The most visits of pilgrims during pilgrimage to Katarínka

Sunday 8th April 2018, it is the 19th time that pilgrims and visitors came to the St. Catherine monastery on Octave of Easter. More than 200 people were on the road through the Little-Carpathian woods. They fare forth from the Buková railway station and were awaited by other 300 visitors at Katarínka. There was the bishop Jozef Haľko (from Bratislava archdiocese) who joined the pilgrimage as well.

The newly reestablished Octave of Easter pilgrimage is the traditional event that always takes place one week after the Easter. From 2000, the volunteers out of Katarínka NGO reestablished this tradition after more than 200 years of its inactivity.

The pilgrimage started on with the train arrival to the Buková station and with the organizer’s introduction. The 12km long journey enriched by cast ups filled with the spiritual program, historical facts about the former pilgrimages (that were attended by some thousands of pilgrims) to St. Catherine monastery. The whole journey was held on the beautiful sunshiny day. The climax of the program was the ceremonial Mass that was held in the ruins of the church near Dechtice village. The Mass was attended by more than 500 people. Monsignor Jozef Haľko addressed himself to listeners that they should not be ashamed of their belief and of the belief to Jesus Christ. “Even the most modern-living person longs for nothing more than the love which is spread and given, which comes from within and which makes sense for the whole life.” Altogether with the assistant bishop there were some priests that are enthusiasts for the goal of OZ Katarínka project. The Mass was celebrated by Ondrej Chrvala, Miroslav Kováč, Ľudovít Kubán, Jeusit Martin Halčák, Dominicans Bartolomej Vladimír Hurňanský, Matej Juraj Šulík and Franciscan Zenius Félix-Mária Žiška.

After the Mass the volunteers offered to the visitors the tour with the presentation of historical facts. The outstanding interest was put to the climbing on the tower of the church. Regarding the fact that the tower has its limit the 16 visitor per one visit not all the visitor could see the look-out. The period with every day tour starts at the end of June and will be till September.  Until that time, the tower will be opened occasionally on weekends.

Many visitors enjoyed their time together with their kids and families and prepared their lunch by roasting food.

Pilgrimage to Katarínka – starting the 23rd season

On Sunday, April 23, 2017, more than 100 people walked during the White Sunday pilgrimage to Katarínka monastery. The whole event started at the Buková railway station and people wandered through the woods of the Small Carpathian mountains up to Katarínka.

n the ruins of the church and monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria mass was held at 14 o’clock. It was attended by about 250 visitors. Even despite the cold weather and the wind that accompanied the whole pilgrimage, many enthusiasts came, among whom were adults, children, and also the older generation.

The service was celebrated by the Franciscan Felix M. and the priests concelebrated, Mário B., Miroslav K. from near Dechtice and the Jesuits Martin H. and Ladislav Š.. After the service volunteers were accompanying visitors of Katarínka with their historical interpretation.

Peter H., the founder of the Katarínka project, described this year’s journey as follows: “I think the 18th White Sunday fell very well despite the fact that the whole week before news had reported bad weather. During service we had a nice celebration. We are pleased that many families and also Scouts have come. It was already a classic annual event, and the people were very satisfied, so we are happy too.”

“Bielonedeľná púť” to Katarínka celebrates 15th anniversary

The last April Sunday (27/04/2014) was dedicated to “Bielonedeľná púť”, the traditional one-day pilgrimage to Katarínka on the first Saturday after Easter. The pilgrimage was attended by approximately 140 pilgrims, and about 280 people took part in the following Holy Mass. This day’s mass turned out to be a celebration of both the canonization of John XXIII. and John Paul II. as well as the feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday, which is also called the “White Sunday”, of which the name of the pilgrimage is derived.

The track of the pilgrimage started traditionally at the railway station Buková, from where it continued across Raková and up the forest trail straight to Katarínka.

The pilgrimage was accompanied by short stops with reflections which recalled the meaning of the pilgrimage. The sunny weather, which lasted until the very end, created an agreeable atmosphere throughout the journey.

The Sunday Mass in the ruins of St. Catherine’s Church was celebrated by Branislav “Beren” Popelka, the administrator of the parish of Majcichov. The sermon was delivered by Vladimír Bartolomej Hurňanský (in the picture, distributing the holy communion), a dominican priest and administrator of UPC Zvolen. After the mass, an opportunity arose to have a barbecue, to show the visitors the results of the work and the plans of the volunteers that help here over the summer. Some people were also interested in a guided tour telling the history of this place.

It was the 15th pilgrimage from the time of its modern dating. We were pleased by the biggest turnout so far – probably also thanks to the favourable weather, although it is generally hard to predict weather in April.