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Fr. Kerry took a group of St. John students on a Pilgrimage to Poland for ten days to follow the lives of St. JPII, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Faustina. Students learned about the history of Poland, walked where great saints have walked before them and returned home with a deeper appreciation for their Catholic faith. Check out the highlights and a student testimony below!

Chris Waite

All it took for Chris Waite to sign up for the Poland pilgrimage was the name St. John Paul II. Chris’ initial interest in this trip was to visit the hometown of St. John Paul II and to better understand a saint that has been so instrumental in his faith through college. This experience, to walk where JPII walked, not only provided that deeper understanding, but gave him so much more as well. From rafting in the Tatras Mountains to praying at the tombs of saints, this pilgrimage truly strengthened Chris’ faith and reaffirmed what Saint John Paul II once famously said, “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness.” Chris also had a unique encounter when visiting icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Before traveling to Poland, he didn’t know much about it, but he learned that this image of Our Lady and Jesus is said to have been painted by St. Luke from the table of the Holy Family. Once he arrived to the chapel where it was kept, he noticed that many people were approaching it on their knees. Therefore, he did the same and knelt down. “As I approached and stared up at this beautiful painting of our Lord, I could feel the deep grooves in the floor—the same grooves that millions of pilgrims in the past hundreds of years created worshiping the same God," Chris said. “In that moment, I felt so connected with the universal Catholic Church. It was truly a blessing that I will never forget.”