ALLOUEZ — The Compass will sponsor a 12-day pilgrimage to Hungary and Poland next May. Some of the trip’s highlights include visits to the Shrine of Mariaremete, near Budapest, and the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, Poland. Other stops include Wadowice, Poland, birthplace of St. John Paul II and Auschwitz, Poland, site of the World War II Nazi concentration camp.
Fr. Ryan Krueger, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Sturgeon Bay, will lead the pilgrimage. Pilgrims will depart from Green Bay by bus for Chicago on Monday, May 2, and return on Friday, May 13.
“Poland is the birthplace of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Maximian Kolbe, who became great saints in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable,” said Fr. Krueger. “Poland and Hungary are two places in Europe where the faith has remained strong, despite persecution and communism. To be able to see that vibrant faith firsthand is something special.”
Among the daily highlights of the pilgrimage (brochure):
May 3: Arrive in Budapest and travel by motorcoach to Gellert Hill, named after St. Gerard, the first bishop of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was thrown to his death from the hill. A visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica follows, where Mass will be celebrated. The day ends with hotel check-in and dinner.
May 4: Pilgrims will spend the day sightseeing Budapest’s landmarks. Mass will be celebrated at St. Matthias Church, also known as “the Church of Our Lady.” The original church was founded by St. Stephen of Hungary in 1015 and was destroyed by the Mongols in 1241. The current church was constructed in the 13th century. A highlight today will be our dinner cruise on the Danube River, enjoying the sites of the city along the way.
May 5: Following breakfast, the group will visit the Marian Shrine of Mariaremete in Budapest for Mass. The shrine houses an image of the Blessed Mother, which became a pilgrimage site after a blind woman regained her sight around 1800. St. John Paul II once prayed at the site. The day concludes with dinner and a traditional Hungarian puszta horse show.
May 6: Pilgrims will depart Hungary and travel to Krakow, Poland. The first stop is Lagiewniki, where the group visits the Shrine of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina’s convent chapel, which houses the saint’s tomb. An opportunity to pray at the Chapel of Divine Mercy will follow, as well as a visit to the St. John Paul II Center. The group will arrive in Krakow, check into their hotel and enjoy dinner.
May 7: Following breakfast, pilgrims will tour Krakow, including a visit to Wawel Cathedral, where Karol Wojtyla was ordained as archbishop of Krakow. Mass may be celebrated at St. Leonard crypt, where St. John Paul II celebrated his first Mass. Other sites to visit will include the Royal Castle, Market Square and St. Mary’s Basilica.
In the afternoon, the group will travel to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in nearby O?wi?cim, where they will learn about the atrocities that took place here during World War II, as well as the exemplary lives of St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). The day ends with dinner in Krakow.
May 8: A visit to Wadowice, birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) is the highlight of this day. Mass may be celebrated at the Wadowice Basilica, followed by a guided tour of the St. John Paul II Museum and free time for lunch. The group then departs for the salt mines of Wieliczka, which features many religious sculptures carved in salt. Upon return to the hotel in Krakow, pilgrims will enjoy dinner on their own.
May 9: Pilgrims will travel to the Zakopane area of Slovakia, where they visit and pray at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima. Mass, requested at the church, which was built in thanksgiving to Our Lady of Fatima for saving the life of St. John Paul II from an assassin’s bullet on May 13, 1981. Time is set aside for lunch and shopping at a local bazaar. The group returns to Krakow for dinner.
May 10: Following breakfast, pilgrims bid farewell to Krakow and depart for Czestochowa, home of Poland’s most famous Marian shrine. A guided tour of the Black Madonna Shrine is followed by Mass at Jasna Gora, home of the Black Madonna, icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The group then checks into their hotel for a one-night stay and free time, followed by dinner at the hotel.
May 11: Pilgrims will visit Niepokalanow, known as “the City of the Immaculate,” where St. Maximilian Kolbe founded a monastery in 1927. Mass will be celebrated here, followed by a guided tour of Niepokalanow and our journey to Warsaw for a two-night stay.
May 12: A tour of Poland’s capital city will take place after breakfast. Sites include the Old Town, Market Square, Warsaw Jewish Quarters, Ghetto Monument and the Uprising Museum. The group then celebrates Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where the tomb of Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko is located. The group returns to the hotel for a farewell dinner before the next day’s departure home.
May 13: After breakfast, the group travels to Mother of Mercy Convent, where St. Faustina entered the order while she lived in Warsaw. The group will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, celebrate Mass and then journey to the airport for our return home.
Cost for this pilgrimage is $4,250 per person if paid before Nov. 13, 2021. This includes hotels, double occupancy, tips and most breakfasts and dinners. An optional roundtrip coach bus is available from Green Bay to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago for an additional $100.