FIFTY World Youth Day pilgrims across Brisbane gathered at Our Lady of Victories, Bowen Hills, for one of our final formation sessions last week.
The pilgrims participated in Polish Mass, followed by a Q&A session.
The Q&A panel included Bowen Hills parish priest Society of Christ Father Andrzej Kolaczkowski, Brisbane Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland Brian Kilmartin, and Bowen Hills parishioner and official translator for the Brisbane WYD pilgrimage Oliver Bajon.
Here’s the top four things pilgrims need to know when going to Krakow for WYD.
Eating in Poland
Question: During “Days in the Diocese”, what kind of experience and foods can we expect?
Answer: There is a saying in Poland that “a guest in the house is God in the house”, so expect to be very well taken care of. There will most likely be a lot of meals including meat and dumplings. One of the most popular meals is pork schnitzel as well as a traditional dish of bread with lard, which is delicious.
Question: What are some of the differences between the Church in Australia and Poland?
Answer: Be prepared to receive Communion on the tongue as about 95 per cent of locals in Poland receive in this way. Also, when visiting shrines in Poland, it is important to be aware of certain dress codes (ie knee-length shorts).
Question: What will the weather be like in July?
Answer: Summer in Poland is warm and it’s usually 10pm before it gets dark at night. You won’t need to pack a winter jacket, just a light windcheater in case it gets cold.
Question: As many of us do not speak Polish, can we ask passersby for help and if they speak English?
Answer: Yes, definitely, Polish people are very friendly and understanding. A lot of young people will speak English and, due to the intricacies of the Polish language, many Polish people are able to pronounce other languages very well. The other common languages spoken in Poland are Russian, French, German and English.