A week before the main celebrations of World Youth Day, The Days in the Dioceses (DID) is a time we were able to spend in selected dioceses of the country that organises the meeting of youth from all around the world. We chose our DID in the Diocese of Sosnowiec in a town called Czeladź in Saint Stanislaus Church.
19th July – Day of arriving
Our 33 hour Journey to Poland was finally over and our Adventures in Poland began.
It was 1:30pm and the first thing when i came out of the plane, Poland greeted me with a gush of cold wind which felt like what you would feel when you’re climbing Mount Kinabalu and it was the best greeting that I’ve first experienced of Poland.
Saint Stanislaus Church is situated at the hill and was grand from the outside and inside.
After having our first meal in Poland in the Parish rectory. We met with our host families who took us into their homes for the whole week and of course i met mine which in time i became so fond of even untill this day.
After supper we went home to our respective host homes. The first thing i did was put my luggage, took a good warm shower which i’ve been longing for and the next was a much-needed sleep.
The interesting thing what i’ve learned in Poland was that the sun sets at 8:30pm and after the journey i’ve slept at 7pm when the sun was still shining and woke up at 5am which i also found out the sunrises at 4 am. at first without looking at the time i thought i’ve only slept for a couple of hour. Technically, i slept with the sun still rising and woke up with the sun still rising.
20th July – Parish Day
Another thing i’ve found very interesting, which i so loved in Poland is their love and preservation of History and Faith and it was very obvious when we were there. For every 5km we’ve traveled in the town or other place, there is either a Church or a Museum at sight or a Museum that is soon to be open or monuments and memorials in commemoration of a historic event.
We visited the Silesian uprisings museum in Świętochłowice, where it show cases on the history of Silesia and what happens when it was divided to other countries due to the WWII. And another Museum on Medieval times in a Castle in Będzin.
Infinity blessed to have the Knights of Columbus guiding us throughout our adventures on Poland, without them we would be lost in the cities of Katowice.
Dziękuję bardzo Wujek Paweł Matyszkiewicz i K of C za to, że się z nami.
21st July – Deanery Day
After the mass we’ve met up with other youths from Czech Republic and Italy who were assigned in the same DID as us.
We’ve visit yet to another Museum: “Saturn” Museum show casing on the history of Czeladz. and also went to “Elektrownia” a modern art gallery where we have our Youth concert which were the opening act.
the concert lasted till 8pm which i was not aware it was evening already due to the sun still shining like it’s 4:30pm.
22nd July – Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Black Madonna in Częstochowa
We began our Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra, Częstochowa where the Shrine of the Black Madonna is at 5:40pm. We took a train from Będzin to Częstochowa and from there onwards we continued our pilgrimage by foot. This is done so because a pilgrimage is not a pilgrimage if you do not walk the far distance.
One of the many things i’ve discovered about Poland and Polish people is the great walking distance they do for a pilgrimage especial to the Shrine of Black Madonna in Jasna Góra which is a long tradition since 1711 they’ve practice mostly in the month of August. Thousands of Poles would go in pilgrim groups to visit Jasna Góra and the average distance for a pilgrim group to travel is about 350 kilometres (217 miles), made in 11 days.
For us WYD Pilgrims we were told to walk 15km, which at first sounds alright if you were to travel by car but to walk the distance was another story.
As we entered the monastery and closer we were to see the image of The Black Madonna the quite i’ve became because this was spiritually important to me. I was about to lay my eyes and encounter the image of Our Lady which the whole country of Poland seen as important and the same image St. Pope John Paul II visited before he became pope (then Cardinal Karol Wojtyła).
The image of Our Lady of Czestochowa gets its nickname “Black Madonna” from the soot residue which discolors the painting as a result of centuries of votive lights and candles burned in front of it.
July 23rd – Oświęcim to Auschwitz Camp & Papal Square Mass
You can read more on my adventures to Auschwitz: The Former German Nazi Concentration Camp. by clicking the link.
The reason why i chose the Auschwitz Camp post as its own blog post is to commemorate the Holocaust victims and is needed more description to explain to you all on such a place.
After the memorial we went on a train ride to Sosowice where we be meeting more youths and to have a mass at the Papal Square. At this point there was so many of us youth i don’t know how many countries were present for the Papal Mass let alone how many we were approximately.
24th July Family Day
Only a couple of days left with my host family till we’ll be going to Krakow. We had a BBQ with other host families and enjoyed each others company. through the days in Dioceses i’ve grew closer to my host family especially to my host father, Wujek Sławek Olejniczak who have been teaching me the Polish language and culture everyday and i thank the Olejniczak family for opening they home to me and which i have made home in them and them in me.
Dziękuję bardzo za otwarcie do domu mnie.
25 July – Day of Departure.
On the last day of being in Czeladz, it was obvious i didn’t want to leave especially departing from the Olejniczak family. However the days of Dioceses has to come to an end and i have to remind myself why i came to Poland for; World Youth Day in Krakow.