Restoring Woodlawn is a Family Affair

From windows to walls, landscaping to office work, building the Shrine of Christ the King is truly a Woodlawn family affair!

Fathers and sons from the community work daily to restore and repair the historic landmark church and the surrounding grounds as mothers and daughters work together to make the Shrine of Christ the King a beautiful, safe and sacred place for us all.

All of these great people work side by side with the priests and oblate brothers of the Institute of Christ the King to bring Woodlawn’s cornerstone back to life like a phoenix from the ashes.

We are dedicated to rebuild not only an historic landmark church in Chicago’s south side, but also to pull our weight to help restore and revive a community. This very important work begins with the family.

Your financial support of the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation does much more than simply to help rebuild an historic cornerstone church, you help support and restore the real and true cornerstone of every community: the family. May God reward you for your support!

To find out how you can help by donating to the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation, please email our Project Manager, Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at info@institute-christ-king.org

Result-Driven Confidence

We’ve all heard “freedom isn’t free”; neither is restoring a magnificent historic landmark church. Your generous sacrifices are what make our restoration work possible, and that’s why we are dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on our continual progress in this monumental project.

We are totally dependent on the generous donations of our neighbors and benefactors, and we owe it to you to show you the results.

Nothing says “thank you” more powerfully than our tireless dedication to responsibly using the funds received, and nothing builds confidence in a non-profit project than producing real results!

We look forward to showing you the results of your generosity each and every week, and building on the trust you have placed in us to restore Woodlawn’s cornerstone by keeping our promise to you.

100% of your donation goes to restore the Shrine of Christ the King.

To find out how you can help by donating to the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation, please email our Project Manager, Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at info@institute-christ-king.org

A Clean Slate Going Forward

In life, we all need a second chance. When we get one, we need to be ready to take advantage of it — No shortcuts, no excuses.

Rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, our goal is not only to take full advantage of the opportunity at hand to restore and refresh our campus, but also to positively impact the Woodlawn community of which we are an historic and integral part.

After having first removed the overgrowth from the front lawn, local workmen began this week power washing the façade and continued to tuckpoint the interior brick of the historic landmark church in order to insure not only the exterior beauty of Woodlawn’s cornerstone, but also its perennial stability.

In five years time, by your help and generous support, the Shrine of Christ the King will be restored both inside and out in order to stand strong for the next 100 years and beyond.

Help us prepare for our centennial in 2024 with your tax-deductible donation to restore Woodlawn’s cornerstone.

To find out how you can help by donating to the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation, please email our Project Manager, Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at info@institute-christ-king.org

What’s Next? Let’s Keep Going!

As work on the church continues this summer, a very important part to improving “the whole” is our dedication to taking care of “our part”. Our investment in making the church beautiful in this neighborhood is an investment in the neighborhood at large. Beauty converts; it draws us in, gives us joy and transforms us.

A critical element to making any property beautiful is “curb-side appeal”, where very little makes all the difference. Nothing says “welcome” better than a clean parking lot, and nothing says “we care about our property” better than a little landscaping. This is the next step: show that we care. Let’s make our place nice — for ourselves, for our guests and for God. Let’s redo the parking lot and clean things up!

WE OWN THE PLACE; LET’S MAKE IT HOME!

We will improve the parking lot by removing all volunteer trees and brush, demolishing all unsightly structures, regrading the surfacing for proper drainage, patching and filling damaged areas, resurfacing the pavement and striping. We will also make it beautiful by replacing the fence and mechanical gate, landscaping the front, adding sitting areas and installing decorative lighting fixtures. If we all pitch in just a little more, we can have this completed by the end of summer. May God bless you abundantly!

To find out how you can help by donating to the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation, please email our Project Manager, Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at info@institute-christ-king.org

Window Restoration: Complete

Thanks be to God and to your most generous and enthusiastic support, the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation has completed its first goal. The windows of the Shrine of Christ the King are restored! We could not have done it without God’s grace, but we could not have done it without you too. Thank you, and may He reward you for your generous help.

What’s Next? Let’s Keep Going!

As interest and excitement continue to grow around the nation, let’s start taking care of Woodlawn. While construction goes full steam ahead on the shrine, let’s start pulling our weight to help make the community a beautiful place to visit — a beautiful place to call home. Let’s make our home beautiful.

To find out how you can donate to the 6401 Woodlawn Heritage Foundation, please email our Project Manager,

Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at info@institute-christ-king.org.

North Side Complete on Institute’s Provincial Shrine!

Window Restoration Update

Windows are to a church what truth is to the soul. They protect us from the harsh elements and give light to our path.

Just two weeks after beginning this critical step in the building of the Institute’s Provincial Shrine in the United States of America, the windows on the church’s north side have been completely restored.

With full ownership of this historic landmark edifice, the Institute of Christ the King is dedicated to building within its unshakable walls our national headquarters church to serve as “our cathedral” for our mission and work in the United States of America.

This beautiful Renaissance style building has ten massive windows, which magnificently illuminate the church’s interior. We are restoring the original frames and replacing the panes with ¼” laminated glass, which will not only seal up the building’s existing exterior, but will also serve as protective glass for the future stained glass.

Before and After!

What’s Next?

This week, the workers will move to the church’s south side to continue the window restoration, projecting completion in early June.

With the building now enclosed, interior construction can finally begin!

What a story this has been! We never could have come this far without God’s blessing, and we certainly could not have reached this point without your help!

Thank you all for your many prayers, your generous support and for your friendship and dedication to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in the United States of America.

May Christ our King bless you for all you do to honor Him!

Spring Weather Speeds Progress

In just one week’s time, the first two of ten massive windows have been fully restored in the historic landmark church at the corner of 64th and Woodlawn in the south side of Chicago.

This majestic masterpiece of sacred architecture is being restored and rebuilt to be the Institute’s United States Provincial Shrine of Christ the King and the mother church of our young order in this continent. Thanks to you, this important step in this monumental undertaking has been made financially possible, and we pray to continue without interruption that we may bring what God has begun by His grace to completion for His glory. Thank you all, and thanks be to God!

Easter Peace Brings New Life to Shrine of Christ the King

If there is one thing that we all can learn this Easter from the Prince of Peace, it is that peace is not a passive, but an active reality. Our blessed Lord did not say, “Blessed are the peaceful”, but rather, “Blessed are the peace makers”. Peace, therefore, is not something that is given; it is something that is achieved. It is something that we achieve together.

Thanks be to God and to you, our friends, we have been abundantly blessed with the means necessary to drive forward with our plans to build the National Shrine of Christ the King, making to rise from the grave this beautiful and historic landmark church that she may once more be to souls both near and far a place of prayer, a place of beauty, a place of peace.

This past week, as our blessed Lord descended to the depths of hell to ransom the souls who awaited His peace, we descended to the depths of our beloved church to prepare its basement for the construction of the new restroom facilities and mechanical rooms. The rubble was removed, the walls scraped, the structural masonry fortified and all load-bearing walls rebuilt to ensure the solid foundation upon which we will now continue to build the National Shrine of Christ the King.

Now with our Blessed Lord, the Light of the world, we will rise from the depths to begin to manifest to the nation the light of the church and the hope that her resurrection brings.

This week, as construction continues on the basement, we will begin the arduous and important task of restoring the church’s historic exterior windows. Workers will remove all rust from the original steel frames, make all necessary repairs and then prime and paint the metal to ensure its longevity and beauty. Then, they will replace all the panes with clear, 1/4″ laminated glass, duly protecting the future interior stained glass and allowing once more the beauty of pure light to illuminate the church’s interior.

This monumental step did not come without the great sacrifices made by you, our friends and supporters, during these most recent Lenten months of prayer, fasting, and alms giving. The basement construction and window restoration alone required a nearly $200,000 investment on your part.

Like all good investments, there must be a return for us to continue. Made for the future, we must see promise in the present, or we shall not continue in faith. Your investment is for eternity, and I wish to thank you now and forever for your sacrifices. As the windows of the National Shrine of Christ the King are brought back to life, I wish to thank you for your generous and devoted help by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for you and your intentions throughout this blessed week of Easter, the Feast of Peace.

We will rebuild the Church together, but it will be through our sacrifices. May our risen Lord bless you for yours now and forever. God love you.

Rev. Canon Matthew M. Weaver, Project Manager

2019 Provincial Headquarters Benefit Gala: A Victory for the Infant King!

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!

Final Blueprints for the Institute’s Provincial Shrine of Christ the King

During a brief visit to the United States, Monsignor Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute, met with the Provincial Superior, Canon Talarico, for the unveiling of our plans for the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King. The two superiors sat down with (left to right) the design architect, William Heyer, the architect of record, Cyrus Rivetna, and the general contractor, Jim Raffin, for the presentation. Monsignor Schmitz was positively astounded by the church’s beautiful design and is most enthusiastic about its effective use of space to create both an aesthetically magnificent and liturgically functional home for our Divine Infant King.

William Heyer will now prepare the design drawings to be handed over to the architect of record, who will then convert them into the building plans that the general contractor will then use to make this vision of heavenly beauty a reality of earth and stone. During the monthly Novena to the Holy Infant King, we contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation — the mystery of our redemption; the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. He wishes to dwell among us still, but where will He reign?

Our divine Lord Jesus wishes not only to reign in our hearts, but also in our society. We show Him (and others) we love Him by making the shrines of our hearts visible in the world. We do this by what we “build” in the world each day. We help build His kingdom with our corporal and spiritual works of mercy. However, our Divine Jesus wishes for His kingdom to be public, that is for all people, which means that He asks us also to build Him public monuments of His Kingship for all to see and from which all may be blessed.

This is the wish of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: to build our Lord Jesus Christ a public monument acknowledging His divine sovereignty over all the universe, the National Shrine of Christ the King. Will you help us honor the King of kings with a palace for His greater glory on earth?

Click the donate tab to see how you can help. May out Divine Infant King bless you for all you do to honor Him.