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Bearcats on the Road

Traveling to Kraków for World Youth Day

Posted by Anastasia Jaeger on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 04:00 PM

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This trip to World Youth Day (WYD) 2016 in Kraków, Poland, seemed to come quite suddenly. I had just gotten back from Rome on May 29. However, college is all about making memories and doing as much as possible. 

I loved how our flights were set up because it was a late-evening flight from Pittsburgh to Paris so it was easy to sleep through it. Then from Paris we connected to Warsaw. Upon arrival in Warsaw, Poland, we met our tour guide. We still needed to wait for another American group to arrive because they were signed up for touring under the same company. We would all be taking the same charter bus for five hours to finally reach Kraków. It was a long, solid 24 hours of travel, but we all made it safely. 

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Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki

The weather here is very similar to that of my home (Ligonier, Pennsylvania). I feel like I'm in Pennsylvania sometimes because there is not too much of a difference. Our very first day we all had breakfast and then met at 8:30 a.m. and were given our meal tickets and WYD backpacks. Then, our tour guides helped us find the Divine Mercy chapel for Saint Faustina and a shrine for Pope John Paul II that he would sometimes visit. There were so many people all day, but especially during the opening Mass. People from all nations came together for a Catholic Mass. It was a great testimony of faith in Jesus, especially from young people who are so crucial to making changes in the broken world we live in now. It brought hope to a good number of people, I think. 

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A salt chandelier in the Salt Mines of Kraków

Today we went to the Salt Mines of Kraków. Salt was once a huge part of this city's economy and it had a beautiful underground church made of salt. Everything was salty! There was even some water at one of the deepest levels of the mine that exhibited characteristics similar to that of the Dead Sea. It was really beautiful. After the heat of yesterday, it was great to be somewhere cooler for much of the day. 

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Shots of the stage Tauron Kraków stadium and the opening Mass ceremony

We are scheduled to go to another catechesis session tomorrow. We’ve gone to one already on this trip. Everyone gathers together in this enormous stadium that celebrities like Justin Bieber and One Direction have sold out. It’s so beautiful because the stadium is filled for Jesus and not for a celebrity. There are speeches and talks about sharing the faith and living the faith. So after our second session, we will get ready to see the Pope and deal with more people than ever! This will be my third time in one year seeing Pope Francis because I saw him in Philadelphia, Rome and now Kraków. I’m looking forward to hearing what the Pope shares with the millions of young people from all over the world! I'm blessed to be here and I’m looking forward to the rest of this trip!

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Topics: World Youth Day, Anastasia Jaegar, Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis, Catholic, Salt Mine, Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Campus Ministry

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In Bearcats on the Road, students chronicle their lives while studying abroad or completing internships away from campus.

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Paige Casario is a junior International Business major with minors in Spanish and Operational Excellence. She is studying Business and Spanish and living with a host family in Sevilla, Spain, for the spring semester. She is very excited for this opportunity and experience and can't wait to venture all over Spain and Europe.

Hi! My name is Nicole Reitz and I’m a junior psychology major at SVC. This spring, I’m studying at Edge Hill University in England.

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Hi! My name is Gianna Boburka. I am an international business major with minors in operational excellence and entrepreneurship. I will be studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, this summer for five weeks. In addition to taking two classes abroad, I will be exploring many different sites around Greece.

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Theresa Thimons is a sophomore majoring in mathematics. She is the proud little sister to nine siblings and aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews. Theresa believes that each encounter she has with another human is an opportunity to better understand the heart of Jesus, as every person is the result of God’s love. In whatever career path she ends up taking, she looks forward to solving problems and hopefully inspiring more people to explore the world of fun that is found in math.

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My name is Sam Geer. I’m from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, and I’m a junior at Saint Vincent. I’m getting my major in Environmental Science and minoring in Public Administration. I’m a work study at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve and am a member of the Benedictine Leadership Studies Program. This summer, I'll be traveling to Bhutan in the Himalayas of Central Asia, home of the bearcat, where I’ll be studying environmental sustainability and Bhutanese culture. 

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Hi! Im Gabrielle Kohl, an avid reader who loves to travel around the world! I love to experience new culture, literature, people and food. I aim to make a positive impact in the lives of people with whom I interact in order to make the world a happier place.

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Hi! My name is Nicole Berry and I am currently a junior studying communication and psychology. I also am minoring in children studies. I am a commuter and currently live in Delmont, PA. I am hoping to graduate in May 2017 and go on to graduate school for my Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctorate.

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Anastasia Jaeger is a junior English education major with a minor in German and a minor in peace and justice. She has always dreamed of being able to travel around the world and is thankful that Saint Vincent College has these opportunities available to students. When she is not at college, she is likely working her part-time job at a local bakery. In the future, she hopes to travel more and do humanitarian work or teach high school students English.