Pilgrims meeting Cardinal Dziwisz, secretary to St. John Paul II

UMD Catholic Campus Ministry

Spring 2024 Student Pilgrimage: Poland

“While in Poland, I realized the gift that Jesus gave us in His mother, the Virgin Mary. Mary will bring me closer to Jesus than I could bring myself to Jesus, and since coming back, I have made praying the rosary daily a priority.”

– Charles Maternoski

“The highlight of my time in Poland was encountering God and being awestruck by beauty. The beauty of the mountains and polish towns, the beauty of ornate churches, the beauty of the joy in everyone on the pilgrimage, and the beauty of God working through the lives of those that have loved Him well. Being in places where you are constantly surrounded by signs of God, whether that’s in the 100s of miracles that happened at places we visited or through the example of the lives of saints and seeing how God worked through them is a really beautiful and tangible experience of faith in a way I had never experienced before!”

-Mari Oslem

“My main highlights from the pilgrimage include visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the Jasna Gora Monastery (Our Lady of Czestochowa), and the Shrine of Divine Mercy of Krakow. These sites were impactful, insightful, and helped me grow closer to God. Being from a Polish background, I especially enjoyed experiencing Poland’s culture, eating different foods, viewing the country’s landscape, and seeing the Catholic faith being lived out in the country that my family came from. I loved learning about the history of Poland and Catholicism, learning about the prominent saints of the country, praying in the sacred places, and growing in fellowship.”

– Erik DeSmith

Wawell Castle

Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Tatra Mountains

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