On Saturday evening of May 17th, Our Lady of Częstochowa, arrived in Her Life Mobile with the fluttering of the Papal, Marian, Polish, and American flags at the seat of the Cistercian Fathers in Willow Springs, IL. The Life Mobile stopped before the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady, the Mother of the Church – the so called “church on a hill.” Our Blessed Mother in Her Icon was surrounded by an escort of several Harley motorcyclists. The welcome ceremony was very solemn.
On Friday evening, May 16th, at 5:00 pm, the Czestochowa Icon, peregrinating across the world in defense of life, stopped to visit at St. Rosalie’s Church in Harwood Heights on the outskirts of Chicago. The Pauline Fathers serving at this parish came out to greet Our Lady; among them was the Reverend Pastor Tadeusz Olzacki OSPPE and Father Bogdan Olzacki OSPPE. The Icon was carried into the church in a procession and placed carefully in the sanctuary on a pedestal covered with a beautifully embroidered lace tablecloth.
The faithful at the Holy Trinity Polish Mission were sad to say good-bye to Our Lady. The Redemptorist Fathers, Fr. Waldemar Wieladek, the pastor of Our Lady of Częstochowa parish in Cicero, together with Fr. Zbigniew Piękos from the Chicago branch of Radio Maria and Fr. Marian Furca came to the Holy Trinity parish to attend the farewell ceremony there, and to escort Our Lady on Her way to their church.
On the evening of May 14th, a delegation from the Church of the Holy Trinity with its pastor, Father Andrzej Maślejak TChr, received the pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa into their care at the farewell ceremony at St. Hyacinth's Church. Assisted by a small motorcade, the Life Mobile took Our Blessed Mother to Holy Trinity Polish Mission in Chicago.
As one of the oldest parishes in Chicago, St. Hyacinth's Basilica Minor had the particular privilege of hosting the Icon of Czestochowa on May 13th, thus on the 97th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal. The Icon arrived in Her Life Mobile, decorated with flowers.
On Monday evening, May 12th, the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa arrived at the Jesuit Millennium Center (JOM). A thunderstorm was approaching and lightning was flashing as Our Lady rode in her new Life Mobile through the streets of Chicago. The rain, however, ceased for a moment so that the welcome ceremony could take place outside at the entrance to the church.
The parish of St. Ladislaus awaited the arrival of the Mother of God in Her Icon of Czestochowa on Sunday evening, May 11th. The church was full. For the first time, the new Life Mobile, made by Chicago's own Polish-American carpenter and sculptor – Jan Slodyczka – rode with Our Lady's Icon through the streets of Chicago and stopped gracefully before the entrance to the church. The Jesuit Fathers greeted the Blessed Virgin Mary Icon with their pastor, Father Mark Janowski, SJ, at the forefront.
On Saturday evening, May 10th, the visit of Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as "Black Madonna," began in the Chicago parishes. The Icon is traveling from parish to parish throughout the Archdiocese, under the honorary chairmanship of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., the Archbishop of Chicago. The visit of the Icon has been organized by Elizabeth Ceisel-Mikowska, the president of the Society of Friends of the
After leaving Life Issues Institute the icon was then brought to St. Gertrude Parish, which is connected to St. Gertrude’s Priory, a formation house for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph. About 400 people came to venerate the Black Madonna, forming long lines formed after the prayer service, which included the exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as a reading from Scripture and a homily by Fr. West.
During Her visit in Cincinnati in the State of Ohio, on May 9th, Our Lady of Częstochowa, peregrinating across the world in defense of human life, stopped at the headquarters of the Life Issues Institute to honor Dr. Jack Willke, the father of the world’s pro-life movement. The Icon was placed in a small chapel, where She was being awaited by Dr. Willke, the invited guests, and the institute workers.