Divine Mercy parish in Faribault will celebrate its namesake with the dedication of a new organ and icon on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15.
Bishop Lee Piché will lead the dedication service, which begins at noon with a walk through the nature center to the church. Beginning at 1 p.m., Divine Mercy Sunday devotions will begin with adoration, confessions, rosary and veneration of the relic of St. Faustina.
At 3 p.m., Divine Mercy Chaplet will be sung and prayers said for the plenary indulgence. Mass will be concelebrated in English and Spanish by Father Kevin Finnegan, pastor; Father Erik Lundgren, assistant priest; and guest priests.
In 1931, Maria Faustina Kowalska, known as St. Faustina, was a nun, mystic and visionary in Poland, who reported seeing a vision of Jesus, who called her to have a painting made of his image. She wrote in her diary: “I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale.”
Jesus promised that the soul that venerates this image in the chapel and throughout the world will not perish.
Sharon Wilson, a member of Divine Mercy and the archdiocesan Respect Life coordinator, said that the devotion to Divine Mercy is growing and, like all devotions, is meant to bring people closer to God.
“In recent years we have seen people ‘pilgrimage’ to our parish as part of their Divine Mercy devotion,” she said. “Since we are one of the few parishes to be named for this feast, I think it sort of puts our community ‘on the map.’”
The Divine Mercy message also has special meaning to post-abortive women, Wilson said.
“Not only did St. Faustina directly mention in her diary this special reconciliation with God for those who have suffered from an abortion, but the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, Theresa Bonopartis, speaks about how this message helped to bring her to a place of healing,” Wilson said.
Information about the archdiocesan post-abortion program, Project Rachel, is available at (651) 291-4515 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the generous support of a number of parishioners, the Divine Mercy icon was commissioned to be written by Fabio Nones, professor of theology and director of the Laboratorio Santi Martiri, an internationally known iconographic center in Trent, Italy.
In addition, a new organ was created from the components of the organs previously used in St. Lawrence, Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart churches, which make up Divine Mercy parish. The pews from St. Lawrence were used to construct the console and casement around the organ pipes.
The “green” organ was created by Roland Rutz of Rutz Organ Co. at a cost of $260,000 — much less than an estimated $1 million for a new organ.