Oberammergau & Poland
The Passion Play
September 24th to october 3rd 2020
(10 days & 8 nights)
Accompanied by Deacon Brian Cordeiro & Father Raymond Lafontaine
Episcopal Vicar – English sector
Regular price: 4699$
Every 10 years, half of the village crowd the scene of this open-air theater.
This pilgrimage will take in a short stay at Munich and « The Passion Play » at Oberammergau (takes place only every 10 years) in Germany and then proceed to see many important pilgrimage and cultural sites in Poland. It will visit historic Krakow and its Jewish sector, the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Salt Mine of Wieliczka (a UNESCO patrimonial site), the Sanctuary of Sister Faustina (devotion to the Divine Mercy) and Our Lady of Czestochowa and also the city of Warsaw. The pilgrimage will be accompanied by two pastoral animators: Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, episcopal vicar for the English sector in Montréal, and Deacon Brian Cordeiro (the organiser of this pilgrimage). It will also have a guide from Spiritours and a national guide from Poland. This pilgrimage will be a life-changing experience for its pilgrims and a way of forming long-lasting friendships.
Since 1634, it is in the heart of the Bavarian Alps that the small village of Oberammergau organizes every 10 years the impressive spectacle “the Game of the Passion”. The story goes that in 1633 many people of the village succumbed to the plague. Survivors have vowed to regularly organize the Passion Games. They hoped that by this oath no one would die of this epidemic in the village. Thus every 10 years, half of the village crowd the scene of this open-air theater. In addition to the Passion Games, Oberammergau is also famous for wood carving, the picturesque frescoes that decorate the facades and the crucifix sculptors (whose fame is worldwide !!) with mainly Christian works.
HIGHLIGHTS & KEY MOMENTS
- Moment of meditation in the Auschwitz-Birkenau deportation camp and Mass in the Prayer and Dialogue Center near the camp
- The “Passion Play” ONLY EVERY 10 YEARS!!!!
- Visit of the birthplace of John Paul II
- Visit of the Wieliczka Salt Mine registered on UNESCO’s List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites.
- Meeting with the Sisters at the sanctuary of the Divine Mercy of Lagiewniki (St-Faustina)
- Sharing time with the Polish people at the Czestochowa sanctuary
Deacon Brian Cordeiro (Spiritual leader)
Deacon Brian Cordeiro has already led three very successful pilgrimages to the Holy Land (In the Footsteps of Jesus, November 2015), to Italy (Treasures of Italy in the Year of Mercy, October 2016) and Portugal, Spain, France (October 2018). Those pilgrimages had over 40 pilgrims each, who became a community during the pilgrimage and still continue to meet and enjoy each other’s friendship to this day. FAITH leading to FRIENDSHIP which in turn leads to DEEPER FAITH is how Deacon Brian sees this work of God during pilgrimages and beyond.
Deacon Brian is a CPA (Illinois, USA) and the Associate Finance Director of the Archdiocese of Montreal. He also has a master’s in theology. He serves as one of the permanent deacons at St. Luke’s Catholic Parish, which is a parish offering Masses and services in English, French and Spanish. He expects, with God’s grace, that this pilgrimage will be another excellent opportunity for pilgrims of all backgrounds to grow in their faith while exploring the beauty and spiritual treasures of these countries.
Father Raymond Lafontaine, Episcopal Vicar (Spiritual leader)
Father Raymond Lafontaine has been a priest at the Archdiocese of Montreal since 1991. He was appointed Episcopal Vicar for the English-speaking faithful and Director of the Office for English Pastoral Services by his Exc. Mgr. Christian Lépine. After undergraduate studies at McGill in Mathematics, and a brief career as an actuary, he entered St. Paul’s University Seminary in Ottawa in 1986. He then pursued graduate studies in moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, receiving his licentiate in 1997 and his doctorate in 2001. As well as being a parish priest at St. Monica’s Parish in N.D.G., Fr. Raymond is a member of the part-time faculty in the department of Theological Studies at Concordia and teaches at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal. Finally, Father Ray is passionate about incorporating music, film, Ignatian spirituality, and social analysis into his teaching and pastoral ministry.
Meeting at P.E. Trudeau Airport in Montreal. International flight between Montreal and Munich. (Lufthansa or equivalent). Night flight with dinner included on board.
Arrival in Munich. Welcome by your Spiritours bilingual guide at the airport in Munich, capital of Bavaria. Guided tour of Munich visiting the church of Saint Michael with its gigantic barrel vault. Here is buried King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Then the Frauenkirche church whose two cupola towers are the symbol of Munich!!! At noon we will be sure to watch the show on Marienplatz, the heart of the city! Here Germany’s biggest carillon and his figurines come alive for eight minutes. Our meal break will surely be at the Viktualienmarkt (food market), the “belly of Munich”. Every day, merchants spread a multitude of local specialties and the world over. In the afternoon, transfer to Ettal and installation at the hotel & dinner.
Our day begins with a visit of the magnificent Benedictine monastery of Ettal, a masterpiece of Rococo art, founded in the 14th century by St. Louis of Bavaria. Here, let’s discover the life of the Benedictine monks who still live there. Visit and Mass at Ettal Abbey. Stop at the shop for purchases of monastic products (liquors, beers). Back for dinner. Show the Passion of Christ (in 2 acts); 2:30pm – 5:00pm (act 1) supper break (included), 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm (act 2). Night at the hotel.
Transfer to Munich for your flight to Krakow. Installation at the hotel then visit the old city of Krakow, former capital of Poland and city where Karol
Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II studied. The city of medieval charm is centered around the Market Square (the largest in Europe), John Paul II sanctuary, the Notre-Dame Basilica, the belfry. Further on, Wawel Castle, former residence of the Polish kings and the Wawel Cathedral where many Polish kings were crowned and buried. Dinner and night.
This morning visit of the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy of Lagiewniki. It is here that Saint Faustina lived towards the end of her life and is buried in the small cemetery of the monastery. Meeting with the Sisters of the Congregation and mass at the sanctuary. From there, stroll in the Jewish district of Kazimierz, cultural center of the Jewish community that is characterized by the unique and oriental atmosphere (the Old Synagogue, the Remuh Synagogue, the 15th century cemetery). In the afternoon, you leave beautiful Krakow for the sumptuous Wieliczka Salt Mine on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. It is one of the oldest operating establishments in the world, continuously operating since the 13th century. Mass celebrated in one of the underground chapels. Return to Krakow. Dinner and night
This morning, Wadowice, hometown of Karol Wojtyla. On the market square, Basilica of the Presentation of the Virgin where he was baptized. Visit of the birthplace of John Paul II, now transformed into a museum. And mass on the spot. In the afternoon, road to Auschwitz-Birkenau for the visit of the Museum of Deportation of Polish Political Prisoners. It quickly became a key element in the Holocaust plan, the largest concentration camp in Poland. It was built in 1940 as a place of extermination for Jews from all over Europe. Dinner and night.
John Paul II went regularly to the Tatras because he was a hiker emeritus and a passionate skier. Zakopane, located at the foot of the most beautiful Carpathian Mountains, is a mountain-style village with typical houses and a cheerful cemetery. Mass in the sanctuary of the Virgin Fatima. From the top of Gubalowa Hill (access by funicular), grand panorama of the ridges of the Tatras. Free time to enjoy the local craft market. On the way back to Krakow, stop at the village of Chocholow well known for its wooden architecture. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Road to Warsaw with a stop at Czestochowa. Called “Polish Lourdes”, Czestochowa is the most important place of pilgrimage in Poland known for the miraculous icon of the Black Madonna. Every year, thousands of pilgrims walk to the sanctuary. After Mass, visit of the Cathedral of the Holy Family with the Chapel of the Black Virgin, then the Treasury and the Monastery Museum. Free time for meditation. Continuation to Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Dinner and night.
During your walk in the Old Town, you will visit the Saint John Cathedral and then the Holy Cross Church, which houses the heart of Chopin. Your visit to Warsaw would not be complete without going to the place Jozef Piłsudski where the Pope had said in front of 300,000 faithful: “Do not be afraid”. To finish the morning, you will visit the parish of Saint Stanislaus Kostka where is the tomb of the priest Jerzy Popieluszko who was killed by the political police during the time of communism. In the afternoon, you will make an excursion to the small village of Niepokalanow. Martyr of Auschwitz who had given his life for another prisoner of the camp, Father Kolbe was declared Saint by Pope John Paul II. Dinner and night.
Transfer to Warsaw airport. For your return to Montreal.
All prices are based on the current exchange rate as of April 23rd, 2019
Booking price with 35 participants minimum: 4699 $/person(double occ.)
Supplement for single occupancy: +770 $
**According to availability – Limited number**
* Spiritours will not assume the additional costs for the single occupation if pairing is not possible.
**Discount of 50$ per person for payment (deposit + balance) by cheque.
THE PACKAGE INCLUDES
- Montreal / Munich and Warsaw / Montreal return flight on Lufthansa or equivalent
- Flight from Munich to Krakow
- Accommodation for 8 nights in 3-4 stars hotels (based on double occupancy),
- 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) + dinner between the 2 acts during the presentation of the Game of the Passion.
- Comfortable air-controlled bus transportation according to the itinerary,
- Entries and admissions for all the sites mentioned in the program, and tickets for the Passion Play.
- Guided visit of Munich (4 hours)
- The services of two spiritual animators, of a bilingual Spiritours guide for the duration of the pilgrimage and of a local English-speaking Polish guide.
- Luggage manutention (1 per person)
- Taxes (Including airport taxes)
THE PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Travel insurance (see details on next page).
- Meals not mentioned in this “package includes” as well as drinks with meals.
- Tips (estimated at 120 euros per person) and personal expenses.
- Donations to churches and masses offerings.
- Entrance fees that might be charged for pictures or videos, etc.
Deadline for registration
September 30th, 2019 (Or when the maximum number of passengers is reached) – Possibility to register after this date, a supplement could apply.
Please fill out the registration form and send it with a first installment of $ 500 plus the full insurance, if applicable. You must register as soon as possible because places are limited (see below). Travel insurance is strongly recommended, to be paid at the time of the initial payment.
Number of participants
Minimum 35 – Maximum 42
Canadians traveling to Poland and Germany must be in possession of a valid Canadian passport at least three months after the scheduled return date. If the passenger does not have the required documentation, he or she may be denied access by the authorities of the countries visited. All non-Canadian passport holder, it is your responsibility to check with competent authorities.
Travel insurance is undoubtedly a TRANQUILITY of MIND that allows you to live and enjoy your trip. It allows you to face the unexpected without you end up with a financial burden. Travel insurance allows you to travel SAFELY. Did you know that when you go on a group trip with Spiritours, you automatically get 10% off your insurance? Check with your agent for more information.