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Coming Home Network International

“Deep in History”

Pilgrimage to Poland

September 2 - 13, 2024

Join us as we travel through Poland, experiencing the beauty and exploring the history of the Catholic Church.

In the fall of 2024, Ken Hensley, Kenny Burchard, and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson will be leading a group on pilgrimage through Poland.

This is a “Deep in History” pilgrimage. Yes, we want to experience the beauty of one of the most historically Catholic countries in the world, its landscape, art, and architecture. We want to explore some of the great cities of Poland, including Warsaw, Czestochowa, Zakopane, and beautiful Krakow. But behind all of this will be a focus on the truth, history, and beauty of the Catholic Church. We will pray and celebrate Mass in some of the most beautiful churches in the world. We will learn about some of the great saints of our faith: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Faustina, St. Edith Stein, and especially Pope St. John Paul II. All three leaders of this pilgrimage, being converts to the Catholic Church with decades of experience behind them as ordained Protestant clergy, bring to their teaching the excitement of those who have found a great treasure hidden in a field and sold everything to buy that field. Please consider joining us! It will be a wonderful time for us to share our stories and forge life-long friendships as we experience the power of Catholic Poland.

Ken Hensley

Director of Pastoral Care, CHNetwork

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson

Patrologist (Early Church Fathers) and CHNetwork Board Member

Kenny Burchard

Director of Development, CHNetwork

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Pilgrimage Itinerary

Day 1 – USA / Warsaw

We depart USA for our overnight flight to Warsaw, Poland. 

Day 2 – Warsaw 

Upon arrival in Warsaw, meet your tour manager, travel to the hotel, and check-in. Depending on flight arrival time we will celebrate Mass at St. James Church where Helena Kowalska (the future St. Faustina) prayed fervently, confessed all that burdened her soul, and asked for the advice of Reverend James Debrowski, which eventually resulted in the saint entering the convent. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 3 – Warsaw 

After breakfast, we celebrate Mass where Helena Kowalska entered the convent, pending confirmation. Following Mass, our group will explore the Old Town, comprised of maze-like cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture that are symbols of Poland’s rebuild following its destruction after World War II. We will visit the Market Square, the Barbican, defense-like structures that have been rebuilt after World War II, and the monument that commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. After lunch on your own, visit the Stanislaw Kostka Church and view a special exhibit dedicated to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, a great personality of the Catholic Church, killed by Communists in 1984. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 4 – Warsaw / Niepokalanow / Czestochowa

After breakfast we check out of our hotel and make our way to the Franciscan Monastery Niepokalanow, the Immaculata City built by Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. This remarkable saint was arrested by the Nazis and died in the starvation bunker at Auschwitz. After lunch on your own, we will depart for Czestochowa, the center of Poland’s religious life and home of the famous icon of the Black Madonna, venerated as the “Queen of Poland” and who has become the country’s national symbol. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel. You may wish to participate in the evening devotions, if available. Dinner and overnight in Czestochowa. (B, D)

Day 5 – Czestochowa / Zakopane

After breakfast, we will visit the world-famous Shrine of Jasna Gora, the hill-top Pauline monastery that houses the 600-year-old Miraculous icon known as the “Black Madonna.” Pope St. John Paul II made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. Tradition has it that this icon was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen, and later enshrined in Poland. We will celebrate Mass at one of the chapels. After lunch, on your own, we will make our way to Zakopane, Poland’s winter Capital in the Tatras mountains and a place close to the heart of St. John Paul II. As a child, he hiked and skied along its trails. As a priest and bishop, he initiated youth activities in the same areas. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and dinner. (B, D)

Day 6 – Zakopane 

After breakfast we will enjoy a funicular ride to the heights of Mt. Gubalowka, subject to final confirmation and favorable weather conditions for a stunning view of the Tatra Mountains and the town of Zakopane. We will also enjoy a panoramic tour of the city and visit the Jaszczorowka Chapel. This architecturally distinct chapel was visited many times by the young Karol Wojtyla. As a young boy, Karol often used the walking paths surrounding the chapel for prayer and reflection. Later we will take a ride on horse carriages through the forest, ending at a wooden hut with “bigos” (national Polish dish) and sausages on bonfire. Time permitting, we will enjoy free time for shopping on Krupowki Street in the local bazaar. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant with a traditional fokelore show. Overnight in Zakopane (B, D).

Day 7 – Zakopane / Krakow

After breakfast and checkout, we depart for Krakow. En route we will stop in Sromowce Nizne to enjoy a raft trip down the Dunajec River through the Pieniny Gorge and along the Polish-Slovak border, one of the greatest tourist attractions in Poland. This serene tour begins at the raft warf in Sromowce Nize and ends 9 miles later in Sczcawnica. The towering cliffs, the gorge’s limestone rock formations, the picturesque mountain scenery, and the colorful river guides make for a wonderful day in a pristine and wild environment. The raft trip lasts up to three hours, depending on the water level of the river. After our ride, we proceed to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 8 – Krakow

After breakfast, we make our way to Wawel Hill where we will tour the Cathedral to see the tombs of St. Stanislaw, St. Hedwig, as well as the final resting place of Polish kings, poets, and national heroes. We will visit the Market Square and the Mariacki Church, famous for its Witt Stwosz wooden altar, followed by the call of the trumpeter from the hejnal. Lunch on your own. The remainder of the day is free to explore and shop on your own. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 9 – Auschwitz / Wadowice / Krakow

After breakfast, transfer to Oswiecim to visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp, pending confirmation and availability, where St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) faced martyrdom and St. Maximilian Kolbe died in the Death Block from starvation after volunteering his life for a fellow prisoner. View the cell that held the Christ-like Maximilian Kolbe, and visit the Martyrdom Museum. This afternoon, we will visit Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope St. John Paul II. While in this small city, we will have an opportunity to visit his childhood home and the church where this beloved saint was baptized and attended Mass as a child. Celebrate Mass at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Return to Krakow for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 10 – Krakow / Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

After breakfast, we travel to Wieliczka to visit the oldest salt mine in Europe, pending confirmation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique place where many generations of Polish miners created an underground world of decorated chapels, including the famous Blessed Kings Chapel, plus other galleries and workings made of salt. After our visit we drive to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska to visit the Sanctuary of the Passion and of the Madonna, visited by Pope St. John Paul II. Dinner and overnight in Krakow (B, D)

Day 11 – Krakow / Lagiewniki

This morning we transfer to the Divine Mercy Center in Lagiewniki and start the day by celebrating Mass. See the Basilica of the Divine Mercy, which was consecrated by Pope St. John Paul II on his last trip to Poland. Visit the convent and Chapel of the Apparitions and see the tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska. We transfer to the nearby “Have No Fear” John Paul II Center to pray in the sanctuary of Pope St. John Paul II, a chapel with relics of the former pope, including a vial of his blood. Lunch on your own. The afternoon will be at leisure before our farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Krakow. (B, D)

Day 12 – Depart for USA

After breakfast, we depart for the airport for our return flight to the U.S. Flight time will dictate today’s schedule (B)

NOTE:  While no changes to this itinerary are anticipated, alterations may become necessary due to schedule confirmations / changes beyond our control.

Cost including airfare from JFK:

$ 5,628 per person, discounted for Cash/Check payment, based on 30 participants, & double occupancy. There will be a 5% surcharge for Credit Card payments.

For those pilgrims who wish to arrange their own international airfare, we have a LAND ONLY price of $4,599 per person Cash/Check; $4,828 with Credit Card. Please discuss this option with Maggie McDaniel before booking your international air! [email protected] or 419-290-8782

Included

  • Round trip air from New York (JFK)
  • 10 Nights’ accommodations
  • Breakfast / Dinner daily
  • English-speaking tour escort/guides throughout
  • Private motorcoach throughout
  • Transfers to and from all international airports for those on group air
  • Entrance fees as noted in the itinerary
  • All tips to tour escorts, guides, and drivers
  • Private Mass arrangements daily (All locations noted pending confirmation
  • Taxes and fuel surcharge (subject to increase 30 days before departure)

Not Included

  • Optional travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Transportation to New York Airport
  • Lunches, except where noted & beverages w/meals
  • Items of personal nature
  • Baggage fees imposed by airlines
  • Any items not specifically mentioned
  • Limited single rooms: call for availability and costs
  • Any/all COVID test(s) that may be required by airlines, departing/arriving country. This may or may not be applicable when our group travels.

For additional information about the content of the tour, you may contact Ken Hensley at [email protected]For additional information about flights, schedules, payment, amenities/accessibility, and other logistical issues, you may contact Maggie McDaniel at [email protected] or 419-290-8782.