiec Peak. This hike will take an hour and a half one way so it will take approximately 3 hours.
Then, our plan is to leave Stryszawa at 5:00 PM PROMPTLY. From there, we will travel to our final destination, KRAKOW! The bus ride will take approximately 1 hour to Krakow.
Dinner will be served at the Major Seminary of the Congregation of the Resurrectionists at around 7:00 PM where we will be joining the whole group from the Diocese of Hamilton.

Tuesday July 26th, 2016

Wake up call: 7:00 AM !!!!!  Breakfast will be served at the Seminary at 8:00 AM.
Then, promptly we will leave the Seminary at 8:30 AM to meet our Tour Guide for 9:00 AM at the Wawel Castle. We will have a 4 hour tour of Krakow with lunch included. Sights will include the Wawel Castle, Royal Cathedral,  Sukiennice Rynek (Main Square), Old Town, Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption (Kosciol Mariacki), and Kazimierz Square.

In the evening time, the Opening Mass with Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow will be celebrated.

Wednesday July 27th, 2016

***Optional for Polish pilgrims***

There will be a meeting of Resurrectionist groups from all over the world! The meeting will take place in the CR “Resurrection” Parish in Krakow (Wola Duchacka, Szkolna 4 ul.)
You are invited to attend this awesome gathering of Polish pilgrims from all over the world!
The agenda is as follows…
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – integration and presentation of each group
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – meal
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM – prayer time/ worship
9:00 PM – fun/concert

***Optional for All Pilgrims***
XLT: Night of Mercy (Worship/Message/Adoration)
Featuring Artists:
Bishop Robert Barron, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad, Joel Stepanek. Located at the Tauron Arena in Krakow from 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM.

General Information about the Mszana Coach Bus

-All attractions are paid for by the trip costs and donations (you do not need to pay any admission costs).
-All restaurants that we will be eating at during our stay in Mszana will be provided by trip costs and donations (you do not need to pay for the food!) .
-Remember to be FLEXIBLE! SMILE and be a little bit crazy, we want to have fun!!!
PUNCTUALITY IS OUR MAIN PRIORITY!!! We want to get to every destination planned in our itinerary.
-Drink lots of water for hydration, you will need it.
-Always have running shoes in your backpack if you are not wearing them.
-During our stay in Mszana, there will be many possibilities of nightly bonfires. Weather permitting and depending on the time we return back. Keep your ears open for that!
-When entering Slovakia you do not need to bring your passport or/and visa. But there EUROPEAN currency (Euros) not Polish Zloty.
Disclaimer: The Pilgrimage Itself
As the group travelling to Wroclaw is participating in the Days of the Diocese, the group from the Resurrectionists’ parishes were to do the same in Mszana Gorna which is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Krakow. The Archdiocese of Krakow cancelled their Days of the Diocese to solely focus on the International Gatherings of World Youth Day within the second week. The reasoning for the multiplicity of attractions and different programming is that Father Adam Wroblewicz C.R. organized and planned the itinerary on his own to fill the program for the Mszana Coach Bus. These locations and attractions were planned with the intention of following the footsteps of St. Pope John Paul II who loved the outdoors and the mountains. We will be celebrating Daily Eucharist, reciting the rosary,  reciting the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, watching religious films, singing worship hymns during bus rides and bon fires, and of course, praying together as one Catholic family.

***Please remember in your prayers the host families for their hospitality in Mszana as well as those sponsors from Brantford who provided us with donations for our meals at restaurants and admissions for the attractions. Without these private donors, our trip would not be possible and organized in this special way by Father Adam.***

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