Father Marian Kokorzycki will be the chaplain for this pilgrimage. He was born in Poland; he attended the seminary in Rome and was ordained there on May 24, 1998, by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski. He entered the Diocese of Trenton in 2007 and since then, he has served the multi-lingual community of St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Lakewood, NJ. He is the Diocesan Spiritual Director for the Legion of Mary, and on May 5, 2019 Father Kokorzycki was bestowed the title of Honorary Canon of the Chapter of the Cathedral Basilica of Czestochowa by Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa, Poland.
Day 1. Wednesday, April 29: Transatlantic flight to Warsaw
Day 2. Thursday, April 30: Warsaw
Welcome to Poland! Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic view of Warsaw, Poland’s capital, before check-in and a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Warsaw. (WD)
Day 3. Friday, May 1: Warsaw – Niepokalanow – Czestochowa – Krakow
This morning, enjoy an excursion to Niepokalanow, the “City of the Immaculate Virgin”. The Franciscan Monastery was founded in 1927 by St. Maximilian Kolbe, a martyr from the death camp in Auschwitz, and in 1980 Pope St. John Paul II gave the church the title of basilica. A statue of the Immaculate Conception was placed in a niche in the front wall of the basilica. Meet the priests from the Niepokalanow Sanctuary and visit the museum of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Afterwards, transfer to Czestochowa to visit the Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora, the most famous shrine of Our Lady in Poland and the country’s greatest place of pilgrimage, frequently visited by Pope John Paul II. The miraculous image of the Black Madonna is Jasna Gora’s most precious treasure. Continue to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 4. Saturday, May 2: Krakow: In the footsteps of St. John Paul II
Start the day with a guided tour in the footsteps of the Holy Father John Paul II. Visit the Wawel Cathedral including St. Leonard’s Crypt, where Pope St. John Paul II said his first Mass as a young priest. Next, transfer for a visit to St. Florian Basilica that houses the saint’s remains, where Fr. Karol Wojtyla worked as a vicar. Continue to Krakow’s Old Town, and stroll through Kanonicza Street where Karol Wojtyla resided while living in Krakow. Visit the Archdiocesan Museum where you will be able to see personal belongings of the priest Karol Wojtyla, as well as numerous gifts received by him when he was the Head of the Catholic Church. In Franciscan Street, see the famous Papal Window where St. John Paul II used to show up to talk to Cracovians during his pilgrimages to Poland. Visit the Franciscan Church, his favorite praying place; and explore the courtyard of Collegium Maius, where he studied. Finally see the main Market Square with the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and visit St. Mary’s Basilica, to admire the largest Gothic altar in the world. Dinner and overnight in Krakow. (BB, D)
Day 5. Sunday, May 3: Krakow: Excursion to Auschwitz & Wadowice
This morning visit Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in which St. Maximilian Kolbe gave up his life for another man in 1941. Continue to Wadowice, the birthplace of St. John Paul II, visit the house where he was born and the local church where he was baptized and received his First Communion. Return to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 6. Monday, May 4: Krakow: Divine Mercy Shrine – Optional visit to Wieliczka Salt Mine
Today visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy, consecrated by Pope St. John Paul II. Here, the message of Christ’s Divine Mercy was passed on to St. Faustina. Visit the Shrine that houses the image of Merciful Jesus, St. Faustina’s convent chapel, and St. Faustina’s tomb. The afternoon is free to enjoy downtown Krakow on your own or join the optional excursion to Wieliczka Salt Mine ($65 per person), the oldest and longest salt mine in Europe. Tonight, you may sample one of many wonderful restaurants in Krakow. Overnight in Krakow. (BB)
Day 7. Tuesday, May 5: Krakow – Olomouc – Prague
This morning, cross the border into the Czech Republic and stop in Olomouc, a historical city known for its six Baroque fountains and the 18th-century Holy Trinity Column, a monument adorned with religious sculptures. Visit the Gothic St. Wenceslas Cathedral and tour the old city center. Afterwards, continue to the magnificent city of Prague for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)
Day 8. Wednesday, May 6: Prague
Today visit the Loreto House, a Marian pilgrimage site with the Baroque Church of the Nativity, the treasury, and a replica of the Holy House of Loreto. Continue to the Hradcany Castle district and visit Prague’s Cathedral dedicated to St. Vitus, 3rd-century martyr of the Christian persecutions. The relics of King St. Wenceslas, the first Czech saint, and of St. John Nepomuk, martyr of the seal of the confessional, are enshrined in the cathedral. Next, visit the Royal Palace, seat of Bohemian princes. Outside the palace is St. George’s Basilica, housing the relics of the martyr St. Ludmilla, grandmother and tutor of St. Wenceslas. Next, walk along the Golden Lane, named after the goldsmiths that lived there in the 17th century, and cross the famous Charles Bridge. The rest of the day is free to explore this beautiful city. Tonight, you may enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choice. Overnight in Prague. (BB)
Day 9. Thursday, May 7: Prague
Begin the day’s sightseeing with a visit to the Premonstratensian Strahov Monastery founded in 1149, housing the relics of St. Norbert, founder of the Order. Afterwards, visit the Church of Our Lady Victorious, which houses the miraculous statue of the Holy Infant of Prague. Enjoy free time before returning to your hotel for a farewell dinner. (BB, FD)
Day 10. Friday, May 8: Homebound flight
Transfer to Prague’s airport for flight back to the USA. (BB)
Buffet Breakfast (BB); Lunch (L); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information, please contact Carolyn Norbut, Director of Diocesan Pilgrimages, at (609) 403-7446 or at Pilgrimages@DioceseofTrenton.org or contact Catholic Heritage Tours.