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Building Our National Shrine of Christ the King: a Conceptual Model

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.

We present to you this magnificent conceptual rendering for the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King.

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 canon.weaver@institute-christ-king.org.

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.

The Eternal Christmas Gift

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!

Thanks to National Fund, $3 Million Mark Reached!

One year ago, the National Fund for Sacred Places awarded the Shrine a grant of $250,000 to be paid in two installments on the conditions that we raise $500,000 on our own and that the roof be completed. Thanks to you all, we reached and surpassed the fundraising goal of $500,000 earlier this year, and the roof has been completed!

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!

Prayer Campaign for the Institute’s National Shrine

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.

Holy Mass Offered Once Again Inside!

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!

Click here for more photos: www.institute-christ-king.org

Look What You Made Possible!

CHICAGO, IL – For the first time in three years, the National Shrine of Christ the King is protected from the elements!

The South Side of Chicago experienced their first major snowfall today, and for the first time since the devastating fire in October of 2015, the Institute’s National Shrine has a roof to keep the snow outside. Following the tragedy, friends and benefactors helped raise over $3 million to construct an entirely new roof structure as well as to stabilize and clean the damaged historical edifice.

The Institute received the deed for the property following the fire and, now owning the site, is dedicated to building a National Shrine in honor of our Holy Infant King. Thank you all for your prayers and generous support to help the Institute build their National Shrine to Christ the King and Headquarters in the USA.

The Institute is now preparing to launch Phase II of their Capital Campaign to build the National Shrine to Christ our King. May the Holy Infant Jesus bless you all for your support.

Yours devotedly in Christ our King,

Rev. Canon Matthew Weaver

US Provincial Secretary

National Shrine of Christ the King

Project Manager

Kennedy-King College Films with Save the Shrine

CHICAGO, IL – Thank you all very much for sharing with us your time and talents the other day. Moreover, thank you for your continued support, friendship and love in this endeavor of Charity to bring life, hope, and grace to our community and to our land. May the Holy Infant King continue to bless you as you continue to honor Him by your dedication and commitment to build for Him the National Shrine of Christ the King.

See photos of Kennedy-King College filming with Save the Shrine (Photo Credit: Save the Shrine)…

Mass of Thanksgiving

CHICAGO, IL – Newly ordained American priest for the Institute of Christ the King and Project Manager of the National Shrine of Christ the King, Canon Matthew Weaver offers Holy Mass in St. Joseph’s Crypt Chapel in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the countless people who have so generously helped to put a new roof on the National Shrine in honor of Christ our King. Thank you all, and may God love you!

Shrine Progress Pleases Grant Inspectors

CHICAGO, IL – The Shrine’s new roof has been completed! This is a major milestone for three reasons: it marks the end of the first phase of the restoration, it completes our project goal to obtain the second half of a matching grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places, and most especially, it is the culmination of three years of support from all our donors.

One year ago, the National Fund for Sacred Places awarded the Shrine a grant of $250,000 to be paid in two installments on the conditions that we raise $500,000 on our own and that the roof be completed. Thanks to you all, we reached and surpassed the fundraising goal of $500,000 earlier this year. This week, inspectors from the National Fund came to assess the brand new roof structure, assuring its installation and completion. The inspectors were very pleased with what they saw and the progress that we have made. They then invited us to complete the final paperwork, taking the final step so that the Shrine can now receive the second half of the $250,000 grant.

While we are deeply grateful for the grant, we are even more profoundly humbled by what this milestone says to us from you: it is the culmination of three years of collaboration with countless donors to complete Phase I, which included the stabilization of the building, and an entirely new steel roof structure. In total, you helped us raise $3M to get us this far.

From the very day of the fire, the support of many individuals has been astounding and heartwarming. Truly, without your help, through donations large and small, in one-time or repeated contributions, we would not have been able to accomplish Phase I. With the completion of the roof, and the building interior now protected from the elements, we are no longer operating in response to an emergency. We have “stopped the bleeding”, and we are able to press on to the restoration ahead.

There are no words that can adequately express our gratitude, hope, and inspiration engendered by the generosity of all our supporters for the completion of this Phase I. Accordingly, Canon Matthew Weaver, the Project Manager for the Shrine and a newly ordained American priest, will offer a special Mass of thanksgiving on Monday, October 29, 2018, for the intentions of all who have helped us achieve this once unthinkable goal for the greater glory of God on earth. May He reward you eternally for your generosity to us!