Singer Anna Nuzzo will host pilgrimages to Poland and France this fall. (Submitted photo)

The pilgrims are trickling back to European apparition sites and others of religious significance after a year of being kept away due to the pandemic.

Anna Nuzzo, singer, songwriter, recording artist and member of St. Anne Parish in Pleasant Prairie, is excited to host pilgrimages again through Nativity Pilgrimages. This year, there are two. The first will be in Poland with Fr. Gabriel Scasino OFM Conv. The 10-day tour runs Sept. 4-13. Pilgrims will learn more about St. John Paul the Great and celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Florian in Krakow, where he served as a curate and lived while a university chaplain. Guests will also visit his birthplace in Wadowice and attend Mass at the parish church of his baptism. Individual tours may also include visits to the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp and journeys to other popular sites in central Europe.

Originally, Fr. Benedict La Volpe, rector at Marytown, was supposed to lead the pilgrimage with Nuzzo, but due to new COVID laws, Fr. Scasino will accompany her instead.

“Fr. La Volpe is a non-immigrant resident, and he may not be able to return to the USA if he travels abroad,” said Nuzzo. “So, now he cannot go. Instead, his colleague from Florida is our spiritual leader.”

The pilgrimage includes a complete itinerary that includes round-trip airfare, accommodation in first-class hotels, breakfast and dinner daily, all transportation, daily Mass — all under excellent organizing, leadership and teaching from Nativity pilgrimage expert staff and Guides. In addition, Poland has recently eased travel restrictions from the U.S., requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within Poland.

“We have extended our Poland registration deadline to June 30,” Nuzzo said.

The pilgrimage to France takes place Oct. 18-27. The trip includes a visit to Lourdes, where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young shepherd girl, and a visit to Nevers, where St. Bernadette lived after the apparitions. Also included are visits to Lisieux, home of St. Therese, the Little Flower, the cathedral in Chartres with its impressive stained-glass windows, magnificent Mont St. Michel, the lovely chateaux of the Loire Valley, the Beaches of Normandy and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Also helping to lead the pilgrimage are Fr. Edward Looney and “Miracle Hunter” Michael O’Neill.

“We are accepting registrations for this trip through July 30,” said Nuzzo. “We have room for more pilgrims on both trips. Ideally, we would like there to be around 35 pilgrims, which still allows for empty space on the bus. It is a nice size group for fellowship — not too big. Before COVID, we would have had a lot more registrations as well as some on a waiting list. Right now, we have about 20 available for Poland and less for France. Many are interested but hesitant due to COVID restrictions.”

France recently opened to vaccinated and unvaccinated American travelers. Unvaccinated travelers need to present a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours or a negative antigen test of less than 48 before boarding. Fully vaccinated travelers with a Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Janssen vaccine can enter without the need to undergo tests.

For more information on the pilgrimages: