Dear faithful and friends of the Shrine,
This year’s Feast of the Most Holy Rosary marks the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Christ the King’s reception of the Pontifical Rite status by Pope Benedict XVI. As a young community founded in 1990, the Institute was first of Diocesan Rite, dependent upon the Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, Italy. Since October 7, 2008, the Institute is directly under the authority of the Holy See in Rome. This annual Feast of the Holy Rosary is thus a special day of joy for the worldwide family of the Institute.
However, this joyful anniversary day was mixed with sorrow in 2015, when the tragic fire gutted our Shrine home. While we are deeply grateful that no one was injured, the hardships and challenges of these past three years have been as countless thorns to weave a crown. How many lessons in patience, prudence, and charity have schooled us in these past three years!
Because of your persevering prayers and cheerful example, Our Lord has deigned to give us hope in the glorious mysteries to come. Through your generous support and sacrifices, the new roof is now almost complete and much of the masonry of the church has been restored to make its foundational structure now stronger than ever.
This success has not been without adversity. However, the lessons learned will soon help us to have a fresh start with renewed resolve in the 2nd phase of the project, which aims to provide the necessary windows and mechanical systems in order for us to use the church again. Brick by brick and bead by bead, the thorns of patience will bring forth roses of beauty in God’s good time!
On this Feast of the Holy Rosary, let us then be deeply grateful for all of the mysteries—joyful, sorrowful and glorious, which are all opportunities of grace for our earthly pilgrimage through this life. Let us give thanks for one another, because God’s grace has made us the spiritual stones of the Shrine community, and we have been together through thick and thin! Let us ask Mary Immaculate, patroness of the Institute of Christ the King, of the United States of America, and of the Archdiocese of Chicago, for her maternal protection, her guidance and her strength so that we may become the spiritual beads of a living Rosary, doing our part to bring to our difficult world the truth and charity of the Reign of Christ the King.
United with you in the prayer of the Holy Rosary at the foot of the altar, I remain,
Faithfully yours in Christ the King,
Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico
Provincial Superior in the USA