MARIA STEIN – On Sunday Dec. 2, more than 80 children and their families met in the Adoration Chapel at Maria Stein Shrine for a special visit from St. Nicholas. He shared details about his life and how his generosity mirrored that of Jesus’s self-giving. He chronicled the time that he paid the dowry for three young women to get married, calmed a storm thus saving a ship full of men, and gave many gifts anonymously.
Before entering the chapel, the children left their shoes in the hallway and were excited to see St. Nicholas had left treats inside. The day continued with crafts, cookies, hot cocoa and a special appearance by artist Tim Langenderfer, who hand-painted a portrait of St. Nicholas and the children enjoyed watching their beloved saint come to life on canvas. Langenderfer then gave the painting away as a door prize, as well as a printed copy, to the children in attendance. The winners were Joan Slonkosky (painting) and Brynn and Olivia Miller (print).
“This is one of our most exciting annual events at the Shrine” said Susie Bergman, marketing and public relations director for the Shrine, “Each year it continues to grow and get even better, thanks to our numerous volunteers. In conjunction with the event, we contacted parishes all over Ohio and Indiana and shared our St. Nicholas Coloring Contest with their Religious Education teachers. The teachers use the coloring contest as a way to talk about St. Nicholas’s life and ministry with their students. We were excited to receive entries from nearly 400 children!”
The coloring contest winners were 5 years, Parker King and Jetson Thomas; 6 years, Ashlyn Chalk and Cameron Bodart; 7 years, Kamryn Schroeder and Tyler Homan; 8 years, Elizabeth Grieshop and Jackson Hoenie; 9 years, Lilly Walke and Will Rethman; 10 years, Elli Stammen and Caleb Westerheidi; 11 years, Payton DeMange and Avery Stachler; and 12 years, Andrew Wuebker and Kelly Thompson. Each child received a children’s nativity set.
The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer and pilgrimage and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history. The Relic Chapel is home to the second largest collection of relics of the saints in the United States.
The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Road in Maria Stein. To learn more about the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics, visit www.mariasteinshrine.org or call 419-925-4532.