Divine Mercy Church new home for first class relic of St. Faustina
A relic of a saint who experienced many visions of Jesus and created the well-known Divine Mercy image has a new home in Divine Mercy Parish in Schuyler.
Father Gerry Gonderinger, pastor, recently received a first class relic of St. Faustina Kowalska from Father Peter Krezalek, a Polish priest serving Nebraska’s Regnum Christi community.
The relic, a bone fragment of the patron of mercy, will be placed next to the monstrance at St. Mary Church, where people participate in perpetual adoration and exposition of the Eucharist, Father Gonderinger said.
To help prepare for the relic, every member of Divine Mercy Parish was given a copy of St. Faustina’s prayer and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, he said.
"I hope that possession of the relic will focus the parish on the spirituality of Divine Mercy, and that this spirituality will become stronger throughout the archdiocese," Father Gonderinger said.
It took months of planning and adjustments to transfer the relic from the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland, which houses the saint’s gravesite, Father Gonderinger said.
The journey began when six Omaha-area women contacted Father Gonderinger about obtaining a first class relic while on a Year of Mercy pilgrimage in June to Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria. With permission from Archbishop George J. Lucas, Father Gonderinger took steps to obtain the relic through the Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow, St. Faustina’s religious order.
The Omaha group – many of whom are members of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha, where Father Gonderinger was founding pastor, and of Regnum Christi, a lay movement of the Legionnaires of Christ – planned to bring the relic home with them. But it wasn’t ready when they were in Poland.
So Father Krezalek asked his mother to bring the relic from Krakow to his ordination in Rome in December – and the priest gave it to Father Gonderinger at an all-school Mass Jan. 27 at St. Stephen the Martyr.