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.
As we prepare the final drawings for the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King before beginning construction in the spring, we turn in faith to our Blessed Mother, Mary Immaculate. In union with all of our American apostolates as well as countless friends of the Institute throughout the United States, we pray the Memorare each day that through her most powerful intercession, we may receive all that we need to build our National Shrine for her Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, King — yesterday, today, forever. Join us as we pray:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee. O Virgin of virgins, my Mother, to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petition, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
On the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Canon Talarico prays this saint’s favorite prayer, the Memorare, in the presence of the Holy Infant King for the special intention of the entire US Province: building of the Institute’s National Shrine.
Please join him in this special intention by praying the Memorare each day, and let us build a National Shrine to Christ our King.
Planned Side Altars for the National Shrine of Christ the King
We desire to honor the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ from the moment of His virginal conception until His triumphal Ascension into heaven where He lives and reigns as our benevolent and loving King eternally. All of these mysteries in the life of our Divine Lord center around the reality of His Incarnation — the mystery of the Word made flesh for our redemption. Jesus Christ, King — yesterday, today and forever — from the creche to the cross, Emmanuel is King. The center piece of this monument therefore is the well known and beloved Holy Infant King, a 17th century wooden statue of the Infant Jesus in royal robes of the time and crowned by the late Francis Cardinal George during the Octave of Christmas 2007.
Because of this central theme, the theme of the Incarnation, the side altars and shrines, therefore, will all focus on this central mystery and highlight its various aspects, episodes, virtues, manifestations, defenders and proponents.
1. The Mystery of the Annunciation: The virginal conception of our Divine King and the day of His ordination as a Priest, Pontifex, the bridge between God and man.
2. The Mystery of the Nativity: The virginal birth of our Lord and God and the adoration of the angels and the simple shepherds alike.
3. The Mystery of the Epiphany: The adoration of the wise men, the Magi, who followed a star by faith and brought to the Christ Child gifts of gold for His kingship, frankincense for His divinity, and myrrh for His true humanity.
4. The Most Blessed Virgin, Mary Immaculate, Mother of God, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Mother of the Church, Our Blessed Mother.
5. Saint Joseph, most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, Guardian of the Holy Family and protector of the Universal Church.
6. St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of Divine Love and defender of the redemptive Incarnation of our Lord for all of humanity.
7. St. Thomas Aquinas, defender of the Faith and Universal Doctor of the Church, the Mystical Body of our Incarnate God.
8. St. Benedict, “Father of Christian Civilization” and of the Sacred Liturgy, the living expressions of the reality of the Incarnation and the Love of God in our daily lives.
9. St. Therese of the Child Jesus – need I say more on behalf of this most beloved saint.
10. The Crucifixion, remembering always that our Lord’s true throne is His most holy Cross, which He offers to us each day that we might reign with Him forever in heaven.
(Information courtesy of Canon Matthew Weaver, Project Manager)
To the angels, our churches are the frontier between heaven and earth. Here, the angels worship God side by side with men, women and children, and the accord of our adoration unifies the chasm between time and eternity. In our churches, heaven and earth are one.
How evident this becomes when our earthly churches remind us of heaven, when the invisible mysteries of eternity are made visible for us to behold! In heaven, as on earth, Christ is King. How much more then must Christ our King be enthroned in our land.
This is the mission and charism of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: to enthrone Jesus Christ as King in every aspect of human life. This begins in our churches; this must be most evident in our National Shrine.
Designed by architect William Heyer, the classical basilica style has been embellished with details inspired by some of the most beautiful Roman churches ever built by the hands of men. Among these include Santa Maria in Campitelli, San Andrea della Valle, and the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican.
The exquisite nobility of the high altar was inspired by the same majestic piece in the Institute’s beautiful Florentine church of Sts. Michael and Cajetan. This already impressive structure is coronated by a most dazzling “Gloria” conceived and designed by the artistic genius of Abbe Alexander Willweber, clerical oblate of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. This celestial “cloud of glory” is to be the throne of Christ the King and the focal point of our National Shrine.
Watch and enjoy this enchanting video accompanied by the heavenly melodies of Gaudeamus Omnes, sung by priests and seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King.
You will notice that as you enter, welcomed and protected by the harbored structure, your heart and mind soar with the classical Corinthian columns, rising ever upward until they seemingly blossom into the graceful arches of the vaulted ceilings. The columns speak in silence of the glorious simplicity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the unwavering strength of the Twelve Apostles, supporting the Church until the end of time. These strong yet graceful columns elegantly ground you as your gaze follows them from the church’s nave into the right aisle of the ambulatory. Here, your eyes look heavenward to notice the refuge granted by the canopy of arches, sheltering you like palm trees.
You will follow the aisle forward where your heart seems to bow for a moment before one the church’s many side altars, perhaps Our Blessed Mother’s. As always, she guides you toward her Son, into the splendor of the sanctuary. Here, you will see where we wish to enthrone our Lord Jesus Christ as King.
There in the center of the “Gloria”, you can imagine our beloved and iconic statue of the Holy Infant King, Jesus our Lord, holding the world firmly in His left hand, blessing it with His right and standing in a cloud of glory. This 17th century wooden statue, which miraculously survived the devastating fire of October 7, 2015, will reclaim His rightful place in the National Shrine of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
The Holy Infant King is there seated upon His throne amidst the resplendent sun rising in the east above the tabernacle where His Divine Heart awaits you in the Most Holy Eucharist. From His throne, you look outward once again to take in the full nobility of this holy place. The nave is vast yet intimate, and the church is grand yet welcoming.
Your tour ends with one, final and almost nostalgic glance back to the dream-like high altar, the center of your Christian life, the center of the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King.
Inspired by the love, piety and devotion of those who have gone before us and those who have handed down to us the treasure of our one, true Catholic Faith, the interior of the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King will reflect the majesty and beauty of heaven. For the love of our Divine King, the Headquarters church of the Institute in the United States will unite both time and place with eternity to serve and adore our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Men and angels alike will worship Him here, to receive His grace and to find His peace, because Christ reigns here.
Designed with the humility to know and accept the challenges of our times and the limitations of our means, the design architect, William Heyer, has drawn on the timeless elements of classical church architecture while utilizing the ingenuity of both skilled craftsmen and innovative materials to create an interior that is magnificent to behold, accommodating to use, and economic to build. Independently financed and managed by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, we rely on the generous donations of our friends and benefactors who support our mission, our work and our passion.
Built to last and built with future generations in mind, nevertheless, we wish to build our National Shrine of Christ the King for His eternal glory. We have everything we have by His grace, we must do everything for His glory.
To find out more information about the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King or to learn how you can help, please call our Project Manager, Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver, at 773.363.7409 ext. 2 or email him at email@example.com.
This is a preliminary conceptual model for the church’s interior. The completed design will include many more features and furnishings including side altars, confessionals, stained glass windows, statuary and more.
Canon Matthew Weaver, newly ordained American priest and Project Manager for the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King, offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass during the Octave of Christmas for all of the friends and benefactors of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. May the Holy Infant King bless you abundantly this Christmas and throughout the New Year of His grace, 2019. God love you!
This week, the National Fund awarded the Institute of Christ the King the remaining $125,000 to push us over our $3 Million goal for Phase I of our restoration campaign to build our National Shrine to Christ the King.
We wish to thank the National Fund for Sacred Places for their generous support, and we assure you of our continued prayers in gratitude for your part in helping us build a National Shrine to Christ the King. May the Holy Infant Jesus bless you this Christmas and always for what you have done for Him this year!
By the grace of God and thanks to your help, Phase I is complete and the panic of the situation is over. The building is secure and protected from the elements. Now we are ready to build the Institute’s namesake Shrine on our own property so that the reign of Christ our King may bless you, our Institute and our nation.
As we now begin Phase II to build the Institute’s National Shrine, our Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach, and our Provincial Superior, Canon Matthew Talarico, ask us to pray publicly the Memorare each day for this very intention: to build the Institute’s National Shrine to Christ the King.
Through constant prayer to St. Joseph, we have been blessed with shelter and stability. Now by our devotion to the Immaculate Conception, Our Blessed Mother will procure for us all that is necessary to build for her Divine Infant Son a National Shrine to honor Him as King.
For the first time in three years since the devastating fire, which destroyed the Institute’s Headquarters church, Holy Mass was offered once again within the newly sheltered walls of our National Shrine. Our Provincial Superior, Canon Matthew Talarico, offered the Holy Sacrifice in the presence of the Holy Infant King statue, which, though made of wood, was not consumed in the roaring blaze three years ago.
Canon Talarico offered Mass in thanksgiving for all the blessings received thus far and in petition to grant us those necessary to build for His Divine Majesty a worthy throne to honor Him as King in our National Shrine.
Through the intercession of St. Joseph, shelter is once again provided; now, through the intercession of the Immaculate Conception, heavenly Patroness of the Institute and of the United States of America, we will build a National Shrine to her Divine Infant Son, Jesus Christ our King and Sovereign Priest, that He may reign here now in our land as He lives and reigns forever in glory.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat. Deo Gratias!