On October 29, 2016, the John Paul II Foundation Chicago Chapter hosted at the St. Ferdinand Church His Eminency Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal came with Prelate Sławomir Śledziewski, his personal secretary and Rev. Walter (Ted) Oxley who works for the congregation to bless the figure of St. John Paul II. The figure was donated by Teodozja and Jerzy Fey, members of the Chicago Chapter. The figure was placed in the garden of the Virgin Mary at the Parish of St. Ferdinand. It was made of bronze and cooper by Karol Badyna, artist-sculptor from Krakow. The figure depicts the Pope sitting on the bench and praying Rosary. Next to the Pope there is a place to sit, pray, meditate about his teachings; remember about his intercession. Upon the blessing and solemn mass which was celebrated by Polonia’s priests, a banquet was held to honor the distinguished Guest from Vatican and which was prepared by the Chicago Chapter.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller at the day of the John Paul II figure blessing said:
“We are gathering at the Eucharist, over here, at the St. Ferdinand parish in Chicago, in the Year of Mercy, on the occasion of the blessing of the figure of the intercessor of the mercy-saint John Paul II…I am so happy that I was able to come to you, to the St. Ferdinand parish, from Rome, from Vatican, where your beloved Countryman was providing Peter’s service in our times for more than twenty-six years. He was the witness of the mercy, beside saint Faustina, who wanted to bring even closer to the world this truth …The message about Divine Mercy was always very dear and close to John Paul II. It was written in his entire pontificate as the golden thread of grace. Through his testimony of life, he was demonstrating the need of the modern world for Divine Mercy! It seem that on all continents, from the deepest parts of the people’s suffering a plea for mercy is upraising. In places where dominates hatred and a desire for revenge, where war is brining pain and death of innocent people, there is a need for grace of mercy which will palliate people’s minds, hearts, and will bring peace. In places where there is no respect for life and human dignity, there is a need for God’s merciful love in light of which unspeakable worth of each human existence is revealed. There is a need for mercy, so each injustice in the world could end in the light of truth”
At the end the Cardinal called for a prayer: “Through the intercession of Saint John Paul II let us ask God for graces for us, our loved ones, people who are sick and suffering; for your entire parish and the John Paul II Foundation, for all people of good-will who are every day trying to live in merciful love!”