Join our partners for a private pilgrimage in JP2's footsteps

Kraków and Rome Pilgrimage

Walk in the Footsteps of St. John Paul II

Our Newman Partner, St. Patrick – St. Anthony Parish in Grand Haven, MI asked the JP2 Project for a pilgrimage that follows our patron beyond his years in Krakow and to his years as Pope in the eternal city. Limited spots are now available to young adults from anywhere to embark on this journey!

Discover the giant of a man and great saint, Pope Saint John Paul II, by exploring the places that formed him from childhood through his papacy. We will journey through his life, starting in his hometown of Wadowice, then to Kraków where he studied and was ordained, and conclude at his tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Along the way we will visit other sites that greatly influenced his faith, including Częstochowa – Shrine of Jasna Gora, the Divine Mercy Shrine, and a day hike in the Tatra Mountains. 


A Life-Changing Catholic Adventure

This trip is a combination outdoor retreat and pilgrimage for young adults. Each day is filled with deep prayer, beautiful adventure, authentic fellowship, and insights into the lives of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Agnes, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Benedict and many more.

The pilgrimage runs Monday, September 4 – Thursday, September 14, 2023. 

Total Cost: $2,410 per person
(Does not include international airfare)



Inspired by the Saint

This itinerary was inspired by none other than Pope Saint John Paul II! Join us as we walk in his footsteps throughout Kraków, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the Marian Shrine of Częstochowa, hiking in the mountains, and finally, exploring the Vatican and Rome! Inspiring, refreshing, and empowering – let’s pursue sanctity together!

TOB page, bottom middle (christian formation)

Culture and Adventure

Throughout the course of the trip we will learn about the Polish culture, visiting places that formed Karol Wojtyła into JPII the Great, and hike the same mountains he often traversed. Then, get a taste of Italian culture while in Rome, a city full of history and iconic treasures of our Catholic faith.

Hannah Martin 2

Faith & Spirituality

Each day features private Mass and prayer. You’ll find that each excursion has been designed to bring you closer to Christ. Accompanied by our chaplain, Fr. Brian VanFossen, we aim to inspire you to pursue the beautiful life of chastity, holiness and joy even in today’s world, just as Pope John Paul II encouraged us all to live.


Makenzie Conner

Group Leader

Makenzie currently serves as the Pastoral Associate for High School and Young Adult Ministry at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Parish in Grand Haven MI. She studied Theology at Aquinas College including a semester of studying abroad in Rome. Where she fell in love with Poland on a fall break trip. Makenzie then served with Fr. Brian VanFossen in Williamsport for 5 years leading middle school and high school youth. She has a strong devotion to St. John Paul II and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. She enjoys visiting local coffee shops, anything creative and building her own small business Kenzie Co.

Fr. Brian Van Fossen

Group Chaplain

Fr. Brian is the pastor of St. Faustina and Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishes in the Diocese of Scranton.  He has worked with Youth and Young Adult members of the church for many years.  He has also guided pilgrims to Ireland, Poland, Rome and other locations in the United States and Canada.  Two of the most memorable were pilgrimages with young people to St. Joseph Oratory in Canada and Oberammergau in Rome with Marywood University.  He has a great love for teaching and experiencing God in creation and the richness of the Catholic faith.  He is often accompanied by his dog, Stout, but not on international trips.  The chance to travel in the footsteps of St. John Paul the Great from Poland to Rome is a once and a lifetime experience.  With the heart of the Holy Father, to travel with young people, only adds a greater joy!

Explore the World
Venture out into the deep and explore God's incredible creation!
Make Friends
You'll meet other young Catholics and make friends of a lifetime!
Grow in Faith
Everything we do is Christ-centered. Look for Him and you will find Him!
Our goal is that you flourish, becoming everything you want to be!
Have a question?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the cost?

Total cost $2,410 per person includes:

  • All lodging – Krakow: John Paul II ‘Be Not Afraid’ Center & Sanctuary; Rome: TBD
  • All meals – except for 4 lunches or dinners (to allow for free time)
  • All transportation, including airfare from Krakow to Rome
  • All guided tours or museum entry fees
  • Free laundry machines onsite in Krakow

What is not included in the cost?

Flights to and from Poland – flights should be scheduled to arrive in Krakow, Poland on Monday, September 4, and depart from Rome on Thursday, September 14. 

What sites are visited?

Of the many places we will visit, ones of particular interest include:

In Poland:

  • John Paul II’s hometown, Wadowice
  • Old Town Krakow
  • Wawel Royal Cathedral
  • Shrine of Jasna Gora- Czestochowa
  • Hiking in Tatra Mountains
  • Divine Mercy Shrine
  • Sanctuary of John Paul II 
  • Auschwitz- optional
  • Saints footsteps from St. John Paul II, Faustina and Maximillian Kolbe

In Rome:

  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Saint John Lateran Basilica
  • Holy Cross Basilica with relics of the Passion
  • Historic Center
  • Trastevere Area
  • Saints footsteps from St. Agnes, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Benedict and many more