Knights present traveling icon of Mary to diocese

After completing a two-year pilgrimage of Knights of Columbus councils throughout Illinois, an icon of Our Lady of Charity will find a permanent home in the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.

The icon, a large framed lithograph that includes a papal blessing and message, was presented as a gift to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and the Diocese of Peoria last Thursday in the chancery offices at the Spalding Pastoral Center.

“Like all dioceses, we in Peoria have a great devotion to Our Lady, and I happen to be familiar with the Our Lady of Charity devotion as well,” said Bishop Jenky. “I’m honored and pleased. We will give it a place of prominence in the Spalding Center.”

Presenting the icon were its owner, Herb Bingham, Knights of Columbus district deputy in the Peoria diocese, and Jim Bednar, state deputy of the Knights of Columbus Illinois State Council.

Bingham’s icon of Our Lady of Charity originally was one of many that had been created for the Marian Prayer Program of the Knights of Columbus.

Six such icons were allocated to the Illinois Knights, one for each of the dioceses in the state. The icons would be carried from council to council for use in Marian prayer services, Bingham said.

In planning the Marian Prayer Program, the Knights of Columbus chose to honor Mary under the title of Our Lady of Charity because of the organization’s great emphasis on works of charity.

At the conclusion of the program, the Illinois State Council selected a knight from each diocese to receive one of the six icons as awards for leadership in membership activity.

Bingham earned it “for two excellent years as district deputy in the Peoria area,” said Bednar.

It’s fitting that the diocese should have the icon, Bingham said, because “it’s not about me; it’s about the Knights of Columbus and our support of the church and closeness to our bishop.”

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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