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More than 50 parishioners from St Patrick’s Church, Redfield, Bristol, enjoyed a five-day visit to Poland to meet up with a priest who is a regular annual visitor to their parish last week.

Fr Henry Kaluza, a Divine Word Missionary, celebrated his Ruby Jubilee with an invitation to Fr Gregory Grant to join him in festivities in his Polish parish.  Fr Henry first came to St Patrick’s at the invitation of Fr Gregory more than 15 years ago and now spends two months in the summer here.

The trip started when the plane from Bristol landed in Wroclaw in Silesia, followed by a coach trip to the very pretty town of Nysa where the group were welcomed at a centre used for retreats and family visits.

Special moments in the visit included a trip to nearby lakes, and a visit to the Convent of St Charles Borromeo in Wroclaw where Sister Eva led a guided tour.  She started with a small room which has a double glass window into a secluded street where mothers can leave their babies if they cannot cope.  The nuns, trained doctors and nurses, also run mother and baby classes, give advice on conception, and run a home for the elderly.  A tour of the medieval city of Wroclaw included a trip to the Basilica and the old market square.

The next day, the group travelled to Kraków for Mass in the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy San, followed by lunch and a tour of the city of Kraków.  On the way back to Nysa, Fr Henry had arranged one of many ‘surprises’ – driving into a forest for a typical Polish meal in a hunting lodge.

Mass on Saturday was made special by the presence of Fr Henry, Fr Gregory, Fr Aldo Tapparo, Fr Andreas and Deacon Denis Deasey. It was made very special by a visiting Polish choir and soloist.

On their return, the group had many happy memories to share with family and friends.