Fr. Tukura Pius Michael, O.P. is a Dominican priest. Fr. Pius was born on February 12, 1968 in Anchuna, Nigeria, and he is one of nine children. His mother and siblings still reside in Nigeria. In 1994, Fr. Pius joined the Dominicans and was ordained on July 13, 2002. In March of 2010, he arrived in the United States. Prior to his assignment at St. Pius X Church, Fr. Pius worked as a medical chaplain at the National Children’s Hospital, Washington Hospital Center and Rehabilitation Center in Washington, D.C., St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and most recently at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. During his transition from a medical chaplain to pastor, Fr. Pius was assigned as Parochial Vicar for Sacred Heart Church in Lewistown, PA.
Fr. Pius enjoys reading and especially enjoys his time traveling the world.
Day 1. Monday, August 3: Transatlantic flight to Warsaw
Day 2.Tuesday, August 4: Warsaw
Welcome to Poland! Upon arrival into Warsaw, enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Then, transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)
Day 3. Wednesday, August 5: Warsaw
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Warsaw, beginning with a visit to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where Father Jerzy Popieluszko was brutally murdered by militant security police in 1984. See Pilsudski Square, Warsaw’s largest square, used over the centuries for military parades and national celebrations. Follow the Royal Route to Lazienki Park seeing the Chopin Monument, enchanting gardens, and the Palace on the water. Then, walk along the streets of the Old Town. Admire the Castle Square with its Royal Castle, the Old Town Market Square, and the Barbican and City Walls. Visit the Church of St. Anna, where Pope St. John Paul II celebrated a Mass for the young people of Poland, and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Warsaw’s oldest church. Finally, attend a Chopin piano recital in the Museum of the Archdiocese of Warsaw. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at a typical Polish restaurant in Warsaw. (BB, WD)
Day 4. Thursday, August 6: Warsaw – Niepokalanow – Swinice Warckie – Czestochowa
This morning, drive 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. Continue to Swinice Warckie for a visit to St. Casimir parish church where St. Faustina, who spread the devotion of the Divine Mercy, was baptized. Head to Czestochowa for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 5. Friday, August 7: Czestochowa – Auschwitz – Tyniec – Krakow
In Czestochowa, 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 Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in which St. Maximilian Kolbe gave up his life for another man in 1941. Then, journey to the 11th-century Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec to enjoy dinner before heading for the city of Krakow, where then Karol Wojtyla served as Archbishop prior to being elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 1978. (BB, D)
Day 6. Saturday, August 8: Krakow:In the footsteps of St. John Paul II – Divine Mercy Shrine
Visit Krakow in the footsteps of the Holy Father John Paul II. There are so many places connected with St. John Paul II, such as St. Florian’s Church where he was a vicar; the beautiful Franciscan Church, his favorite praying place; Franciscan Street with the famous Pope’s window where St. John Paul II used to show up to talk with Cracovians during his pilgrimages to Poland; Collegium Maius, where he studied; and the Archdiocesan Museum, where you can see personal memorabilia and belongings of then Karol Wojtyla. Visit the Market Square, one of the largest medieval town squares in all of Europe. Enjoy a walking tour featuring St. Mary’s Altar, the largest Gothic altar in the world, the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, the burghers’ houses, and Wawel Cathedral, including St. Leonard’s Crypt, where Pope St. John Paul II said his first Mass. Continue to 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. Enjoy an independent dinner and overnight in Krakow. (BB)
Day 7. Sunday, August 9: Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine– Wadowice – Kalwaria– Krakow
Today visit Wieliczka Salt Mine, the oldest and longest salt mine in Europe. Your journey will take you 54 floors underground to see the many chambers and churches cut out of rock. Your visit will include the magnificent Church of St. Kinga with altar pieces, chandeliers and sculptures made of salt. Continue to Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope St. John Paul II, to visit the house where he was born and the local church where he was baptized and received his First Communion. Finally, visit Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the oldest Calvary in Poland. As John Paul II was born in Wadowice close to the Kalwaria, he often walked the Calvary paths and prayed to the Zebrzydowska Blessed Mother. Return to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Monday, August 10: Krakow: Excursion to Zakopane
Nestled high up in the Tatras Mountains lies the charming resort town of Zakopane, a favorite getaway spot for Pope St. John Paul II. Visit the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of Fatima, constructed in 1999 in gratitude for his survival of an assassination attempt. Take a cable car ride to the heights of Mount Gubalowka for a stunning view. Afterwards in Zakopane, stroll along colorful Krupowki Street, the central mall lined with restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and souvenir shops. Then, visit the Jaszczorowka Chapel, which was visited several times by young Karol Wojtyla (Pope St. John Paul II), as it lies on the walking paths where he often finished his walks for prayer and reflection. Return to Krakow for a folklore dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 9. Tuesday, August 11: 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, D)
Day 10. Wednesday, August 12: Prague
Today visit the Loreto House, a Marian pilgrimage site with the Baroque Church of the Nativity and a replica of the Holy House of Loreto. Continue to 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, dinner is on your own. (BB)
Day 11. Thursday, August 13: Prague
Begin the day’s sightseeing with a visit to the Premonstratentian 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 12. Friday, August 14: Homebound flight
Transfer to Prague’s airport for flight back to the USA.
Buffet Breakfast (BB); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For questions or more trip information, please contact Rita Filohoski, Group Coordinator, at (570) 765-9201 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Catholic Heritage Tours.