10am, during Mass (runs approx. 1hr. 15mins.)
Open and free to the public
Veterans, those still serving and their families are encouraged to attend
Unveiling during Mass of Our Lord Blessing a Soldier and a Sailor by parishioner Col. Theodore (Ted) J. Witonski. This secret of Chelsea painting has been covered from sight since 1954 for 59 years!
Installed in 1946 following WWII, it depicts Jesus and angels blessing two praying WWII servicemen. But in 1954, St. Peter’s congregation considered the theme too militaristic, and the painting was covered from view by a curtain.
Works by the trained artist Ted Witonski are included in the collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, Yale Club, The New York Public Library and many other prestigious museums around the country.
The artist was himself a veteran when he painted the St. Peter’s mural, having enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor as a private in the Army. He rose to the rank of Colonel and served until the Nazi surrender. Ted Witonski became a member of St. Peter’s Chelsea immediately after the war.
Special Mass to honor all U.S. Veterans of all faiths and their families