Team visits Kraków ahead of World Youth Day

The WYM Director and Youth Chaplain have been busy in Poland, ahead of our World Youth Day pilgrimage this summer!

Fr David and Phil meeting Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Fr David and Phil meeting Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz

We have now been in Poland for a couple of days and have really covered some ground, landing on Sunday evening and straight into a meeting with Dorota from the World Youth Day International Liaison Team.

Meeting Dorota provided some really useful information that will help us refine our plans for the Summer.

Yesterday morning first thing we had the honour of meeting Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz at the Bishop’s Palace in Kraków. We are grateful to Fr Tomaz, the Cardinal’s Private Secretary, for making us feel so welcome and providing a guided tour of the palace.

On a guided tour
On a guided tour

Of course, this was where Pope John Paul II lived during his time as Archbishop in Kraków.

We also visited the private chapel within the residence where John Paul was ordained a priest and where he took time to write many of his homilies.

As yesterday progressed we took time to meet with the British Consul and this again helped us better understand about a number of organisational issues that we need to keep at the forefront of our thoughts. I found the meeting very interesting but doubt that many others would!

We then headed for the Parish of Jesus, The Good Shepherd where Cardinal Nichols will celebrate our Westminster Pilgrimage Mass during our time in Kraków. This church is adjacent to our accommodation. It was lovely to meet with members of the parish team and share some tea and cake!

It was then a rush back to the city centre to meet Lukas and Anna from the WYD liaison team and for a whistle stop visit to the John Paul II Sanctuary. This remarkable shrine is very close to completion and is stunning – photos really don’t do any justice.

The vestments worn by John Paul II during the failed assassination attempt in 1981
The vestments worn by John Paul II during the failed assassination attempt in 1981

On display within the shrine are the actual vestments worn by Pope John Paul II during the failed assassination attempt in May 1981.

During our time in Poland we will take a Jubilee Pilgrimage and this will involve us walking from the John Paul II sanctuary and to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy. The walk will take about 20 minutes.

Finally, we hopped into a car and took our very own road trip to Łódź.

A further update tomorrow!