Blogging On Our Way To Poland

Here is where the group will post while they are on the pilgrimage in July! Keep an eye on here to see what they are up to!

The countdown is on!!!


Day 21!! Aug 2, 2016

Warsaw, it was a short but sweet visit. Tomorrow we are off to Canada!


The train to Warsaw — at Hotel Gromada Airport.



The girl with a rose.




Oh look, a Ferris wheel


Warsaw! — with Iryna Lazar, Maria Olenick andSofia Larmour at Hotel Gromada Airport.


Lots of love — with Maria Olenick, Daniel McCoshen, Iryna Lazar, Julian Savaryn, Sofia Larmour, Ivan Simko and Aaron Houghton at Hotel Gromada Airport.



Goodbye Warsaw! — with Maria Olenick, Daniel McCoshen, Iryna Lazar, Julian Savaryn, Sofia Larmour, Ivan Simko and Aaron Houghton at Hotel Gromada Airport.

Day 20!! Aug 1, 2016

No longer a big group as we had to say goodbye to our Chaldean friends as well as Mykhailo, Olesia, Bishop Bryan and Fr.Taras. It isn’t quite the same without you all. Sending our love to all our family and friends! We will be united soon.


Then there were 24. We had 15 eat at the Pino restaurant. — with Taras Kchik, Luba Michno, Zenia Michno, Sofia Larmour, Lesia Anastasia, Daniel McCoshen, Ivan Simko, Aaron Houghton, Maria Olenick, Iryna Lazar, Riane Kandia, Julian Savaryn,Dayna Konopelny and Stephaan Salahub.


Our hotel for the night


Kraków and one of its many castles

Last night together before everyone makes their way back home. We had a wonderful supper with some beautiful toasts. I wish everyone safe travels and many blessings for the future.


with Taras Kchik, Aaron Houghton, Reem Matlak, Maria Olenick, Stephaan Salahub, Marta Aziz, Zenia Michno, Dayna Konopelny, Luba Michno, Julian Savaryn, Iryna Lazar, Erin Dziwenko, Lesia Anastasia, Mykhailo Misha Ozorovych, Riane Kandia, Alix Zello, Sofia Larmour, Daniel McCoshen, Maggie Aziz, Chrystia Sa, Solomiyka Salamaszek, Larissa Samborsky, Beth Mayko andBishop Bryan Bayda at Hotel Perła.


Day 19!! July 31, 2016

Alix ZelloAs WYD comes to a close I would just like to say what an amazing experience I had and with so many great people. Coming together with other youth who are are proud to be catholic and are looking to strengthing their faith is such a beautiful sight to see. Can’t wait for Panama 2019!!!‪#‎proudtobeukrainian‬ ‪#‎proudtobecanadian‬ ‪#‎catholicsrock‬

Sarah’s photos:


Morning mass


We have plenty of water!


With James Whyte.


The next ‪#‎WYD‬! See you there!

Bishop Bryan’s Photos:


Fully vested, umbrellas were a must.


Shaded in the trees.


Where the Holy Father will be seated.


WYD cross


View from the pulpit.


Bishop Albert Thevenot, Archbishop Albert LeGatt and I near the altar.


A meeting we had in Kraków in October 2014 with Cardinal Dziwisz led to Fr Gregory Nazar (Ukr Cath priest serving near Kraków and on my committee) to be appointed to the main WYD organizing committee. One official language of the vent was Ukrainian. Participation in the services with a Ukr Cath deacon resulted. Even more noteworthy, Uliana, one of our Ukrainian volunteers, was among the youth who had lunch with the pope. Tnx Fr Gregory.


5 of the 16 bishops from Ukraine that attended.

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Main altar and pulpit.


WYD cross and icon of Salus Popoli Romani. She is always with the cross.

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First time world youth day prepared vestments for Eastern churches. Priests and bishops.


Praise the Lord! #WYD

Photos from the World Youth Day page:

How beautiful it is to be united in Christ ‪#‎Krakow2016‬‪#‎CampusMisericordiae‬ ‪#‎WYD‬




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Day 18!!! July 30, 2016

Sarah: Saturday morning with the Ukrainian Catholics. I’ve never seen so many Bishops at once! Saturday night vigil was so peaceful and calm. By far my favourite talk by Pope Francis. Made the long trek back to the hotel by walking and taking the tram.


Hot, tired and sore. What a Pilgrimage! — with Alix Zello and Aaron Houghton.


Stopping for a photo opportunity — with Daniel McCoshen.


Another photo opp — with Daniel McCoshen andAlix Zello.


Our final destination!


Liturgy with the Ukrainians and many Bishops — with Bishop Bryan Bayda.


Patriarch Sviatoslav


Bishop Bryan is glowing — with Bishop Bryan Bayda.


Cute little boy up front with the Patriarch


The long food line up and they ran out until 8pm. :(


Camping out with millions of people.


Candle light is the best light

Photos from the World Youth Day page:

Pope Francis blesses the pilgrims and stands in front of the image of Our Lady in reverence ‪#‎CampusMisericordiae‬ ‪#‎WYDVigil‬‪#‎Krakow2016‬



Our CUCP WYD 2016 group is out there somewhere in this amazing crowd of young Catholics!!







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To give you some perspective on the amount of people!13895508_10154042332696284_7899732629054365783_n13886959_10154042367846284_8661321522206040656_n   13903289_10154042332706284_3777647032605476527_n  13906593_10154042367771284_8101894831430717006_n13669072_10154042235131284_6117307445215240217_n


(I’m sure they will have some amazing photos to share with us tomorrow once they have Wifi and a bit of time to share!)

Day 17!! July 29, 2016

Guess who showed up on our last day of Catechesis today? Patriarch Sviatoslav! One of the Ukrainian catholic Metropolitans of Poland also made an appearance. The evening we had stations of the cross with the Pope. Looking forward to seeing the population equivalent of Saskatchewan gather from around the world at Campus Misericordiae tomorrow.

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Met up with the Ukrainians and Waiting in line to get into the church at the castle

Day 16!! July 28, 2016

Day 2 of Catechesis was even better than the first. It was very well attended! The opening gathering for Pope Francis was amazing. Last day of Catechesis tomorrow.



Mykhailo and his brother Roman — with Mykhailo Misha Ozorovych.


Catechesis, eye challenge

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Walk to the tram — with Larissa Samborsky andMillie Schietzsch.



Bishop Bryan Bayda was able to get a descent pic of the Holy Father yesterday after a wonder welcome ceremony.


Pope Francis on the stage in Blonia Park — at Błonia.


Thousands of young people gathered in Blonia Park to welcome Pope Francis — at Błonia.


Pope Francis arriving in Blonia Park — at Błonia.


The World Youth Day icons on the stage in Blonia Park — at Błonia.


There is a Canadian flag in middle of this group of people…wonder if it’s our CUCP group???


Catechism starts small and grows by the end of the talks. Theme: Allow Jesus to touch you with his Mercy. At the Ukrainian parish of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Many joined for a final pic of the morning. Now off to welcome the holy Father at Błonia Park.


Joined by clergy serving in English in the Philippines, in China and Bishop Sebastian Shaw from Pakistan.



His humble way. The pope arriving on a tram to Błonia Park.

Day 15!! July 27, 2016

1st day of Catechesis took place this morning Bishop Bryan. The pope came in at 4pm today and gave his address later after supper in the main square. I was about 100 meters from Pope Francis as I saw his pope mobile drive to his residence. Had compline on the bus with a few Brits. Can’t believe how fast the last week of WYD is going by.

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Fr General Michael Brehl, CSsR Bishop Bayda, Fr Taras and Stephaan Salahub at Redemptorist gathering in Kraków WYD2016


The day we discovered the world loves Canada 🌎♥️ ‪#‎wyd2016‬


Praying with the Pope. #Krakow #StareMiasto#WYD2016 — with, Marianna LozaLida Samborsky and Larissa Samborsky in Kraków, Poland.


Enjoying a coffee and cake at Pieczywo Buczek, Kraków Poland.

Day 14!! July 26, 2016

We had a spiritual experience today with the opening of World Youth Day and we were truly blessed by the rain stopping right before we celebrated our opening mass.

Gives the atmosphere of the WYD 2016 Opening Mass!!

What 1.5 million people gathering from around the world looks like. Such an incredible experience! ‪#‎wyd2016‬ 


Taking the tram to the Canadian gathering — withStephaan Salahub and Maria Olenick.



Tauron Arena



Matt Maher

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With Bishop Bryan Bayda.

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With Aaron Houghton.


Ivan and Aaron caught in the group of singing Italians — with Ivan Simko and Aaron Houghton.

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Here’s a link to watch the opening Mass:


Opening mass with Cardinal Dziwiz


Day 13!! July 25, 2016

Today was a great start to the World Youth week. St.Faustina’s shrine of divine mercy was a wonderful site to see first thing in the morning. We found where our Catechesis would be which is right by the centre square of Kraków. Tomorrow is the main gathering of Canadians in Tauron Arena!


We are Canadian! — with Larissa Samborsky, Erin Dziwenko, Chrystia Sa, Millie Schietzsch, Solomiyka Salamaszek, Aaron Houghton, Dayna Konopelny,Reem Matlak, Iryna Lazar, Julian Savaryn,Mykhailo Misha Ozorovych, Daniel McCoshen, Alix Zello, Sofia Larmour, Zenia Michno, Stephaan Salahub, Luba Michno, Riane Kandia, Maria Olenick, Marta Aziz, Taras Kchik, Ivan Simko andMaggie Aziz.



Catechesis site


St.Faustina’s room.

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Taking the tram


Divine Mercy


Praying the chaplet of divine mercy


Pope John Paul II chapel.



Different meals provided and Food vouchers


Standing in front of yet another statue of Pope John Paul II — with Millie Schietzsch, Chrystia Sa,Larissa Samborsky, Solomiyka Salamaszek, Daniel McCoshen, Aaron Houghton, Maria Olenick, Taras Kchik, Marta Aziz, Stephaan Salahub, Erin Dziwenko, Reem Matlak, Maggie Aziz, Mykhailo Misha Ozorovych, Iryna Lazar, Julian Savaryn,Luba Michno, Ivan Simko, Beth Mayko, Zenia Michno, Riane Kandia, Sofia Larmour, Dayna Konopelny and Alix Zello.


Night scene in the city square of Kraków



Day 11 & 12!! July 23 & 24, 2016

You’ve probably been wondering what has been happening for the past few days in Poland for my lovely group of WYD pilgrims. Friday we visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Saturday and Sunday was the Lemko Vatra festival where we camped out near Gorlice at the children’s camp. Now we’re in Kraków and have already pre-registered!

(They were in the mountains, so no internet connection…and no posting for the last 2 days.  But they have caught us up now!)


near Uscie Gorlickie, Poland



With Millie Schietzsch and Daniel McCoshen.


Meat vendors.


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With Millie Schietzsch and Erin Dziwenko.


Lemko Vatra at night.


Our world youth day bags!


Ukie fest in Poland


Because we’ll never forget the time we thought we were going to a hotel but ended up in the Carpathians for two nights — in Nowice, Walbrzych, Poland.

They have now  just arrived at Junior 2 in the outskirts of Kraków.

Bishop Bryan Bayda‘s updates:


Supper in Krakow: bishop and CHALDEAN pilgrims. We don’t know where the line is anymore between who is Ukrainian and who is CHALDEAN.


Lots of good music, food and dancing.


Roasting in 40 degree heat, pidriasnyk and riasnyk during opening ceremonies.


Beautiful hill country. Attending memorial festival for deported Ukrainians from gorgeous land.


Met with Bishop Volodymyr Yushak of Gdansk-Wroclaw Eparchy to the West. His roots are in these beautiful Galician mountains

Day 10! July 22, 2016

Salt mines near Uscie Gorlickie, Poland


With Erin Dziwenko, Reem Matlak, Aaron Houghton, Bishop Bryan Bayda, Stephaan Salahub,Daniel McCoshen, Maria Olenick, Sofia Larmour,Millie Schietzsch, Iryna Lazar, Maggie Aziz, Ivan Simko, Julian Savaryn, Riane Kandia, Mykhailo Misha Ozorovych, Zenia Michno, Alix Zello, Larissa Samborsky, Marta Aziz and Beth Mayko.


The last supper (carved in salt)



Salt chapel

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PJP II carved out of salt

The stage at Blonia Park is beginning to take shape. Seeing this makes us feel so excited. They cannot wait to welcome you all here in Kraków!!


Day 9! July 21, 2016

Visited- The birth płace, Family Home and Church Where St John -Paul 11 Grew up.


Today we visited the beautiful birthplace of Pope John Paul II. After we walked where many people lost their lives in the concentration camps of Aushwitz-Birkenau. May we remember those like Maximillian Kolbe who volunteered to sacrifice his life to save another in the camp. The world is full of good people.


The museum and house of PJPII


Baptismal font of JP2


The gun that was used to shoot PJPII.

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Not only was it the icon museum…it was also the carriage, polo, and taxidermy museum. You can tell what I enjoyed the most. Dayna in Łańcut, Poland.


Lunch in Wadowice

Day 8! July 20, 2016

Our Eparchial WYD group are in this video at the National Pilgrimage at Zarvanytsia.

There is a great shot of some of the group at Minute 2:11 with Bishop Bryan Bayda!!!           At Minute 3:08 is Bishop Bryan in a group with our Patriarch Sviatoslav and others.               Fr John Sianchuk is giving communion at Minute 6:04



This icon of the Door of Mercy was touched to the original one above and then gifted by Fr Chrystofor Blaszeyetskyy the pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration to Bishop Bryan and the pilgrims

Day 7! July 19, 2016

I am happy to say we are officially in Poland! We are being hosted by the wonderful byzylian sisters and brothers in Przemysyl. We also met some curious youngsters that Alix shared her Canadian bandanas with. She ended up receiving a polish scarf in return. Excited for the rest of the Days of the Diocese/Eparchy.



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Bishop Bryan preached today about finding ourselves in community is unity. And what better way to build community then cook and eat a delicious home cooked meal. Chicken noodle soup, perogies, grilled cheese sandwiches and cucumber salad were on the menu. Yum yum! A home cooked meal eaten by candle light is such a treat!

FYI crossing the border sent very smoothly!

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Day 6! July 18, 2016

The group had a great day in Yaremche and Bukovel. Supper in Ivano-Frankivsk was delicious. Goodbye Ukraine. Hello Poland!

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Baggage Finally Arrived!!!! Midnight, July 17th into July 18th

Bags arrivedddddddd!!!!!!!!!!😀😍 6 days later we have been reunited with our clean clothes!! What a joyful moment.  So happy right now! Goodnight everyone. :) Sweet dreams in our pajamas!!!

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Day 5! July 17, 2016

“Started off our day in Ivano-Frankivsk with the ordination of Vasyl Tymishak to the diaconate at he church. After we had a four course lunch in a restaurant that was actually called Canada just outside of the city. We had time to walk around an look at the shops before we had tea with the Noviciate of Josafata where the Sister Mary of Love played her violin. We met one of the sisters who we sponsored to go to World Youth Day. We also had the pleasure of attending a retreat centre outside of town with a wonderful BBQ supper prepared by one of the Ukrainian priests who is another pilgrim we sponsored to go to World Youth Day.” Sarah Buchko


Here is a photo of us posing with some Ukrainian poets in Ivanov -Frankivsk


The CUCP WYD group was at Ресторан Канада.  Restaurant “Canada” in Ukraine…who We had salad, borsch, potatoes and three different kinds of sausages. And for desert an apple strudel with a scoop of ice cream. So despite the name, the restaurant is very Ukrainian.  We had a 4 course meal there. It was fantastic. We get our luggage tonight at 12am. :) That will be in an hour and 20 min so I’ll take a photo of the group of us with our luggage!!!!

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Дорогі друзі! Хочемо запросити Вас до нас вгості в неділю 17 липня на 9.00 годину на літургію. Її очолить Владика Bishop Bryan Bayda єпископ УГКЦ в Канаді. В часі літургії відбудуться дияконські свячення. Цього Владики у нас ще не було… Він буде у супроводі канадійсько-української молоді, яка їде Кракова на Всесвітній День Молоді. Тому будемо раді бачити і Вас на спільній молитві… Не можна нехтувати запрошенням… Чекаємо на Вас😉😉😉 Приходьте на 8.45… Лягайте спати трошки швидше😉😉😉  Josafat Boyko


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Day 4! July 16, 2016

Made it safely to the Nadiya Hotel in Ivano-Frankivsk after visiting the Univ Holy Dormition Lavra of the Studite Rite and Zarvanytsia.

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Zarvanytsia was so amazing. Thousands of pilgrims walked to this site. The walk back was so luminous with all the candles and singing in the dark.

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Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Zarvanytsia — at Zarvanytsia, Zolochiv Raion.


Praying before the miraculous icon of the Mother of God in Zarvanytsia for he Eparchy of Saskatoon 2016-07-16


Day 3! July 15, 2016

Last day in Lviv. We visited St.George’s Cathedral this morning where we found Andrey Sheptytsky’s tomb. We stopped at Lychakiv Cemeter as well as Shevchenko Hai Ethno Park. We finished the day with “Swan Lake” by the Lviv ballet at the Opera House.

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They even found a car on a roof!

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Only in Lviv, can you go to the Opera House to see Swan Lake the ballet, for under $4.00!

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Some people went shopping this afternoon. Sarah went to an awesome restaurant and had deep fried perogies and chicken sausage!


I am enjoying fresh carrots from the garden in Саджава (Sadzhava) near Ivano Frankivsk where I visited the family of Vasyl Tymishak. I will ordain him Sunday to the diaconate. We are off to Poland Tuesday.

Day 2! July 14, 2016

The group was able to do some site seeing in Lviv today despite one or two of them coming down with the flu. The fun doesn’t stop and neither does the rain.

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The 2nd group finally made it to Lviv!  What a beautiful sky!

Unfortunately the group’s luggage is spending a little more time in the air.

Made it to Lviv

DAY 1! July 13, 2016

Off to a bumpy start for some of the group….part of the group missed their flight to Lviv. They went to Istanbul then to Lviv.  They have been travelling 25 hours (35 hrs before they arrive in Lviv!) without much sleep! “The journey is not quite over for us but we made the best of the extra time spent in Vienna.” (Sarah)  The other group went to Vienna on their 5 hr layover. Prayers for the whole group!

At Vienna International Centre.

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Let the adventure commence! Ukraine/Poland here I come! I can’t wait to meet new people, develop new friendships, strengthen existing friendships and growing in my faith. See everyone in a month :) до побачення! Do widzenia! ‪#‎worldyouthday‬ ‪#‎cantbelievethetimehascome‬


I get to travel with all of these lovely people this summer to World Youth Day in Poland! — with Reem Matlak, Maggie Aziz, Maria Olenick,Jonathan Hrynchyshyn, Aaron Houghton, Ivan Simko, Stephaan Salahub and Daniel McCoshen.

And off they went this morning… Prayers to our young SK pilgrims!
Marlene, Aaron, Bishop Bryan, Ivan, Alix, Sarah, Chris.

June 3-5th: Another great weekend with the pilgrims in preparation for World Youth Day and spending some time together at Camp Oselia.

            sarah,dan,alix       Sask.Group

Pilgrim Hike!Hiking

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Leader Meeting.                                                             Preparing for supper.


May 14, 2016: Having a great weekend at Crystal Lake with the World Youth Day Pilgrims13244839_10153988208540339_8061580472833005363_n 13241233_10153988208545339_3927891176653699731_n

Such a great group photo of the Winnipeg and Sask. pilgrims that are going to World Youth Day. More good times to come!