After First Vespers of Laetare Sunday on March 30, 2019, over two hundred people filled the banquet hall as friends of the Institute from five States, joined the canons and oblates stationed at the Institute’s US Provincial Headquarters for the 2019 Benefit Gala to help build our National Shrine of Christ the King.
The evening began with the joyful reunion of many close friends, including many members of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Having greeted those present, our Provincial Superior, Canon Matthew Talarico, led us all in the Angelus, blessed our meal, and reminded us all of our united love for the Holy Infant King and that this night was for Him. Motivated by the truth of his words and by the beauty of the concept artwork depicting the future church for the Holy Infant King, those present were explained the next steps in the building process and presented with the evening’s challenging goal: restoring 10 massive windows.
Entertained by the colorful personalities of the canons and faithful, everyone in the room joined together to build the church’s windows by playing a dynamic game show cleverly dubbed “All Pane, All Gain”, where those present teamed up with each other to match the donations of our friends and benefactors throughout the United States.
Encouraged by these pledges and contributions made from members of the Institute family across the nation, those present responded with unprecedented generosity to help raise a cumulative total of over $122,000, $100,000 of which was then matched by an anonymous benefactor and friend of the Institute. This tremendous charity on the part of the entire Institute family achieved not only this year’s project goal, but also will help launch the following goals of insulation, fire protection, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as the building out of the interior column structures.
Restoration of the ten window frames will begin in earnest as soon as the temperature is consistently above fifty degrees Fahrenheit. The original steel frames will be cleaned, the rust will be grinded off, the frames repaired where needed and then primed and painted with a rust inhibiting paint. The panes will then be replaced with 1/4″ laminated protective glass, which will not only seal up the interior from the elements, but will also serve to protect the church’s future stained glass.
While the funds for the completion of the window restoration have been fully raised, there are, however, individual windows that are still able to be sponsored or memorialized. If you would like to make a donation to sponsor or memorialize a window within our National Shrine of Christ the King in honor of your family or a special loved-one, please contact our Project Manager, Canon Matthew Weaver for more information.
The evening concluded by praying the Memorare together and the final blessing from Canon Talarico, but not before the premier of a powerful video entitled “Christ is Our King”. This short film calls us to unite as a family in our desire to honor Christ as our King, and to make our love for Jesus Christ incarnate (something to touch), like He has done for us. We trust Him to provide for us everything we will ever need, because we have honored Him with our trust and our love. We give to Him what He has given first to us, knowing He will give us back a hundred-fold and the joy of eternal life.
With the endorsement and blessing of the Institute’s Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach, as well as that of the Vicar General, Monsignor Schmitz, we wish to build a monument to the universal kingship of Christ over all of creation, here in the United States. This is what the Institute of Christ the King is all about – making visible the reign of Christ in our world. This is why we desire to build our National Shrine of Christ the King, because Christ Reigns Here.
We would like to thank everyone for your generous support as well as your continued prayers for this monumental project, and we thank you for helping to make this year’s benefit gala an unprecedented success, a lot of fun, and a victory for Christ our Holy Infant King. Deo gratias!