This workshop, ' Blessed JPII and the Role of the Family,' will be presented June 10-14 in Houston, TX, at St Michael's Catholic Church. How I would love to attend, but am making my summer trek to England during that time! If you attend and would like to report back on the workshop, please let me know and I will happily post your thoughts here!
"Verily"...a provocative new kind of magazine for women...check out this article about Dr Brill, real life rocket scientist! - "Dr Brill and Equal Ledes For All"
This page from a Krakow tourist site has a 360 degree video of the crypt, definitely worth a look! The paintings of JPII are of Marian shrines significant to him, and the central altar contains a relic- a vial of his blood.
This is the entrance to the sisters' chapel. We stayed in a guest house very near to this chapel the first few nights of our pilgrimage in Krakow. The photo below is an inside look at the chapel. St Faustina's relics are below the picture of the Divine Mercy on the left.
The chapel has a constant flow of visitors, including school groups of even very little ones! It was so lovely to see them praying quietly and reverently.
In addition to the new JPII Center, this chapel was one of my favorite places of the pilgrimage.
Here is an outside shot of the JPII Center. I found it interesting that there would be lovely painting-like images on the exterior of the building.
A brochure about the Center says that it 'guards, preserves and intensifies the papal legacy...as well as promote the values by which Blessed JPII lived and of which he taught.' The JPII Prayer School, and the Sursum Corda New Evangelization School are under the auspices of the Center, and is also home to the JPII Institute of Intercultural Dialogue.
Continuing with our visit to the JPII Center, this is one of the many side chapels in the crypt and the only one really completed at the time of our visit.
The image below is probably a familiar one; JPII's crosier located in the same area as his tombstone and relic.
I wish I had been able to spend more time in this place, it was one of my favorite places of the entire pilgrimage.
The crypt church in the JPII Center is very beautiful, as you can see from the above photo. The photo to the left is a side chapel that contains the original tombstone of JPII that had been in Rome. Our priest-guide Fr Jarek, explained that with JP's beatification, a new tombstone was produced but the Center was given the original. Sitting on top of the tombstone is a relic of JPII, a vial of his blood (which never congealed, by the way). For me, this was one of the more moving experiences of the pilgrimage...to see this beautiful facility being erected in his honor as well as feeling his presence there very powerfully, especially in prayer.
A quote from Cardinal Dziwisz about the Center: "May Krakow's John Paul II Center be a place of faith, cultivation and merciful love. May it strengthen unity between people and nation. May the spirit of John Paul II prevail here; the spirit of respect toward humanity, the spirit of openness and of determination in building a civilization of love and in shaping sensitivity and a vision of mercy."
As I mentioned in my previous post, a new facility is being erected not far from the Divine Mercy Sanctuary, the "Be Not Afraid!" JPII Centre. Cardinal Dziwisz inaugurated the construction of the Centre in 2008. This famous quote from JPII on the day of his inauguration is the inspiration for the centre: "Be not afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ! To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilisation and development. Be not afraid!" The mission of the centre is to create a living memory of the person and works of John Paul.
I'd like to share photos & memories of my incredibly blessed time in Poland, beginning with St. Faustina's convent, also now the site of the beautiful shrine you see here. The Divine Mercy Sanctuary was consecrated by JPII in 2002. Two million pilgrims visit each year.
Convent of the Sisters
The convent where St. Faustina lived, the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. It was here that she received so many of her revelations from Jesus. Please take the time to read the 'Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska,' it is absolutely marvelous, I cannot recommend it highly enough!
A young JPII (Karol) would frequently stop in at the convent to pray in the chapel on his way to work at the stone quarry, only a mile or so beyond the grounds of the convent. At the former site of this quarry, a new facility is going up, the John Paul II Center. We were able to visit the sanctuary there, a truly magnificent place! Photos and more to follow.
Sorry for the long delay! My last post in June was about my new job, and lots has happened since then. I changed cities for work, was away in England and Poland for about a month and then started work almost as soon as I arrived in the US. So now after 6 weeks of school, I finally feel I have some breathing space to write.
The girls are really lovely at my school - very sweet, earnest, hard-working. I am quite enjoying my work with them.
My European trip was beyond all my expectations. My time in England was very blessed, and I had a fantastic time there- thanks Helen and David for your hospitality! The photo is of myself and godchild, son of Helen and David.
I may have mentioned that my Poland trip was actually a pilgrimage, 'Following in the footsteps of JPII." That was so grace filled that I am still buzzing about it! I hope to take you through it in more detail in subsequent posts. Thanks for reading and please stop by again!