The Diocese of Trenton is excited to announce a pilgrimage to Poland and Prague Jun. 5-14, 2022. The trip, which was originally planned for April of 2020, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 10-day trip will lead the faithful through Czestochowa, Krakow, Auschwitz, Wadowice, the Shrine of Divine Mercy, and Prague, and is directed through The Catholic Journey, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in customized Catholic pilgrimages.

Father Marian Kokorzycki, parochial vicar in St. Dominic Parish, Brick will serve as the pilgrimage’s spiritual director and will celebrate Mass, provide opportunities for Adoration and administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the attendees as they as they journey though Poland and Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

A native of Poland, Father Kokorzycki was ordained there in 1998 and arrived in the Diocese of Trenton in 2007. He was given the title of Honorary Canon of the Chapter of the Cathedral Basilica of Czestochowa by Polish Archbishop Waclaw Depo in 2019.

The pilgrimage begins in Czestochowa, where a guided tour of the Jasna Gora Monastery will offer the opportunity to visit the Basilica of the Holy Cross and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.  One of the highlights of this location is the icon of the Black Madonna, which is housed in the monastery.

Pilgrims will also journey to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in which more than a million people perished. There visitors will not only learn the history of the concentration camp, but will also learn more about the lives of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (née Edith Stein), who faced martyrdom in the camp, and St. Maximillian Kolbe, who gave his life for another prisoner in 1941.

In Wadowice, a visit will be made to St. Pope John Paul II’s childhood home, now a museum, where he  grew up as Karol Wojtyla. Later, pilgrims will visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy where the message of Divine Mercy was given to St. Faustina Kowalska. 

While visiting the Hardacany district of Prague, Mass will be celebrated and visitors will have the chance to see the Stature of the Infant Jesus of Prague.

“This is our first trip since the pandemic and we are excited to be visiting Poland and Prague,” said Carolyn Norbut, associate director of the Office of Worship and director of pilgrimages for the Diocese of Trenton, who also noted the rich faith of the Polish saints.

“They overcame so much and really wanted to focus on the perseverance and their faith,” she said. “We’ve all been challenged so much and while we may not be called to martyrdom like St. Maximillian Kolbe, we are all called to holiness.

“Being in those places where the holy men and women lived and worked is an important component of the pilgrimage,” Norbut continued. “Pilgrimages are very different from sightseeing trips – you still get a feel for the cultural aspect of the trip for sure, but you’re entering in and walking where these holy people lived.  It’s overwhelming.”

Cost for the pilgrimage is $4,330 for double occupancy; single occupancy is an additional $1,050. Trip cost includes round-trip airfare from Newark Liberty International Airport, first-class accommodations, most meals, private motor coach transportation and professional guides. Deadline for the initial $250 non-refundable deposit is Feb. 1, 2022; the full balance must be paid by Mar. 7, 2022.

For more information, including the full pilgrimage itinerary, terms and conditions, see the brochure at https://the-catholic-journey.com/0622trenton or contact Carolyn Norbut at pilgrimages@DioceseofTrenton.org.