Shrine Restoration Update—One Year Later!

Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

Shrine Restoration Update—One Year Later!

  One year ago, the Archdiocese of Chicago conferred property ownership of the Shrine to the Institute of Christ the King in order that this historic landmark church could be rebuilt as a center of Faith and culture for God and His people.

  Since then, a talented and experienced team of engineers, contractors, and architects, under the direction of project manager, Architect Elizabeth Ortner, has been advancing the rebuilding process as quickly as possible with the cooperation of the City of Chicago. Thanks to the goodwill and charity of this expert construction team, well over $500,000 have been saved as extraordinary efforts have been made to keep the costs down.

  Fundraising efforts to date have yielded a total of about $1,800,000, which includes very generous contributions from both donors of the Institute and from the Save the Shrine coalition of friends in the local historic preservation community. Thus, we are joyfully grateful to have raised together about 60% of the funds needed for our Phase 1 goal of $3,000,000. In order to install the new roof on the Shrine and to complete essential masonry repairs before next winter, we are aiming to raise at least $1,200,000 by next fall.

    To help and guide us in this endeavor, the Institute has recently engaged the services of Partners for Sacred Places, a non-profit organization of preservationists and strategists which specializes in fundraising campaigns for historic church congregations. At the Institute’s request, Partners conducted a study last fall on the Shrine’s fundraising potential and made recommendations based on its findings for implementing a fundraising strategy for the Institute involving both Catholic and preservation communities.

    At the present time, Partners team is working closely with the Institute to lay the foundation for an organized capital campaign, while carrying out programs for grant-writing and major donor solicitation. As our campaign structure and process develop under the direction of Partners for Sacred Places in the coming months, Partners will be offering training workshops for the benefit of Shrine faithful and friends who want to take part in the Institute’s fundraising campaign by contributing their input and volunteer efforts as a Shrine family for its success.

    One year later, let us express heartfelt gratitude as a Shrine family to the Divine Providence of God for this remarkable progress. Let us also reiterate our thanks to all Shrine friends local and worldwide for the support of their prayers and charitable contributions. Let us likewise be grateful to our friendly neighbors at First Presbyterian for providing us with their gymnasium as a beautiful spiritual haven during the rebuilding process.

    We invite everyone to join in prayer to St. Joseph, guardian of Christ the Infant King, to obtain all the means necessary to advance the rebuilding project of this landmark church for the benefit of our community and beyond. May the holy builder of Nazareth help and guide each one of us in the various roles we are being called to join in for this Divine Child and for those who love Him!

Rev Canon Matthew Talarico

Rector, Shrine of Christ the King

Provincial Superior of the Institute in the United States