Friar Marek WARZECHA, a Polish confrere, has been spending his four-month vacation period traveling by bicycle. He started from his Province’s Delegation in Kakooge, Uganda, around May 1, 2018. From there, he went forth as a “pilgrim of peace” to the Holy Land, Assisi and Rome.
Friar Marek, 52, is from the Province of St. Anthony and Blessed James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow). He has been a missionary priest at his Province’s Delegation in Uganda for the last ten years. This has been the fulfillment of his dream of making a 10,000-kilometer [6214 miles] bicycle journey. He passed through Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Poland.
During his journey, he carried the message of St. Francis across all eighteen countries, meeting many people of every race and religion. His seventeen kilogram bike [37 pounds] was equipped with a satellite navigator, an odometer, a battery charger and everything else he needed, including wine and water to celebrate Mass. During his travels he slept in tents, parishes and various religious institutions. He spent three weeks in prayer and spiritual retreat in the Holy Land and Palestine, visiting all the shrines of Christendom. Visiting Assisi for the first time, he went to the tomb of the Poverello.
In Rome, he was a guest of the Missionary Center and spent three days at the friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe. While touring the eternal city, he visited the tomb of St. Peter.
His mission will end in Poland, where he will participate in several meetings and report on his experience and his travels among the many people he encountered.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, Director of the FIMP Missionary Center