a Pilgrimage Chaplain
Bro. Bo Sanchez
September 23, 2024
Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary
Grab the opportunity to visit five of Europe’s most beautiful countries and see this rare combination of Eastern Europe’s most intriguing cities: Budapest, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, and more. Be blessed by the powerful graces of the great Shrines of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki and the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Join a 14-day Pilgrimage to Eastern Europe (Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary) with a Pilgrimage Chaplain led by Bro. Bo Sanchez on September 23 – October 6, 2024.
Begin your pilgrimage with a 3-night stay in the charming city of Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Visit the Baroque Church of the Nativity, a Marian pilgrimage site and replica of the Holy House of Loreto in Italy. This Loreto treasure houses a rare collection of liturgical objects and other votive gifts from the 16th to 18th centuries, the most famous of which is the “Prague Sun,” a monstrance encrusted with 6,222 diamonds. Celebrate Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Victorious, which houses the original image of the Sto. Nino del Praga.
Retrace the places and graces of Pope St. John Paul II on your visit to his hometown, Wadowice in Poland. Take a guided tour of the Pope’s Family Home, now a museum. Across the house is the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Sacrifice, where Karol Wojtyla was baptized and served as an altar boy. Head for the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, home to the beloved icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. A very famous painting of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus, legend has it that this was painted by St. Luke on a piece of cedar tabletop built by St. Joseph.
Next stop is Lagiewniki to visit the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. At the heart of the shrine stands the chapel where the miraculous image of the Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina are found. Head for Krakow and visit its postcard perfect Old Town, which comes complete with Europe’s largest medieval market square and a fairytale castle overlooking the river.
Continue your pilgrimage to Slovakia for a sightseeing tour of Banska Stiavnica, one of the best preserved old royal towns in Slovakia with historical gold and silver mines dating back to the 17th century. Take a short drive to the neighboring village of St. Anton to visit the manor house of Antol, the former summer residence of the Bulgarian Tsar, Ferdinand Coburg. Celebrate Mass at the Chapel of the Manor.
Depart Slovakia and drive to the city of Esztergom in Hungary, believed to be the birthplace of the first Hungarian King and Saint, Stephen I. Visit the Esztergom Basilica, also known as the Primatial Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Adalbert, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest and the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary.
Spend two nights in Budapest, the capital and most populous city of Hungary. Often described as the “Little Paris of Middle Europe,” Budapest is ranked as “the world’s second-best city” and Europe’s 7th most idyllic place to live. Budapest is famous for its monuments reflecting its 1,000 year old culture. The capital has two sides, Buda and Pest, stretching along the banks of the Danube, representing two different characters of the city. En route to Vienna, stop at Mariaremete to celebrate mass at the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The shrine houses an image of the Blessed Mother placed there by a woman, which became a pilgrimage site after a blind woman regained her sight around 1800. St. John Paul II once prayed at the site.
Wind down your pilgrimage in Vienna, the capital city of Austria. Not to be missed is a drive around Vienna’s Ringstrasse, the most beautiful boulevard in the world and home to many of Vienna’s best-known sights.
Embark on a 14-day Pilgrimage to Eastern Europe (Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary) with a Pilgrimage Chaplain led by best-selling author and renowned preacher, Bro. Bo Sanchez, on September 23 – October 6, 2024. This unforgettable pilgrimage promises to be a encounter with history, culture and prayer in the most significant devotion centers of Eastern Europe.
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is the 9th most populous capital city in the European Union. Completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II,...Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is the 9th most populous capital city in the European Union.
Completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, the city managed to lift itself from the ashes. In 2012, Warsaw was ranked as the 32nd most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It was also ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, Warsaw is considered an Alpha-global city, a major international tourist destination and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Unusually for a European city, Warsaw has a prominent skyline with many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in the city center. Warsaw is one of only a few cities in the European Union that have such a skyline, together with Frankfurt, London and Paris.
Brochow is a city in Mazovia, Poland well known for its church where Chopin was baptized. The Church of St. Roch and St. John the Baptist is one of the...
Brochow is a city in Mazovia, Poland well known for its church where Chopin was baptized. The Church of St. Roch and St. John the Baptist is one of the oldest and most intriguing temples in Masovia. Built in Mazovian Gothic style in the 16th century, the defensive church also resembles a castle. In 1806, Frederic Chopin’s parents were wed here and the composer’s birth certificate is still kept in the church.
Niepokalanow monastery (so called City of the Immaculate Mother of God) is a Roman Catholic religious community in Teresin (42 km to the west of Warsaw), Poland founded in 1927...Niepokalanow
Niepokalanow monastery (so called City of the Immaculate Mother of God) is a Roman Catholic religious community in Teresin (42 km to the west of Warsaw), Poland founded in 1927 by Friar Maximilian Kolbe, who was later canonized as a saint-martyr.
Niepokalanow became an important focus for pilgrimages, thanks to an event that occurred during the war – Maximilian Kolbe was arrested by the Nazis and died in Auschwitz, giving his life for the life of another prisoner.
In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited the church and the monastery of Niepokalanow bringing worldwide attention to the place. Pope John Paul II called the monastery a “heroic place where St. Maximilian lived and the environment of the Immaculate.”
Czestochowa is a city in southern Poland. The city is known for the famous Pauline monastery of Jasna Gora, the holiest place in Poland and one of the world’s most...Czestochowa
Czestochowa is a city in southern Poland. The city is known for the famous Pauline monastery of Jasna Gora, the holiest place in Poland and one of the world’s most important pilgrimage destinations.
The Jasna Gora Monastery is home to the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The faithful has believed for ages that St. Luke the Evangelist himself painted the divine icon on a tabletop from the Holy Family’s house. Over the last half-millennium a great number of them have had their prayers heard. The monastery is also the national shrine of Poland and the center of Polish Catholicism.
Krakow is not only an historic and visual gem, it is Poland’s second largest city. It is one of the most culturally and politically significant cities in Poland. It was...Krakow
Krakow is not only an historic and visual gem, it is Poland’s second largest city. It is one of the most culturally and politically significant cities in Poland. It was the central site of the Nazi General Government during WWII.
Krakow, the old royal capital, is acclaimed for its many precious architectural monuments and a unique friendly atmosphere. Its historic center, which includes the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, was included in the first of its kind on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978.
Krakow is home to several universities, including the world famous Jagiellonian University founded in 1364. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe. Krakow’s Main Market Square, or Rynek, is the largest medieval market square in Europe.
Another claim to fame for Krakow is its former archbishop, Karol Wojtyla, who went to become the late St. John Paul II.
The Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków, Poland is a Roman Catholic basilica dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion, as the resting place of Saint Faustina Kowalska, canonized on April 30,...Łagiewniki
The Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków, Poland is a Roman Catholic basilica dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion, as the resting place of Saint Faustina Kowalska, canonized on April 30, 2000.
The new basilica was built between 1999–2002, and is located in the District of Łagiewniki at św. Faustyny street. Two Popes have visited the shrine and millions of pilgrims from around the world continue to visit it every year.
Wadowice, small city of about 20,000 some 30 miles southwest of Krakow, has got international recognition as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla,...Wadowice
Wadowice, small city of about 20,000 some 30 miles southwest of Krakow, has got international recognition as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla, the future Pontiff lived in Wadowice till 1938 when he moved to Krakow to study at its ancient Jagiellonian University. Yet to his last days the late Holy Father remembered fondly his Wadowice youth and places associated with it, the schoolmates, his teachers, and other local folks he had used to know. Also, he tried to include the town, when possible, in his visits to Poland.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously...Wieliczka
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation. Throughout its existence, the Royal mine was run by the Żupy krakowskie Salt Mines. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding.
The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels that have been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The oldest sculptures are augmented by the new carvings by contemporary artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.
The mine is one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments.
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest cities of Central Europe. The magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and...Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest cities of Central Europe.
The magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague’s medieval center remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, and fine dining.
Regarded by many as one of Europe’s most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Vienna and Krakow. Since 1992, the extensive historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture, it is nicknamed “Paris of...Budapest
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture, it is nicknamed “Paris of the East.” The river Danube splits the city approximately in half, with the west side called Buda and the east called Pest. Most of Budapest’s highlights are within easy walking distance of each other and the city center.
In 1987, Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and the Andrassy Avenue.
Esztergom, the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church, is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The Basilica of Esztergom, a masterpiece of Classicism, is the third largest church in...Esztergom
Esztergom, the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church, is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The Basilica of Esztergom, a masterpiece of Classicism, is the third largest church in Europe. Established around 972 AD, Esztergom has always played an important role in Hungary’s history. It was the birth and coronation place of the first Hungarian King, St. Stephen, as well as the capital of Hungary until the 13th century.
Esztergom is often nicknamed as the “City of St. Stephen” and the “Hungarian Rome.”
Vienna is the capital of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. It is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic and...Vienna
Vienna is the capital of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. It is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic and political center.
Vienna is regarded as the “City of Music” because of its musical legacy from the great age of Viennese Classicism. Many notable musicians were born in Vienna, including: Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Falco, Franz Schubert, Gerhard Potuznik, Louie Austen, Arnold Schönberg, and Fritz Kreisler.
The Historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.
The whole pilgrimage is a new and fulfilling moment in my life. It’s a nice feeling being with the Lord in His important day. And also, gaining new friends and becoming my new extended family is something I will treasure. I hope that this is just the beginning and we’ll continue to get in touch with one another despite the distance.Brenda
It was indeed a wonderful Pilgrimage: very rich in history, a thanksgiving of blessings, a spiritual renewal and nourishment, and finally ending in a test of Faith.
Thank you so much Pilgrim Leader, Ging Igual, for standing beside us up to the last stretch of our 13-day journey - more particularly in the handling of an unexpected situation (cancelled flight in Mexico and re-direction of flights to make sure the 38 Pilgrims reach LA for their respective flight bookings). Ging, you were an angel to us so blessed with energy, passion, love and Milagrosa. We really felt the presence of Our Lady of Guadalupe fielding angels every step of the way.
The Pilgrimage to California Mission Churches and Our Lady of Guadalupe gives me personal inspiration for the work and activities of the next chapter of my lifetime: farming with promotion of agriculture for millennials (inspired by the scenic view of farms in California), tourism (which is a major industry in all places we visited), and support for a favourite major seminary in Tagaytay and a scholarship fund for deserving individuals (thru a non stock non profit institution).
Thank you to my Co-Pilgrims and prayer partners for the prayer support, sharing of life experiences and friendships; Fr. Tony, thank you for your spiritual reflections and service; Fr. Jerry Orbos for an overflowing spiritual reflections and enabling us to have the needed personal encounter with Jesus and Mama Mary (it was like a 12-day Holy Retreat); and the Executive Resources for making a very nice pilgrimage package a part of our lifetime.Ms. Emma
Lord, we cannot find words enough to say how grateful we are to You. Our pilgrimage made us realize that Your love for us is more than what we deserve.
To all our co-pilgrims, thank you for making us feel we belong to this new family. To Fr. Dante, thanks for your prayers and pieces of advice for our spiritual nourishment. To Sis Lea, for taking care of each one of us. To Sis Joy, thanks for the contagious joys and laughters.
To our prayer partners, Sis Maribel, Melvy and Didick and Bro Mon and Sis Jot, thank you for your prayers. We will pray for you, too!
To The Pilgrim’s Center - Executive Resources, thank you for accommodating us in this Eastern Europe Pilgrimage.
God bless us all always!Albert and Adee
Dear Pilgrims' Center:
My husband Aldo & I would like to praise & commend our Pilgrim Chaplain Fr. Dante Venus & our Tour Leader Bro. Monty for the very successful & memorable pilgrimage to Italy & the Holy Land we were very fortunate to join on March 26-April 8, 2018.
It was very hectic to be sure, but still they managed our time very well that we were able to visit more places than was promised in the itinerary, and we are very appreciative of that. Likewise, the solemnity of the whole pilgrimage experience was still observed despite many of us in the group, myself included, often forgetting that we were pilgrims & not tourists 😉😉, taking photos, selfies, etc. instead of, or before focusing on what the local guide was explaining or on the scripture readings. I cannot fault us pilgrims on this because for many of us seniors, and I speak for my husband & I, that trip might be our first & last time to visit those places, so we made sure they were properly documented. Nonetheless, it was a truly spiritually uplifting & life-changing experience for us. We continue to thank our Lord for making that experience of a lifetime possible. Indeed, nothing is impossible for God! Thank you very much to Fr. Dante, Bro. Monty & to each of us pilgrims in the group for the prayers, love, care & concern shown to each other. Let us continue to pray for and with each other. It is my hope that we meet each other again soon, to strengthen our bonds of friendships.
Most sincerely, Leclec CabusoraLeclec Cabusora
My husband and I just came back from a wonderful trip to Israel - with Franciscan Fr Reu Galoy. Thank you Pilgrim Center for the arrangements. We are so happy and satisfied with all that you have done for us. Kudos to Yanyan and Monty from Pilgrim Center, and Fr Reu and Ronin for your caring services. It was a spiritual journey and we felt the abiding presence of the Lord all throughout.Ann Arguelles Cortes
Our pilgrimage was worth all the hardships (I was having leg pains). We had an excellent leader in the person of Adrian, two priests Fathers Val and Ron, who gave us very nice pieces of advice and homilies, and of course the members of the group who were all very nice. Looking forward to join another pilgrimage.Emily Bautista
It was the most profound experience I had in my whole life....Walking with the Footsteps where Jesus walked made my life more grateful and humble....My faith become stronger as I express it...A growing faith is a sharing faith....TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! SHALOM!Carmen Nierra
Vir & I would like to express our gratitude for a wonderful pilgrimage we had from Sept 5-18. From checking-in last Sept 5 & all during the tour, we felt the care from a family. No words can ever describe how thankful we are.
I almost cried last Sept 8, (my birthday) when we (2 of us have the same birthday) were given a surprise mini celebration when after our dinner, we were given a cake. I really felt the love of a family then.
All these things made possible because of your capable coordinator Ms. Ging Igual. She's such a wonderful leader. Kudos to her.
Rest assured that i will refer your company to all my friends who are planning to go on pilgrimage .
Good day & may God always guide & protect all of you in the Pilgrims' Center/ Executive Resources, Inc.Cora and Vir Franca
I am honored to be included in this pilgrimage. The Pilgrims' Center has very good itineraries worth remembering. No hours wasted. They took very good care of us in spite of our big number of 47 people. The daily mass and homilies of Fr. Manny Cruz held in different shrines and churches were very inspirational and transforming. Accommodations were nice most especially the one on top of the Mountain with an awesome view built in 1909. It's like travelling back in time. I definitely would want to do it again with Pilgrim Center.Peter Joseph Mapua
The Pilgrims' Center always gives you the best. They let you feel like an Executive in terms of personal service & attention especially during pilgrimage. Their choices of pilgrimages and pilgrim chaplains are outstanding. You go back home very fulfilled and immersed...Marlene Silvestre
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PROCESSING TIME: 15 – 30 days
VISA FEE: Php 7,000.00 *
*Subject to change without prior notice!
1) A US$ 1000.00 deposit is required upon reservation together with a photocopy of a passport (valid for 6 months from date of departure), Pilgrim’s Profile with a passport-size photo, visa, and travel insurance payment.
2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than 30 days before departure date.
3) The following cancellation charges will apply:
> 45 days before departure date – US$ 500.00
> 30 days before departure date – 50% of the Tour Cost
> 20 days prior to departure date – Full tour cost will be forfeited.
> US$ 1000.00 Admin Fee for any visa denial.
BASIC TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: Visa fees and documentation expenses, travel insurance, hospitalization, and other medical expenses, tours and transportation during free periods, porterage of extra pieces of luggage in excess of maximum allocation of one (1) piece of luggage, drinks and beverages taken during meals, items of personal nature such as laundry, telephone, fax, room service and other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary terms and conditions.
THE PILGRIMS’ CENTER by EXECUTIVE RESOURCES, INC. has arranged for the various tour services to be performed under the responsibility of various contractors. The company, its employees or its subagents therefore only act as agents for the contractors providing the various services described in the tour and accept no responsibility or liability in connection with losses or accidental expenses due to delays of schedule, overbooking, defaults or “force majeure”. All tours and arrangements are subject to the general conditions specified by each contractor. Tour itineraries and prices are subject to change without prior notice. When making a tour booking, the passenger acknowledges and accepts the foregoing conditions.