Ron McCrorie is seeking a new home for Josyp Terelya’s Divine Mercy painting that he commissioned from the artist in 2004. Photo courtesy of Ron McCrorie

Wanted: church home for the Divine Mercy

  • December 12, 2015

TORONTO - Roger McCrorie is searching for the perfect home to hang his treasured Josyp Terelya rendition of the Divine Mercy.

McCrorie commissioned the Ukrainian artist, who had a deep devotion to Mary, to paint the Divine Mercy in 2004. It has hung in McCrorie’s Bobcaygeon, Ont., cottage for more than a decade, but the Toronto resident said a private home will not be the painting’s ideal next destination.

“I want to find a new home for it,” said McCrorie. “I don’t want to sell it, I just want to find the right place for it.

“I don’t want it in a private home. It is just a beautiful painting and that isn’t where it belongs any more.”

McCrorie said he’d like to see the framed work of art displayed inside a church. But not just any church will do.

“I go to four or five churches regularly and I’m sure I could go to them with it and they would hang it up in the back hallway or something,” he said. “But I want to find a ... church that is really into the Divine Mercy.”

Ukraine native Fr. Alexander Laschuk, the associate judicial vicar of the Toronto Regional Marriage Tribunal, said Terelya is a “respected ... holy man” who had many passionate followers, Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian alike. He said the painting’s new home must be “somewhere that has a connection to Gospel values.” If not a church he suggested a religious order’s house, a Christian library or a non-profit corporate office.

The painting, about 2.2 metres by 1.4 metres, cost McCrorie $4,000. It has likely increased in value since Terelya’s death, although McCrorie has never had it formally appraised.

Considering Terelya’s Ukrainian heritage and close relationship with the late Bishop Roman Danylak, former bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto, McCrorie said a Ukrainian church would be the best fit.

Terelya held a deep devotion to Mother Mary which he discovered while in prison — somewhere he was frequently due to publicly expressing his Catholic faith in the then communist nation. During two separate incarcerations in a Moscow prison — first in 1970 and again in 1972 — Terelya said he was visited by the Blessed Mother, who told him of his destiny to be a witness to Christ.

While living in the West, including time in Toronto where Terelya met McCrorie, the artist claimed a handful of other appearances by the Blessed Mother, along with some encounters with saints such as St. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, before his death on March 16, 2009.

Although McCrorie has yet to find much interest in the painting, he hopes the search will not take long.

“My hope is that the right person might find this,” said McCrorie. “The answer will come to me just how it all came together in the first place.”

McCrorie can be reached through e-mail at

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