Holy Angels Shrine & the Tomb of Bishop Grutka

In the east transept is the shrine of the Holy Angels. The first Bishop of Gary, Bishop Grutka was laid to rest here in November 1993. The shrine is dedicated to the deceased clergy of the diocese and the deceased members of the parish community. Two books of the Dead are placed there inviting the faithful to pray for the repose of their souls. The Holy Angels are the patrons of the Diocese of Gary and are the servants of the Almighty. They are the ones who lead us to the heavenly Jerusalem and protect us here on earth as we journey to the heavenly promise.

The icon is written in the Ethiopian-Coptic style which developed in the late eighth century. The subject of the icon, the Synaxis of the Holy Angels (also known as the Congregation of the Bodiless Powers) is a traditional iconic subject. Like the Greek style, the Ethiopian-Coptic style portrays the subject from its particular cultural perspective. A reminder of the many and varied expressions of our one faith. The icon is positioned in the shrine not as a piece of “museum” art but as a devotion object to be touched and venerated.

The use of icons in prayer is an ancient spiritual tradition. The icon acts as a window to the divine. It is not venerated as an object but as a holy pathway that leads the one who gazes upon it in prayer to a closer union with Christ. The Christ child is giving the one who gazes upon the image in prayer the Sign of Peace. He is supported by fifteen angels, while below him the six winged seraph await His bidding. The angels tongues appearing in a predominate fashion are a reflection of an ancient gesture of welcome also seen in many Polynesian cultures.