KENOSHA, WI [MW Diocese Communications] -- Members of Saint Nicholas Church gathered with their rector, Priest Stephen Hrycyniak, to bless their parish's "new spiritual treasure" -- an exact replica of the the time-honored Sitka Icon of the Mother of God -- on Sunday, September 2, 2012.
The icon, which measures nearly 20 by 30 inches and is entirely hand-painted with a metal "riza" by an iconographer who wished to remain anonymous, was commissioned and donated by Daniel and Dolores Wojciechowicz.
"Daniel and Dolores love their parish and, as memorial gift in honor of their beloved daughter Mary, who fell asleep in the Lord, they commissioned the icon," said Father Stephen. "Our parish was greatly blessed to have hosted the original Sitka Icon in 2005 when it visited numerous parishes across the US."
Father Stephen added that the Akathistos Hymn to the Mother of God, which has been celebrated before the now-enshrined icon, will be sung monthly.
"To gaze upon the beautiful face of Our Lady is to become enraptured by spiritual beauty, which is a foretaste of heaven," said Father Stephen. "Through her prayers and intercession and in expectant faith, we hope and believe that many people will find some measure of healing, consolation, and deep inner peace as they pray before this holy icon."